By Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja.
Piqued by the deplorable condition of Iluke-Suku-Ayetoro Kiri-Abugi-Egan road after being awarded to a contractor, the people of the affected communities in Kabba/Bunu local government area of Kogi State have urged the federal government to order the contractor back to complete the project.
The spokesperson affected communities, Mr. Adebayo Abiodun Rotimi who made this appeal while speaking when Kogi Constituency Projects Tracking Group visited the area on Tuesday stated that the call becomes imperative in view of the fact the contractor handling the road project had already abandoned the site shortly after general elections.
Rotimi explained that all affected communities particularly in Kabba/Bunu and part of Lokoja local government areas of Kogi state were initially happy when the contractor came to the site with high hope and expectations that the road construction will bring more development to their area.
According to him, “all the affected communities; Ayetoro Kiri, Akutupa Kiri, Egan and Kupa have always been cut out of Kogi State during the raining season, the worse hit is Egan and Kupa in the riverine area of Lokoja local government area of the State.”
He lamented that it was very shocking when the contractor who started work in 2018 did about one kilometre asphalted, about two kilometres surface dressing, with drainages to a culvert along Ayetoro Kiri road and finally stopped the work, noting that the contractor had left no fewer that 13 truck loads of granite at site.
The Spokesman who is a graduate of Library Science added that the worst part of it is that the contractor had also removed the sign post stating the name of the contractor, supervising consultant and those that awarded the contract.
Rotimi maintained that the traditional rulers in the rural communities are not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that road project is completed, stating that since the Iyah -Ayegunle Gbede – Iluke road construction stopped at Suku in 2006 when Senator Tunde Ogbeha was at National Assembly, stressing that several efforts have been made to draw the attention of the Federal government to the plight of the people of affected communities.
He pointed out that in 2018 the Lord answered their prayers as the federal government awarded through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) office and Senate.
He decried the attitude of the politicians who kept on deceiving the people of the area, saying every four years, the politicians will come and promise heaven and earth, but unfortunately no dividends of democracy to show for votes from this end.
“The dividends of democracy are good road networks ,provision pipe burn water, electricity , heath facilities and schools. No network services in all our communities why ? Are we not part of Kogi State?
“If our parent did not get it right, when will our generations get it right. No doubt development is far from here. The politicians should stop insulting our sensibilities. It would have been better if the project had not been awarded. This action is part of corruption we are talking about. How can a contractor handling such an important project moved all equipment out of the site without the knowledge of the host communities,” Rotimi posited.
Speaking the leader of the KCPTG, Mr Tukur Sani Tarauni told journalists that the purpose of the visit is to track all the constituency projects across the country and assess the level of work done and those not done at all after collection of huge amount for the same contracts.
Tarauni pointed out that this tracking of constituency project was aimed at ensuring that all projects under this category are properly executed without any hindrances.
It would be recall that the federal government had set up the Constituency Project Tracking Group to monitor all the projects that have awarded as constituency project of all Senators and House of Representatives members in the National Assembly.