Ex-Gov Uduaghan’s attempt
Warri Correspondents’ Chapel complain about bad roads in oil city
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, Niger Delta
IT is not open to question that the oil city of Warri in Delta State has since lost its beauty, but it was uncertain if government was willing to re-establish the vanished grandeur of Warri and environs where the state reaped so much proceeds. In his first four years, it was palpable that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa did not have a sudden fix to the blot on the landscape. However, in the first year of his second tenure, the man some of the citizens now call Roadmaster has demonstrated willingness to start the reconstruction of the oil city.
His predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, a certified Warri Boy, now an All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain, attempted a revolution with the first ever Flyover Bridge in the oil city, refashioning of the popular Enerhen Junction, Refinery Road, Wary, provision of street lights and some other interventions, but the old city did not get out of the self-afflicted inertia.
For anybody familiar with the oil city, its most visible problem is bad road, a very poor road network that makes one question if the present-day Warri is the same as the one that Shell Development Company, SPDC and other oil companies sojourned before their abrupt exit in the aftermath of militancy. However, no government can overcome the road debacle in Warri without first solving the problem of flooding which has shut in the oil city.
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Warri Correspondents fume
Rising from its congress, December 23, journalists in Warri under the auspices of Warri Correspondents Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Delta State Council, observed that “Many of the roads within Warri and Effurun are begging for government’s immediate attention, as most of the roads are bad and not passable with huge potholes and gullies dotting them. Such deplorable roads include: 1st Marine Gate and 3rd Marine Gate leading to Gbiaye Street, popular Enerhen Junction, Effurun Market, Apala Road, Mcaiver Roundabout, Oilfield road, Uti road, NNPC Housing Complex Road and PTI Road by Masoje Junction,” they said in a communiqué jointly signed by the chair and secretary, Okies Veeky and Joe Ogbodu. Other deplorable roads mentioned were Jakpa Junction, Ogbemudia Road by Igbudu Market, Bazunu road by College of Commerce gate, Warri, NPA Expressway, especially by Ugbuwangue Junction and Etuwewe road by Deco Road.
…Warri-Benin, Wary-Agbor fed roads still appalling
The Congress went on: “Most worrisome also is the deplorable state of the Warri- Benin Expressway by Adeje and Opuraja as well as Warri to Agbor being designated as federal roads. These so-called federal roads connecting several states in South- South and South East states have assumed the ignoble status of death traps with alarming tragedies across the oil and gas producing states,” it said.
Congress, therefore, appealed to the Delta State government to expedite action in liaising with the federal government to fix the Warri/Sapele expressway and the Warri-Agbor road, among others, now that the rains had receded.
It stated, “Besides, most nooks and crannies of Warri, Effurun and environs have become a displeasing enclave of filth as indiscriminate refuse dumps by residents have taken over various parts of the metropolis, blurring the aesthetic value of the oil-rich area and putting the people at the risk of imminent epidemics and other health challenges.”
The Chapel equally expressed displeasure at the perennial darkness pervading most streets in Warri and Effurun as most streetlights installed by the past administration have gone bad and need urgent attention, noting, “The situation has gradually ushered in criminality, especially at dusk, as hoodlums now take the advantage to waylaid and dispossess people of their possessions. The NUJ Chapel stated that “more worrisome emanating from the darkness is the ignoble extermination of nightlife in Warri and environs as residents, for fear of rampaging hoodlums, now take hurried cover as soon as dusk approaches. It added, “Warri and Effurun are shamefully bedeviled with deplorable roads and blocked drainage resulting in perennial flooding year-in, year-out in Warri and environs.”
Members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, however, expressed gratitude to the Warri and Uvwie Development Agency, headed by former Secretary to the State Government, SSG and ex- Chairman, NUJ, Delta State Council, Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay, for the ongoing clean-up of refuse at road medians, along Efferent Roundabout and Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA.
The congress also demonstrated delight that government has awarded contract for the construction of underground drainage to mitigate the perennial floods in Warri and Uvwie axis. It called on the Delta state government to resume work at the discontinued expansion of the Effurun-Sapele road linking Enerhen to alleviate the suffering of the people.
“The state government should synergize with Warri South, Warri South West, Udu and Uvwie local government to fix the aforementioned deplorable street roads, restore moribund streetlights, engender a more permanent solutions to regularly ridding the area of filth as well as restore streetlights in Warri and Effurun as soon as possible,” the congress asserted.
It added, “Henceforth, NUJ, Warri Correspondents’ Chapel will keep a tab on progress of work as regards