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Published On: Wed, Sep 24th, 2014

FCT: Collapsed infrastructure, leadership failure and plight of communities

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Arc. Mike Onolememen2Residents of Nuwalege in Abuja Municipal Area Council, plead with FCT administration to come to their aid by rehabilitating their dilapidated road. Evelyn Okakwu writes.

A cursory look at the Abuja township roads, paint a picture of a classy town, comparable to most of the big towns all over the world. The road construction work embarked upon by the government in most parts of the Federal Capital City has variously been regarded as world class high standard.

However, the city of Abuja is unfortunately not without certain places whose roads are better imagined than even seen. One of such roads is in a suburb called Nuwalege village, situated somewhere, under the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).

The District Head of Nuwalege, Bashir Sarki Daudu, while lamenting the plight of the people said, “Most times, these leaders of ours, ask us to vote for them, and we comply, but afterwards they will fail to help us. Now anyone who sees this road knows that the road is bad, but nothing has been heard from the government, whose responsibility it is to do something about the road”.

Asked whether he has spoken to AMAC chairman, Mr. Micah Jiba on the condition of the road, Sarki Nuwalege had this to say; “We go to them often, I cannot tell if it is excess workload that is preventing them from yielding to our plight, but we go to them always to talk about our problems, including the condition of the road. We have a culture of meeting every new council chairman, and then renewing our visit from time to time, but the response is always slow.

“There was even a time we experienced power outage for such a long period, resulting from a fault in our transformer. We discovered that while we were busy meeting with those in charge in government to ensure that the power was restored, some agencies of government just came without any prior notice even to me, as the local head to demolish the area. So the plight of the people of Nuwalege community is really enormous” he added.

Continuing, he said, “The worst part is that when it rains, the road will be like no one lives in this area. We have tried severally to convince these leaders at AMAC Area Council to repair the road, but apparently, our cries have fallen on deaf ears”.

Some car owners in the village also shared their plight regarding the road. Mr Joseph Adamu, who prefers to be regarded as a civil servant said, “Of course the road is very bad. And it’s not like government even plans to do anything any time soon about this road. We don’t know who is deceiving us, whether it is the leaders of our community or the leaders representing us in the House of Representatives. We have in the past been asked to pay for the repairs of this road before. In fact, some of these Okada men will tell you that they have paid time and time again for the repair of roads. But we don’t understand what seems to be going on. We are however, convinced that nothing is about to happen anytime soon, because we have not seen signs of such happening. And that’s quite unfortunate, because this road has had its bad effects on most of our children. The road is really bad”.

Another respondent who prefers anonymity had this to say: “The road is not just bad, it is terrible, and not even the local authorities have tried, because they cannot tell us that they have no means of even doing a minor repair on this road. Do you know that as we speak, no car can pass from one end of the road to the next? It’s that bad, only motor bikes can try it, and it’s not like the bikes will go across very conveniently, so it’s really terrible”

Regarding the allegation of collection of money from the dwellers of the community to repair the road, the district head says; “The only time money was collected was when the light was bad and the members of the community said they would also see the possibility of using parts

of what was realised to repair the road. So it’s not like any one is trying to cheat on them, we are all one.”

But the Okada Ridders in Nuwalege who spoke at random said they were tired of paying money for the repairs of the road. One of them who spoke on behalf of others said even some members of the Okada Union have used the state of the road to extort money from them many times.

According to him; “The kind of sand we have here in Nuwalege is such that the road keeps washing off, as a result of erosion. We have tried severally to use mere sand to mend the road, but apparently that will not go a long way to help the situation of the road, because even when it does not rain, tippers pass and make holes in the ground, thereby making room for further damage to the road. So I think the only solution is that government should try and do something about this road. If the road is repaired, those who have to wait a long time, when an important dignitary has to pass from town to the airport will no longer suffer waiting painfully, as the road will serve as a convenient substitute, but like I said, only government can salvage the situation of this road.

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