By Vincent Ujumadu
ANAMBRA State governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo has awarded a multi million naira contract for the construction of 26 kilometers Awba-Ofemili – Amansea road as a reward for the woman who rejected N5000 financial inducement to sell her vote during the November 2021 governorship election that brought him to office.
The road was among those awarded by the governor at the weekend as part of the ceremony to mark his six months in office.
Altogether, 60.34 kilometers of road in parts of the state were awarded, with the period of completion ranging from four to 16 months.
Soludo said: “Today, we are six months in office. I still remember that Ebenebe woman and other people who refused financial inducement during the election.
“Eventhough there is dearth of funds, we are committed to build these roads and more.”
With applause from the audience which described the governor’s action as a true meaning of the reason for people’s belief in free and fair election, Soludo said the Awba-Ofemili-Amansea road would be completed within a record time of 16 months.
Other roads flagged off by the governor include the 26.4 kilometer Amansea-Ndiukwuenu-Awa-Ufuma road to be completed in four months, the 600 meter stretch Isu/Igbo, Isuofia/Igboukwu section of the Ekwulobia/Nnobi Road, popularly called ‘Isu/Igbo river, to be completed in four months and the 7.79 kilometer Akpaka to Basilica road in Onitsha North local government area to be completed in May next year
According to him, the agreement signed between the state and all the contractors stipulates that the roads would be built to have at least a minimum of 20 years life span.
He also promised that his administration would build a bridge across to agriculture rich Ayamelum local government area through Awba-Ofemil, adding that his government has a commitment with Awka North local government area which he is bound to fulfill.
The governor added: “I am so emotional about this place. We even have the road we are designing that will pass through Isuaniocha to Urum and so on.
“The Amansea-Ndiukwuenu-Awa-Ufuma road is also very strategic because with the road in place, Orumba North and South can get to Awka within minutes, instead of running round the state.
“During the campaign, we went round Orumba, namely; Awa, Ajali, Umunze Nanka, Ezira, and the rest to ask for votes. We say thank you.
“I have come back to your place because this is a promise given and will be fulfilled. Hopefully, I’ll come back through here to Amansea by end of December.
“I make special mention of the late Joe Anatune of Awa (who died barely 11 days after his appointment by the governor). He was one big iroko that we lost who believed in the Anambra project.
“For two years, Joe relocated to Isuofia, my home town, working on the project. Before his demise, the late Joe envisioned the Anambra of our dreams. And so we are determined to keep working for he did not die in vain”.
According to the governor, “Over the next two months, we will be flagging off many roads. But we just began with the strategic ones. We will do this road in two phases.
“In addition to whatever we are already doing, we are exploring phase two which is the longer term intervention of channeling the flood water to Agulu lake”.
He said that although most of the roads are federal roads, he decided to fix them because “it is our people that are suffering and we can’t continue to wait for the federal. We will continue to fix them, as much as funds allow us”.
Soludo also decried the rate at which people arbitrarily erect buildings in public places in the state, especially in the commercial city of Onitsha.
“Sadly, Onitsha was left to die, while people started moving to neighbouring states. That is why we started from clearing and cleaning up the place. We are working on the greater Onitsha water scheme because Onitsha must rise again”
“We promised Ndi Anambra and we’ve started to gradually take back and deliver our state. We are destiling Nwangene to free the blocked drainages and water paths. There is another road, off Awka road to Trans Nkisi in Onitsha which we will also handle”, the governor said.