During his electioneering campaign days, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi promised to consolidate on the legacies of his predecessor, Barrister Sullivan Chime. He promised to carry out Chime’s four-point development agenda which included employment generation, social service and good governance, rural development, security and justice.
From the aggressive manner with which he started embarking on the rehabilitation of urban roads and even the planned dualisation of the Opi-Ugwuogo road, he has made true his declaration that his administration would be, ‘a seamless continuation’ of the good works started by his predecessor, Chime. For some time now, the urban roads which had broken down or were at the verge of breaking down, Ugwuanyi has started tackling them to the admiration of Enugu indigenes and residents in the state. That was how his predecessor started by facing squarely the deplorable conditions of roads at the time.
One good thing Ugwuanyi started with is the resurfacing of some of the roads which had developed gullies and potholes. Work on the roads which could best be described as ‘patching’, is currently on-going in the metropolis. The outstanding ones are the Okpara Square roads and the Onitsha road. Ugwuanyi believes in the saying that a stitch in time saves nine and for this reason has started rehabilitating them using the Ministry of Works instead of awarding contracts that would gulp millions of naira.
However, now that rehabilitation of roads have begun, it will be nice and appropriate to remind Governor Ugwuanyi about what he would do to tackle the chaotic traffic situation being witnessed in Enugu metropolis especially in the morning and evening time. Traffic is often so congested that motorists could spend thirty minutes to one hour at a spot without moving a step. It is therefore good that Ugwuanyi should do something to ease traffic congestion in Enugu metropolis.
To ease traffic on the ever busy Market Road and Okpara Avenue, government should consider building flyover on the two roads because the dualisation of the roads may not solve the perennial traffic gridlock often witnessed on them.
In the area of easing traffic at Timber Shade/Kenyatta road, the state government should consider building a link road between Achara Layout and Maryland Layout. Already, there is a bridge which was started by Enugu South Local Government Council that is meant to link Maryland with Achara Layout. When this bridge is completed, it will link Maryland and Achara Layout through Nwobodo Nnam Street. This done, motorists going to Independence Layout from Agbani road or Amechi can easily take the road to avoid traffic jam at Timber Market junction.
The same effect will be achieved if Achara Layout could be linked with Amechi road by extending Akpo Street road to join Amechi road. When this is done, those who want to go to Kenyatta Market or Timber Shed will use the road instead of passing through Mayor or Kenneth road or Osumenyi Street.
The chaotic traffic hold up being witnessed at Agbani road and Mayor Market could be eased by creating a road that would link One Day road to Akwuke. This could be achieved in two ways by building culverts or bridges to connect Agu-Uwani, Akwuke to One Day road and linking upper One Day road to Akwuke Uwani. Apart from making wayfaring easier on Agbani road, the roads will bring development to the two communities, Akwuke and One Day road area.
The traffic hold up that affects motorists passing Kings Way road to Prisons could be eased by rehabilitating the Aria road that connect the Old UNTH road. Motorists could avoid traffic hold up at Prisons Junction by taking Aria road to burst at Ngenevu.
Another road that would be a boon to motorists is to rehabilitate the Aria road that link Onitsha road through military burial ground.
If the state government purse can tackle those roads mentioned, Enugu, the Coal City would be a place people will like to come and sojourn.
“I don’t put my vehicle at Agbani road. I always pass through Presidential road or ESUT road when I am going from New Layout to Garriki Market. It may seem longer but I prefer it to passing through the ‘hell’ at Mayor to Agbani road,” an Enugu resident told Friday Magazine. He recounted how he had suffered for hours because of the gridlock along Agbani road and he has sworn never to pass through it again except at night.
A motorist told Friday Magazine that for him to go to work at the state secretariat from Uwani, he usually goes through Ogui road to Ebeano Tunnel before emerging at Okpara Avenue which eventually leads to the secretariat from Market road and Okpara Avenue.
“It is only a fool or a commercial driver that will pass Market Road to go to work at the state secretariat. I would rather go ‘Merry go Round’ than to go and stay at the holdup at Market road,” Okey Nwanze told Friday Magazine.
What all these point to is that Enugu is suffering traffic gridlock which the former governor Chime thought could have solved by mounting traffic lights here and there, a development that is considered as a nuisance to the motorists. The state government will do well by developing those roads.
As it is, most roads built or rehabilitated by ex-governor Chime are begging for rehabilitation shortly since he left office. Even before he left office, some of the roads had started deteriorating. Chime noticed it and had to resurface some of them like Independence Avenue and Agbani road shortly before the electioneering campaigns that brought Ugwuanyi to power. It was this timely resurfacing of some of the roads that spared Chime from getting acrid criticism while he held sway as the then governor of the state.
Some people would prefer good road network as one of the amenities needed by the masses from the government even to electricity and water and housing combined. With this at the back of his mind, Ugwuanyi seems to have buried his head in construction and rehabilitation of roads rather than embarking on new ones especially now that funds from the centre is lean and the state is struggling to pay salaries.
Ugwuanyi is committed to ensuring that the roads are motorable and that those repairing them even work on weekends and far into the evening. Already, the Market Road round about, roads around Okpara Square are now wearing new looks.
Since the rehabilitation on some of the roads started, hope is beginning to rise again that motorists will soon experience good road networks. It is believed that if Ugwuanyi maintains the tempo, areas like Achara Layout, Akwuke and Independence Layout will enjoy new lease of life because the areas have suffered serious neglect, previously. The worst hit is Achara Layout where virtually all the roads rehabilitated by Chime have broken down. There is no need mentioning them because they are many. However for emphasis, Etudo, Igbariam, Awkunanaw Streets are in terrible conditions. Apart from Achara Layout, another place where roads are begging for reconstruction and construction are the roads in Akwuke. During raining season, Akwuke is usually the worst to navigate through because of the roads are bumpy, slippery and muddy. Vehicles that ply the road always bear ugly marks and in sorry state.
People appreciate what Ugwuanyi has started doing. “Ugwuanyi is trying now that he has started repairing the roads. We praised Chime when he worked on the roads but the contractors did shoddy work. That was the reason they started breaking down shortly after he left. I am Ugwuanyi is focusing these roads,” a civil servant told Friday Magazine.
“I have not worked on my car’s shock absorber since Ugwuanyi began repairing the roads. He is doing well. I want him to do more to spare our vehicles from wear and tear,” a motorist enthused.
Many say Ugwuanyi should maintain the tempo of fixing the existing roads and constructing new ones. Just the other day, he flagged off the reconstruction of the Abakpa Nike and Nike Lake Road and at the same time flagged off the completion of the Amankwo – 9th Mile Oghe Road abandoned about eight years since Senator Chimaroke Nnamani left office in 2007.
Being a man that believes in continuity and consolidation, Ugwuanyi has thought it wise to rehabilitate urban roads while not neglecting the rural roads, a sure sign that he is committed to improving the lot of the state if funds are available. He can solve the chaotic traffic condition in Enugu by putting his feet hard on rehabilitation of roads.


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