…indigenes lament attendant hardship
By Ikechukwu Odu
RESIDENTS of the agrarian community of Ogurugu, in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State are lamenting the hardship they currently face following the collapse of Isi Bridge linking the community to the rest of the state.
They have therefore sent a save our soul message to Enugu State Government to come to their rescue by repairing the bridge.
The aged bridge was said to have caved-in when a heavy duty truck conveying goods to the community impacted on it on the first day of January, 2021.
Community members who cried out for help in rehabilitating/reconstructing the bridge, told South-East Voice that it provided the linkage to their only access road, adding that they have been cut off from the other parts of the state since the incident happened.
The traditional ruler of the community, HRH, Igwe Emmanuel Egwuaba, while regretting the inability of the community members to move their farm produce to the rest of the state since the collapse of the bridge, said life has become difficult for farmers and other persons doing business in the Igala-speaking community of Enugu State, adding that unless urgent steps are taken to put the bridge in shape, farmers in the community would incur heavy losses due to their inability to move their produce out of the community.
The monarch while calling for the speedy completion of the jetty at their seaport, also called on the government to support the farmers in the community with tractors in order to explore the agricultural potentialities of the community to the fullest. He also said that the jetty, when completed, would boost employment generation in the rustic community.
The President-General of the community, Dennis Uba, while calling for the rehabilitation/reconstruction of the collapsed bridge, said the community has written a letter to the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and the council chairman, Chukwudi Nnadozie for the reconstruction of the bridge.
Some of the community members who spoke to South- East Voice narrated how the collapsed bridge made life very difficult for them, adding that they sand-filled part of the road to enable only those on foot and motorcycles access into the community.
Regarded generally as the Food basket of Enugu State, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area is endowed with other mineral deposits and uncompleted infrastructure which can aggressively transform the economic fortunes of the state when harnessed.
Apart from the vast arable farmlands in the rustic council area, it is also blessed with crude oil, gas and gold deposits which were discovered in the 50s by Safraab Oil Company at Iga.
Part of the key infrastructure which now lie fallow in the council area are a seaport and an airport started by the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo at Ogurugu.
The coastal community, Ogurugu, would have attained unprecedented development and equally become a commercial hub of the state just as Onitsha is to Anambra State because of its early connection with the Europeans but for the abandonment of the key infrastructure in the community.
Traders like UAC, JOHN HOLT and others who purchased local products like palm oil, palm kernel, and timber, brought their products which were largely gotten from the community to the Ogurugu seaport from where they are shipped to other parts of the country or exported abroad.
The abandoned airport, also in Ogurugu served as an aerodrome to the former military head of state, Obasanjo.