…says 5,000 die annually from accidents
The Federal and State Governments in South East have been asked to declare State of emergency on roads in the zone.
The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation, HURIDE, in a statement in Owerri, the Imo State capital called on both Federal and State Governments in South East to take drastic, palliative and urgent action to address the problem of bad road in the zone.
According to the Chairman, Board of Trustees of HURIDE, Dede Uzor A. Uzor, the zone has the worst road networks in the country.
He accused the Federal Government of paying lip service to the construction of South East roads, lamenting that the much celebrated Enugu- Onitsha Expressway is still in a deplorable State.
Dede Uzor said the roads in the country particularly in South East can only be compared with that of war torn countries in Africa like South Sudan, Somalia, Eriterea among others.
He said some of the roads including the Enugu-Port Hacourt road, the 9th mile Corner -Oturkpo road, Onitsha-Owerri, Enugu -Abakiliki, Owerri-Aba- Port Hacourt, Ihiala-Orlu-Umuahia, Akokwa-Urualla-Umuchima-Ihioma-Amaifeke bursting at Banana junction via Imo state capital Owerri abandon since 1983, Onitsha-Otuocha- Adani-Nsukkka road also abandoned since 1983 and many other roads in the zone are now death traps and some decaying bridges like Okija bridge, Orashi Ideato bridge and Njaba among other bridges throughout the South East.
He said the State roads in the zone were not better either, lamenting that all trunk A, B and C roads in the zone are in bad shape.
“If these roads are in good shape, they will boast the economic activities of the zone
A journey that will take an hour now takes five hours. About 5,000 lives were being lost every year in the South East as a result of bad road” which were accidentally prone, said HURIDE boss.
Dede Uzor accused Governors of South East of not doing enough to improve the lives of their citizens through massive road construction, employments,
He said ” except Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and Governor Ihedioha of Imo State who came newly on the saddle, others are doing nothing on road construction and employment of youths.
The Governors should as a matter of urgency wake up and rise up to their statutory responsibilities.
They are not doing anything on the roads and empowering the youths in their respective States”.
The activist said the bad roads in the zone has reached an embarrassing stage that most cities in the South East like Enugu, Awka, Owerri, Aba, Umuahia, Onitsha, Abakiliki, Nsukka, Nnewi are impassable and not motor able.
Dede Uzor warned that if the situation persists, HURIDE would have no other option than to mobilise people across the zone to protest the inactivity, indifference and insensitivity of the Governors to the plight of the defenceless people.