By Dim Emeka Obasi
Opinion: The Aba Branch – Mbaise – Okpala Road located in Imo State is Unarguably one of the Most Important Roads in the Southeast, this is largely due to its very Strategic location in the Heartland of the Eastern Heartland of Imo State.
The Road Criss Crosses several commercial Towns in Imo State such as Aba Branch in Ehime Mbano LGA, Afor Oru and Ahiara Junction in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA, Eke Nguru in Aboh Mbaise LGA, Oboama in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA and Okpala Junction in Ngor-Okpala LGA.
However, despite the very important nature of this road which stretches over 20 Km, It has remained in a comatose state with several segments of it completely impassable.
The Derelict and Pitiable State of the Road has turned it into a tumultuous nightmare and harrowing experience for several Motorists who now resort to going through private farmlands as well as going through communities nestled along the road in order to find alternative routes to their destinations thereby making journeys that ordinarily shouldn’t exceed one hour take several hours to complete.
However Few Weeks Ago Precisely in August 2023, Mbaise Indigenes Resident in Various Countries of Europe converged in Essen Germany for the 2023 Annual Mbaise Europe Convention, The Epoch Making Event was Chaired by a Frontline Mbaise Born Business Mogul and Socialite Amb Dr Okwudiri Divine Nwandu ( Afor 1 of IHITTEAFOUKWU and Akunaesiobike 1 of Mbaise), In the Course of the Event, Rt Hon Emeka Chinedu Martins the Hon Member Representing Ahiazu Mbaise and Ezinihitte Mbaise Federal Constituency and Vice Chairman House Committee on FCT who was also the Special Guest of Honour at the Mbaise Europe Convention in Germany informed the Mammoth Gathering of Mbaise Indigenes that he has already brought the Issue of the Comatose Road to the Attention of the House Speaker and the Speaker Rt Hon Tajudeen Abbas has Graciously granted him express Approval to Present the Motion for the Road at the Floor of the House of Representatives Once the House Reconvenes from Its Recess, This Announcement from Rt Hon Chinedu Elicited Great Commendations and Applause from Amb Dr Okwudiri Divine Nwandu and other Eminent Sons and Daughters of Mbaise at the Event.
On Thursday October 5th 2023, living true to his Words Rt Hon Emeka Chinedu through a Motion at the House of Representatives called on the Federal Government to without delay commence work on the Said Road, This Motion by Rt Hon Emeka Chinedu has received wide commendations from well meaning Imolites.
The Aba Branch-Mbaise- Okpala Road located in Imo State is unarguably one of the most Important Roads In Present day South Eastern Nigeria as it criss crosses very prominent LGAs in Imo State such as Ehime Mbano, Ahiazu Mbaise, Aboh Mbaise, Ngor Okpala and also links the Capital City of Owerri Imo State to Aba the Commercial Capital City of Abia State Nigeria.
Over the Years the Road has witnessed a severe state of dilapidation occasioned by huge traffic by motorists and successive administrations have turned a blind eye to it, this comatose state of the Road has led to huge Economic Loss to the Nation amounting to Billions as Both Traders who rely on the Road to convey their Wares from Imo State to Abia State have had very sorrowful tales and experiences on the Road.
The Terrible State of the Road has also ingloriously increased crime in both states as urchins and bandits now lurk around in bad sections of the road to wreck havoc to unsuspecting users of the Road.
At the Moment Commuting from any Part of the Aba Branch – Mbaise – Okpala Road is a Torturous Nightmare that no Motorist would desire to encounter, Most Parts of the Road have been Submerged in flood, Shops dislocated and Markets located alongside the Road closed due to the sorry state of the Road.
In Recent times some communities along the Road have embarked on self -help efforts on their sections of the road, a good example being the Remedial works carried out on the Road by the IHITTEAFOUKWU Community on their end of the Road Four years ago which greatly brought relief to Motorists, however this remedial works can only last for a short period as they can’t really stand the test of time.
While we bemoan the Pathetic State of the Road, we take succor in the fact that the Executive Governor of the State Dist Sen Hope Uzodinma is a man who takes great delight in constructing quality roads and provision of world class infrastructure across Imo State and the Road in Question will definitely soon receive a Midas Touch from him, The Federal Minister of Works Engr Dave Umahi is also a man who is renowned for the Construction of High Quality Roads and we believe he will also attend to this very Important Road for the Overall Benefit of Imolites and Abians
The Aba Branch- Mbaise – Okpala Road when reconstructed will not only greatly enhance the quality of lives of residents of the area but will also help boost the economy of both Imolites and Abians and I have no doubt that this charge and call to reconstruct the Road by Rt Hon Emeka Chinedu who also doubles as the Vice Chairman House of Representatives Committee on the FCT and all Well Meaning Imolites will soon receive the desired attention and with the Rainy Season fast abating The Reconstruction of this all important road in the South East will then commence in earnest.
Dim Emeka Obasi is a Public Affairs Analyst and Writes from Abuja – email@example.com