Rep Onyejeocha promises more deliverables as FG begins work on Abia erosion site
* Cautions against politicisation of projects
By Steve Oko
The Deputy Chief Whip, House of Representatives and members representing Isuikwuato /Umunneochi federal constituency, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has promised to deliver more democracy dividends to her constituency.
This is as the Federal Government through the Ecological Fund Office, EFO, weekend, commenced work at the Oguduasaa Isuikwuato, Abia State gully erosion site.
Government promised to deliver the project within six months to end the ordeals of the people following the collapse of the Uturu – Isuikwuato road as a result of gully erosion.
Speaking during the official handover ceremony to the contractor, Messrs Foldams Engineering Company Ltd, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, Dr Habiba Lawal, assured that the project would be delivered as scheduled.
The EFO boss said that the project was one of the 20 ecological intervention projects recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the first quarter of 2020.
Lawal, who was represented by a Director in the agency, Mr Collins Igwe, said the contract was awarded after due process by the EFO’s Tenders’ Board.
The Permanent Secretary explained that for equity sake, every geopolitical zone was captured in the exercise, adding that other pending requests from the state will be captured in subsequent interventions.
“It is the resolve of the present administration that no part of the country suffers any neglect, owing to its geographical location or political consideration”, she said.
The EFO boss said that the project was initiated through a request for an urgent intervention forwarded to the agency by Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency.
The clarification, meanwhile, has put paid to the controversy/ claims and counter claims among APC big wigs in Abia North over who attracted the project.
Lawal who refused to disclose the contract sum, said that the project, when completed, would help to arrest the menace of erosion and flooding which pose serious threat to communities in the area.
She, therefore, implored residents of the area to give the workers the needed support and cooperation by ensuring the safety of their lives and equipment.
In her remarks, Hon. Onyejeocha expressed delight that at last the project which she said “is very dear” to her, had received federal attention.
The Deputy Chief Whip, House of Representatives recalled that the project was first captured in the 2007 budget but could not be executed until she joined the All Progressive Congress, APC.
She thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for positively responding to her request to fix the erosion site which she said had brought untold hardship to her constituents.
Onyejeocha said that while she was in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, all efforts she made to address erosion menace in the area never yielded any fruit.
She recalled that in 2007, as a new member of the House of Representatives, she had put the erosion site including the rehabilitation of the Isuikwuato road from ABSU to Akara in the federal budget but was told that the project had no design.
“In the following year I still included it in the budget, did the design, but until I left my former party (PDP in 2018) nothing was done “, she regretted.
Onyejeocha revealed that one of the deals she reached with APC leaders before joining the party was that her requests must be given attention, a pact she said the party had faithfully kept till date.
According to her, the intervention was in response to her request to President Buhari when the Isuikwuato/Umunneochi traditional rulers honored him with a chieftancy title in October 2018 at Isuochi.
“I reminded the President about the road as a condition for my constituency to vote for him”, she added.
“In 2019, the Ecological Fund Office visited the constituency and identified 10 erosion sites. But two weeks ago, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved this one. Others will equally be addressed.
She noted that the project when delivered, would bring a huge relief to the locals as well as motorists and commuters plying the road, adding that it will also reduce criminality in the area.
“This erosion site provides a safe haven for kidnappers, robbers and rapists, who regularly attack unsuspecting travellers”, she said.
She expressed confidence that the project would be delivered as scheduled, boasting that she does not identify with “failed or abandoned projects”.
The four -term lawmaker who said the project was very dear to her considering its importance to the socio – economic lives of her constituents admonished the political class in Abia North to rather synergise and jointly tackle the challenges of the people than seek individual glory.
” Stop playing politics with issues affecting human lives. I cannot play politics with erosion sites or people’s lives.My campaign was not based on frivolities,” she said.
Later in an interview the project consultant, Mr Farukuoye Adeyinka, who also declined to disclose the contract sum, said the project would be delivered between four to six months.
He said that work would commence immediately at the site, adding that beyond controlling the erosion which cut the road into two, about one kilometer road would also be rehabilitated along the failed portion of the road.
In their respective remarks, the Chairman of Isuikwuato LGA, Dr. Osita Igbe; and his Umunneochi counterpart, Hon. Matthew Ibe, thanked the federal government as well as Onyejeocha for the project.
While Igbe assured of the safety of the contractor, his workers and equipment, Ibe lauded Onyejeocha for giving the constituency “quality and effective representation”.
In a vote of thanks, the traditional ruler of Umunnekwu Oguduasa Autonomous Community, HRH Eze Augustine Udeh, lauded President Buhari and Hon. Onyejeocha for coming to their rescue.
The monarch who recalled how the communities in the area had been subjected to untold socio-economic hardship due to erosion menace, said their hope had been rekindled.
“Our communities have been cut off from our neighbours, and our farmlands have been washed away, hampering economic development in our area,” he lamented.
Wawa News Global reports that the event witnessed a large crowd of enthusiastic locals who defied the covid -19 social distancing protocol to catch a glimpse of the ceremony.Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.