Enugu based industrialist and philanthropist, Arc. Chris Arodiogbu has given a major facelift to the abandoned Arondizuogu – Okigwe federal road which has been turned into a kidnappers den. Chris Arodiogbu, from Ndiadimoha, is the older brother of Dr. Ijeoma Arodiogbu who attracted the Federal Government institution under construction at Ndiadimoha, Arondizuogu.
While the Imo State Government is still dilly-dallying and making it’s usual empty promises about what it will do about this long abandoned road, heavy duty equipment engaged by Mazi Arodiogbu have turned the Arondizuogu – Okigwe road from an impassable death trap to a virtual freeway.
The Arondizuogu Gong crew members who visited the road yesterday saw that serious filling of the many bad spots along the road with heavy lumps, chippings and laterite has taken place and leveling and grading are being carried out from Umulolo past T – Junction (Aniche Obinetiti) up to Akeme Ikpa Okoli heading up to Omeire junction.
Aside from the dust, the road is now smooth and motorable and motorists can now drive through with less danger to their lives or property.
The Imo State government recently publicised its intention to grade this same road. TAG crew was informed that, indeed, the government nominated contractor, Chief Sunny Ejeagwu (Ohaneze) visited the site a day or two ago. He was sighted around the popular “Madam Ambassador Restaurant” chatting with Chris Arodiogbu’s project supervisor. The subject of their discussion was unclear but okada riders, youths and traders around the area were not amused by what they regard as an unwelcome visit made on behalf of a government that has shown little interest in the welfare of the people.
The Arondizuogu – Okigwe road is a critical entreport to Arondizuogu and its virtual abandonment by successive governments has crippled the local economy, impoverished the people and set Arondizuogu back by not less than 50 years. The people, generally, are very angry about the terrible condition of this road which has lingered for many years – moreso when a son of Ideato is serving out his second term as Governor of Imo State. No salutary measures can assuage the anger which the people feel – and justifiably so.
Is the Imo State government going to refund Arc. Chris Arodiogbu for the hundreds of millions he has already spent on the terribly dilapidated Arondizuogu – Okigwe road to make it motorable in three intensive weeks of massive road rehabilitation or will they take photographs of the improved thoroughfare and take credit for work they did not do?
Whatever happens, Arondizuogu is fast making history as the only community in Imo State where the duty of road construction and road rehabilitation has been passed to helpless indigenes. Even after erecting a multi-million naira 5-star tourism edifice, The Hometown Resort, Chief Benbella Anachebe (SAN) was forced to single handedly tar the state road from Ugwu Akokwa to Eke Ndianiche up to Odum Rd enroute Ndiogbuonyeoma Uno. Amazingly, the Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, drove on that same road with his overlong convoy to commission the project without batting an eyelid and without showing any embarrassment as if it is a normal thing for private citizens to construct state roads. Dr. Innocent Ezuma (Zumex) often has to bring heavy duty road making equipment from his mining sites in Plateau and Benue states to make Arondizuogu roads passable. This same Chris Arodiogbu is presently also rehabilitating the ancient Iyiebo to Ndiawa Rd that passes through the Arondizuogu Health Centre heading towards Produce Ndiawa with drainage on both sides. That these projects run into billions of naira goes without saying. Private capital that could have been used to site industries or even build a private university in Arondizuogu are wasted in carrying out infrastructural projects that should, ordinarily, be carried out with public funds by goverment.
Meanwhile, the only visible state government road rehab project at Ndianiche Uno appears to have fallen into a coma. Most other projects of the state government are still in promissory notes and, understandably, for the beleaguered people of Arondizuogu who have come to expect little from the Okorocha government, seeing is believing.
As at press time this morning, Arodiogbu’s caterpillars were still on the ground rumbling up and down the Arondizuogu – Okigwe federal road filling innumerable crevices while government officials are on Facebook and WhatsApp making the same song and dance of what government will do for Arondizuogu that the people have been hearing for donkey years.
(For more details, read the 2017 Christmas issue of The Arondizuogu Gong coming out in a few days)
By Mazi Uche Ohia