Bitter Youths Protest Over NDDC's Failed Road Project In Delta State

Bitter Youths Protest Over NDDC’s Failed Road Project In Delta State.

Motorists and youths in the Onicha-Ugbo community in Aniocha North local council and Ogbekenu village in Delta State have protested the deteriorating state of the Abuja-Onicha-Ugbo road, which was built by the Niger Delta Development Company (NDDC) over 12 years ago but has now collapsed.
During the large demonstration, the youngsters accused the NNDC of incompetence and excessive irresponsibility. They wanted immediate road action before the rainy season began.

The current status of the road has been a burden for inhabitants of Onicha-Ugbo, resulting in several erosions throughout the village in recent years.

One of the protesters, Laurence Izuegbu, said: “This road is a death trap and has become a burden to my community. I am so pained and would like the Federal Government and the agency responsible for the maintenance of this road to act fast before we record a colossal damage.

“We have been crying out when the road was not as bad as this. We were not taken serious. However, we can’t take this anymore. We are prepared to go on a protest march to Abuja because the state of the road is affecting our houses and crops. How can you construct a major highway like this without proper drainage?”

A commercial bus driver travelling to Abuja said: “We have been suffering this for a long time. At times, we spend three days travelling to Abuja because of the state of this road. We want the government to take action because this is the shortest route to Abuja, Auchi and Okene.”

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It is the quickest access route from the Southeast and South-South to Abuja and the North, according to one of the town’s leaders.

“It links Onitsha Benin City Expressway at Onicha Ugbo junction with Idumuje Ugboko, Ewohimi, Ekpoma, Ubiaja, Irrua, Auchi to Abuja and beyond.
  
“There is a kilometre stretch of road in Ogbekenu Onicha Ugbo passing in front of Emeka’s house that has failed continuously since it was built by NDDC over 10 years ago. Even Dr Kachikwu and Ned Nwoko have tried to repair it. NDDC has a zero per cent track record in maintaining anything they build,” the chief who preferred not to be named stated.

Hundreds of Dangote and BUA cement trucks, fancy buses, and other heavy vehicles, according to him, continue to cause major damage to the road on a daily basis.

During the rainy season, he claims, the damaged area is so deep in certain places that it swallows an entire Dangote Cement trailer.

His words: “It is this road that has transformed Onicha Ugbo into an important junction town bubbling with commercial activities. The State and local councils do not want to intervene because of the deep-set corruption at NDDC.
 
“There is always the fear that if the road is repaired by anyone other than NDDC, that the corrupt officials there would award themselves an identical contract to repair the road and pocket the funds. The conundrum here is that it is near impossible to get NDDC to do the needful, hence, the intense frustration being displayed by Onicha-Ugbo and Idumuje-Ugboko youths.”

Onicha-Ugbo is a town comprising five settlements in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State, Nigeria, with a population of approximately 30,000 people. The Obi of Onicha-Ugbo, Agbogidi Victor Chukwumalieze 1, is the town’s traditional ruler.

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