By Dennis Agbo
Some residents in the Enugu capital city have expressed disappointment in their exclusion from the new bus shelters being constructed by the state government in different parts of the capital territory.
The state government through the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, had embarked on a reconstruction of over 284 bus shelters that were destroyed during the EndSARS protests in the state capital, last year.
The new durable bus shelters being built have covered some parts of the capital city, but residents of some areas yet to benefit from the new constructions are protesting that that have been schemed out of the project, particularly in the present rainy season which they said they need the shelters more than any other time.
The protesting residents include those living in Abakpa, Emene, Thinkers corner, Coal Camp, Ugwuaji, Maryland and other suburbs in the capital city.
Mr. Joe Arinze, who resides in Abakpa said that if there was any other place the bus shelters should have first been constructed, it was Abakpa, citing the population density of that part of the coal city.
“For us in Emene, it’s like we are not part of the state capital. Why should the state government be reconstructing such esthetic bus shelters and it will exclude Emene, which is the first place that important visitors and tourists to the state land before proceeding to any other place,” said Veronica Onu.
Mr. Michael Ogbodo, a native of Ugwuaji lamented that the area was usually forgotten in the provision of amenities, stating that for the sake that his area is home to most students of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) and the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Ugwuaji should be in the first line charge of any amenity provision in the capital city, to avoid students unrest.
When contacted, Chairman of ECTDA, Dr Josef Onoh told the protesting residents to take it easy, noting that the provision has not ended, but was being reinvigorated to ensure that all nooks and crannies of the capital city, including the new estates, are serviced by the state government.
Onoh said: “Construction of the new bus shelters are still ongoing, it’s just that His Excellency in his usual magnanimity decided that there should be a holistic approach to provide the bus shelters in all parts of the capital territory.
You know how difficult it is to access funds but we are in process of acquiring more of the materials being used for the construction and you know the project is being executed through direct labour.
“All these places are parts of the capital territory and Governor Ugwuanyi is bent on providing uniform development in the capital city which he has given us mandate to ensure that they are completed in due time and no part of the capital territory shall be left untouched.”
He assured the residents that the affected places yet to have the new bus shelters shall have them constructed before the end of November this year.