Abia State communities along Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene federal road trooped to the failed spot of the highway at Okwe Ukwu in Ikwuano Local Council to witness the flag-off of the repair work approved by the Federal Government.
It was learnt that the rehabilitation work on the road was last effected 25 years ago, except for occasional sand-filling done by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) at different times.
At the flag-off of the road repair at the weekend, both the senator representing Abia Central, Chief Theodore Orji and House of Representatives member for Ikwuano/Umuahia Constituency, Chief Sam Onuigbo, praised the Federal Government and the Works Ministry for coming to the rescue of road users.
FERMA representative at the ceremony, Abraham Akange, an engineer, said when the road was constructed many years ago, it was not envisaged that it would absorb the volume of heavy traffic it does at present, hence he recommended that this should be taken into account in its reconstruction plan.
While clamouring for quality materials to be used in the repair to prevent early failure of the road, he appealed for the necessary cooperation of the resident communities with the contractor, Ferotex Construction Company Ltd., whose scope of contract covers the critically failed sections of the road that is about three kilometres.
Chairman of Ikwuano Local Council Traditional Rulers Council, King Larry Agwu said: “If we had a say, we would not have supported FERMA handling this repair again this time around because the agency failed to do laudable work in the past.
“We shall give both the contractor and FERMA the cooperation and assistance they demand, hoping that they will do quality work this time and we wont have any reason to lament on this road again.”
In attendance at the ceremony were community leaders, traditional rulers, Ikwuano Local Council chairman, Major Emma Awa (Rtd), his predecessors, some serving and past office holders of the council, and officials of FERMA, among others.