By Chinedu Adonu
THE people of Oma Eke Community, Udi council Area of Enugu State, last week protested what they called attempt to commission a non-existent road project in the area.
The community expressed surprise over the commissioning of road awarded under ecological project, before construction work even began, describing such act as “a monumental fraud that must be resisted.”
The angry indigenes who moved round the streets of the community to register their grievances, displayed placards, some with inscriptions such as: Please do not commission the uncompleted Eke Oma road; Public procurement act crucified;
Corruption unlimited; EFCC where are you? Buhari must hear this, among others.
South-East Voice learned that the road, an ecological fund project of N429. 9 million, which was secured under the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, is yet to commence, yet a Federal Government delegation was said to be in the area to commission the project which was resisted by the community.
According to the Town Union Chairman of Oma Eke community, Kenneth Ogudu, who addressed journalists, some Federal Government delegation came to commission a road project yet to be constructed.
“Over 3.8km road was awarded and funded by the Federal Government through the Ecological Fund Project since 2019 but as you can see, nothing has been done in those areas named in the contract paper. Today, the contractor and fraudulent people from the Federal Government said they are coming to commission the road project not done.
“We have not seen anything and they cannot commission a road not done. I am calling on the Federal Government to intervene and charge the contractors to come to the site,” he said.
Also speaking, Godwin Onwusi said that no ecological project as awarded since 2019 has been executed. He said the last paragraph of the contract agreement clearly stated thus: “This contract is fixed, firm and not transferrable.
“My people are agitated, they are not happy. The source of my people’s grievances is that sometime in 2019, Enugu Eke- Eke-Oma Eke, Obodo Amankwo Oma Road was awarded through Ecological Fund Project under the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation at the cost of N429. 9 million.
“So, we kept on waiting, as we were waiting, we stumbled on the letter of the award which stated clearly at the last paragraph, “this contract is fixed, firm and not transferrable” believing that we were waiting for them to commence work on the road. To our greatest surprise, we heard that they are coming today to commission the road. I am sure that the SGF is not aware of this kind of fraud going on here.
“How could the Federal Government send a team to commission a project that was not executed? Nothing was done in all the places mentioned in the contract paper and the contract agreement says it is fixed, firm and not transferrable. So, nothing has been done and they want to commission it?”
The community urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and charge the contractor to commence the construction of the 3.8km road as awarded.
“We know Mr. President as Mr. Integrity; we are bringing this to his notice that people under him are committing fraud by commissioning a project not executed. We are praying for the contractor to come and do the job which he has been paid for. How can we thank Mr. President for what he has done for us when some people are fraudulently commissioning a project without execution”.
When contacted the traditional ruler of Eke community, Igwe Chinwendu Onuoha, denied knowledge of a completed ecological project in his village. He disclosed that the construction work going on is funded by Enugu state government.
“If my people are protested over the alleged commissioning of ecological project in Oma Eke, they are right because the project has not commenced. I am aware of the contract but nothing has been done by the contractor,” the monarch said.