Road Projects in Southeastern Nigeria: Ex-NBA Chairman, Paschal C.Ugwuanyi writes Buhari an Open letter
The immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Nnewi Branch and the Chairman of Opi Lawyers Forum, Paschal C. Ugwuanyi has written an open letter to President Mohammadu Buhari.
In the letter made available to BarristerNG on Sunday, Mr. Ugwuanyi puts Buhari on the spot over road Projects in the Southeastern Nigeria, urging him among other things to come to the rescue of the people of Enugu North Senatorial Zone .
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Read the full letter below.
PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI GCFR
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
Re: ROAD PROJECTS IN SOUTHEASTERN NIGERIA
His Excellency, my name is Paschal Chukwuemeka Ugwuanyi Esq. I am a legal practitioner based in Nnewi Anambra State. I hail from Opi in Nsukka Local Government Area in Enugu State. I am the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Nnewi branch. By the grace of God, I am the chairman of Opi Lawyers Forum, an umbrella body comprising all Lawyers who either by birth or marriage hail from Opi in Nsukka Local Government Area in Enugu State.
Your Excellency, permit me to write you via this open letter believing that it would easily get to Your office or knowledge.
Your Excellency, I am aware that your administration awarded some contracts for the construction or renovation of some federal roads across the country. From the available information, the said contracts for the renovation or construction of the said federal roads are being financed from the loans Your Excellency’s administration secured from China, Japan, and some other financial institutions. Sir, common sense makes me believe that the borrowed money would be later paid back by the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the money which shall be generated from different sources including taxes which shall be paid by the citizens of the country. This belief spurred me to go for an on-the-spot assessment of some of the roads said to have been awarded for construction or renovation within the South-Eastern part of the country especially Anambra and Enugu states.
Your Excellency, I had to ride on my bicycle from Onitsha in Anambra State to my hometown in Opi in Enugu State solely to enable me have a clear and direct assessment of the construction or renovation works going on on some of the federal roads within Anambra and Enugu States.
Mr. President, in the course of my said self-assigned duty, I passed through Enugu-Onitsha express road. I passed through Awka-Enugu old road. I passed through the 9th Mile Corner – Opi Junction express road and the 9th Mile Corner – Opi Junction old road. I also passed through the Onitsha – Owerri road and equally passed through part of Enugu – Portharcourt road.
Your Excellency, my sincere observations and assessment of the works going on on the said roads are:
1. I observed that as of December 2021, construction or renovation work was ongoing on Enugu-Onitsha express road but the pace of work was very skeletal such that I doubt that meaningful work would be done on the road before your Excellency’s tenure expectedly come to an end on the 29th May 2023. Sir, I advise that the contractor handling the road should be made to sit up.
2. Sir, I observed that as of December 2021 work was also ongoing on Awka- Enugu old road, and hopefully the road would be completed before your Excellency’s tenure comes to an end on the 29th May 2023.
3. I observed massive construction work going on at Owerri-Onitsha road, towards Upper-Iweka, near Onitsha. This is as a result of the second Niger Bridge being presently constructed. I believe that if the pace of work going on there remains the same, the 2nd Niger Bridge would be completed before Your Excellency leaves the office by 29th of May, 2023.
4. I also observed an ongoing work on Enugu – Port Harcourt road but the pace of work was very slow as of December 2021. I doubt that the work would be completed before Your Excellency leaves the office by 29th May 2023.
5. Your Excellency, shockingly, as at December 2021, no work was going on both on 9th Mile Corner – Opi Junction express road and 9th Mile Corner – Opi Junction old road. Sir, there was no indication that any construction or renovation work would start on both roads before Your Excellency leaves the office and even beyond. The two federal roads are the only roads directly linking Enugu North Senatorial Zone (people of Nsukka extraction including the hometown of the governor of Enugu state) and Enugu West Senatorial zone. The said two federal roads equally link Enugu West and Enugu East Senatorial Zones with Markudi, Benue State. I observed that apart from the heavy equipment dumped for over two years at a site (close to one of the roads )said to be the camp of a construction company, nothing shows that either of the roads has been awarded for construction or renovation. It is an understatement to say that as at December 2021 it was nightmarish to remember that one would travel to any part of Nsukka through any of the roads. Sir,It is more heartbreaking that the two roads have remained in that state till date.To say the least Sir, the two roads are currently in terrible bad state and constitute an eye sour to behold.Mr. President, as a result of the horrible state of the roads, a journey from 9th Mile Corner to Opi junction which used to take an average of 30 (thirty) minutes presently takes an average of 4 (four) hours with the attendant discomforts.
Sir, I strongly believe that taxes which shall be paid by people from Enugu North Senatorial zone shall be part of the money with which Your Excellency’s administration or any other administration would repay the said money borrowed to finance the renovation or construction of some of the federal roads said to have been awarded for renovation. Sir, this means that people from Enugu North Senatorial zone shall be made to contribute in repayment of the loans with which your administration used in providing facilities for other citizens across the country while such facilities were denied them. Mr. President it may interest you to know that as a result of the bad state of the roads, farmers from Enugu North senatorial zone pay through their noses to transport their farm products to any of the markets outside their senatorial zone. Mr. President, very soon, the rainy season would set in and a reason for not renovating any of the roads would become handy. What have the people from Enugu North Senatorial zone done to deserve such punishment?
The roads have long become death traps for people from the Enugu North Senatorial zone residing in any part of Enugu west Senatorial zone and some states such as Anambra, Imo, Abia, Delta, and Edo who must travel through either of the roads to get to their home towns. By the inscriptions on a billboard which had stood by the side of one of the roads for over two years, the road had been awarded for renovation yet nothing is being done on the road.
Your Excellency, if by 29th of May, 2023 the roads remained in the state they are presently, great injustice must have been meted on the people of Enugu North Senatorial zone by Your Excellency’s administration.
I pray Your Excellency to come to the rescue of the people of Enugu North Senatorial zone by ordering the contractor awarded the contract for the renovation of the two roads to immediately commence work on the roads. Alternatively, may Your Excellency cause the contract to be cancelled or revoked and awarded to a more competent company for prompt commencement of work on the two roads. Thanks
Paschal C.Ugwuanyi Esq
PP P.C. Ugwuanyi & CO
20 Onitsha Road
immediate Past Chairman of NBA
Chairman, Opi Lawyers Forum. 08036725596
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