The ongoing agitation for a sovereign State of Biafra by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by detained Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as a result of years neglect of the South Eastern Nigeria by successive federal governments since the civil war, and recent acknowledgement by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, that the worst problem plaguing the people of the geo-political zone was the failed network of roads may have moved members of the Enugu State House of Assembly have declared a state of emergency on all federal roads in the zone.
The declaration is sequel to a motion where the House condemned the deplorable state of federal roads in the zone.
In a motion sponsored by Hon. Chinedu Nwamba, representing Nsukka East constituency, the lawmakers took turn to speak and called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps towards rehabilitating the roads.
Hon. Nwamba had in the motion stated that, “residents in Enugu State and its environs, for over a decade now are faced with myriads of problems as a result of the deplorable condition of federal roads there.
“It seems the State is forgotten in the areas of construction of new roads, rehabilitation and maintenance of federal roads. Incidentally, this ugly trend has persisted despite promises made by the successive federal government regimes on the said roads.
“Among the roads in the question, the Port-Harcourt-Enugu and Onitsha- Enugu highways are in the most pitiable condition.”
He added that, “whereas, the Enugu to Onitsha road which usually takes about 40 minutes in a journey when the road was in good condition now takes three hours. The road is so bad that almost every vehicle that applies it usually breaks down before completing a full journey. On the Enugu-Port-Harcourt highway the story is the same as the journey which normally lasts for two hours is now five hours.
“Whereas Mr. Speaker, the bad condition of those roads to the lives of Enugu inhabitants, is enormous, undoubtedly, Enugu State is one of the economic hubs of the South-Eastern States.
“The poor condition of those roads has indeed hampered both the economic, political and socio-cultural activities of the people. This is followed by countless record of accidents on those roads.
“Whereas, there appears to be porous security on those roads since criminals use the opportunity of slow movement of vehicles to dispossess people of their valuables.”
After extensive deliberation, the House declared State of emergency on all the federal highways in Enugu State, and also urged the Federal government, through the federal ministry of works/Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, to commence work immediately on the said roads to avoid more mishaps.
The Vice President had admitted that the situation of roads in the South East required urgent Federal Government’s attention.
Osinbajo, who attended a wedding at the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd, Anglican Communion, Enugu, also said that he has already discussed the problem with the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
He had noted that the problem was not strange to the Federal Government.
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