By Chidi Nkwopara, Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Ugochukwu Alaribe
Anambra State: Where federal roads are deathtraps
ONITSHA – Anambra State is the entry point from South West and South South States of Edo and Delta States, to South East. Onitsha is also strategic for its commercial and business activities and manufacturing which take place particularly in Nnewi.
This has bequeathed Onitsha and Nnewi the names ‘commercial’ and ‘industrial’ city respectively. One thing, however, that has made the state difficult to live in and carry out these commercial and industrial business activities is lack of good roads, particularly the federal roads that crisscross the cities, leading to other South East states of Imo and Enugu states.
Travelling within or through Anambra roads to other South East states is like embarking on a suicide mission and self-punishment. Sometimes when people want to embark on a journey through some of the federal roads in the state and remember the suffering they have to go through, especially on the Onitsha-Owerri Road from Upper Iweka leading to Imo State and Onitsha-Awka-Enugu Road leading to Enugu State, they are discouraged.
Almost all the federal roads in the state – Onitsha-Enugu Road, Onitsha-Otuocha Adani Enugu Road, Onitsha-Ihiala-Owerri Road, Ihiala-Orlu Road, Umuahia, Nnewi-Okigwe, Nnewi-Ekwulobia-OkoUmunze roads – are currently death traps. For motorists and passengers, passing through these roads are similar to passing through the biblical valleys of the shadows of death.
A journey exiting Onitsha from Upper Iweka Onitsha to Metallurgical Training Institutions, MTI, toward Oba, going to Owerri that ordinarily should not take up to ten minutes now takes almost a day because between Onitsha-Owerri Road and MTI, before Oba town, is impassable.
More than ten gullies have taken over one part of the dual carriage road and has almost taken over the remaining one. In fact, because of the closure of one part of the road by deep crevices, erosion and even residents have turned it to waste dump site, forcing motorist to struggle to pass from one side of the road that has also been taken over by deep gullies.
On the same Onitsha-Owerri Road, at the Junction, is another deathtrap on which travellers going to Owerri spend five hours to pass due to deep holes that have equally forced commuters to one side of the dual carriage road on their way to and from Owerri, Imo State. Ihiala Orlu Ehime Mbano Umuahi Road is impassable between Iseke and Orlu town. Motorists travelling on that road now have to pass through Orsu Local Government Area communities of Orsuihiteukwa before getting to Orlu on the way towards Umuahia, Abia State.