Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Another collapsed facility, another nightmare B

WHEN the immediate past administration of Sullivan Chime began the reconstruction of the only road leading Isiuzo Local Council to the state capital, the people of the area had heaved a sigh of relief.
Isiuzo, despite being relocated from Enugu North Senatorial District to Enugu East Senatorial District for administrative convenience, has not felt government’s presence compared with other areas of the state.
It was then a nightmare travelling to the area during rainy season from Enugu due to bad road.
Residents and visitors were comfortable travelling through Nkalagu in Ebonyi State to the area, than through Enugu.
Residents were glad when the road reconstruction began. That soon gave way for despair, following the inability of the state government to complete the road before the 2015 general elections.
Now the worst has happened, thus compounding their situation as the hanging bridge on the uncompleted road that linked them with the state capital has collapsed.
he bridge hanging across Ebonyi River collapsed over the weekend following an attempt by a truck loaded with 900 bags of cement to cross.
The bridge was said to have been built by the Nigerian Army shortly after the Nigeria-Biafra War, over 44 years ago.
By the fall, many communities in Enugu, Ebonyi, Benue and other states have been cut off, including Udenu and Neke, local council and community of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the
Chairman of Isi-Uzo Local Council, Augustine Nnamani, respectively.
Residents on Saturday quickly began putting up a makeshift bamboo bridge to enable them walk across the river to get to their homes and neighbourhood.
The Guardian visited the area and discovered that buses plying
Eha-amufu to Enugu now terminate their journey at different ends of the river.
Traders at Orie Market, while lamenting the collapse, stressed that they have once again returned to their “worst nightmare.”
The Chairman of Isi-Uzo Local Council, Augustine Nnamani, had earlier maintained that the council had been spending money to maintain the collapsed bridge, adding that the council was still making monthly contributions to the state government for the Enugu-Ikem Road project that is now abandoned.
Meanwhile, the Police in Enugu said that their timely intervention prevented what could have resulted in a blood-bath as youths in Isiuzo protested the collapse of the bridge. The police alleged an attempt by youths to attack the driver and conductor of the truck.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu, Ebere Amaraizu, said the
youths “ in their hundreds with other members of the community had
attempted to unleash terror on the driver and the conductor of the said truck when officers from Isiuzo Division intervened and restored calm to the area.”
He said the irate youths were not happy over the hardship they were subjected to by the collapse of the ancient bridge, adding however that no life was lost in the incident.

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