By Cletus Aziegbe
I wish to draw the attention of the good people of Irhue ward, local, state and federal governments of the day to the fact that the above mentioned road is overdue for construction. The road is 18km long and links the above villages together socially, commercially and agriculturally. The road equally connect Irhue ward in Uhunmwode local government area of Edo State to Esan West and Owan West local governments respectively.
This road is a very strategic road in the sense that apart from connecting Uhunmwode local government to other local governments in its northern part, it has continued to be the major road which serves merchants from neighbouring villages and towns like Uhonmora, Sabongida Ora, Iruekpen, Ekpoma, Uromi, Auchi, Ugieduma and Benin City to the villages along the road for social and commercial purposes. This hallmark has been like this from time immemorial. When Orhua Secondary School was established in 1980 which serves the other villages around her, there was that axiomatic belief that the construction of the road will follow soonest.
Today, here we are after forty years without nothing done to the road. A lot of reasons have been attributed to the abandonment of the road which are not worth repeating here. Rather what we should be concerned with is why the road needs the attention of the general public and the governments of the day as earlier mentioned for immediate construction more than ever before. There is no contradicting the fact about the vital role that modern roads play in the rapid development of any village, city and town as the case may be. More often than not, it is a veritable tool via which other infrastructural developments flow into any setting once it is in perfect condition. It equally helps to curb rural-urban drift without mincing words.
Unknown to the rest of the world, some of the villages along this road have some tourist attractions like waterfalls, mineral deposits, rivers and of course rich thick forest for agricultural practices to mention but a few. The strategic location of the communities along this road has equally attracted Okomu Oil Palm Company to the axis which in turn is giving back to the communities in its little way in the area of provision of water via borehole and building of town halls as social responsibilities.
In trying to unravel why attention has not been given to the construction of this strategic road, this writer went into the archive and stumbled onto a publication where the present Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Enogheghase Obaseki, included the road among the road projects to be constructed in Edo State in year 2017. This gesture to me deserves commendation because this has never happened before in any of the regimes before him. If this step has been taken in the very recent past by the present governor, it therefore means that this write-up is a plea and humble reminder to the able and action oriented governor to make good his promise as he embarks on his second tenure in the state.
That he has been re-elected for a second term despite the unprecedented political intrigues that trail the election shows that he is the rightful person that has been divinely saddled with the responsibility of seeing through with the project he has proposed. Coincidentally, the people from this mentioned villages along the road voted for him overwhelmingly in the election. It will be much welcomed if only the governor can attempt to wipe away the tears and pains of not just the people living in the axis but for others that do come do socially, commercially and agriculturally by seeing to the full implementation of the project for the communities.
As I write this piece, I have a strong conviction that the governor can do it; in short he will do it before leaving office come year 2024. As a matter of fact, I see the name of the road being transformed from its present name to “Godwin Enogheghase Obaseki Road” as soon as he finishes with the construction of the road before the expiration of his tenure as the governor of the state and proceed to the national level for higher accomplishments for his fatherland. No one can terminate an idea whose time of fruition has come. And “after darkness comes a glorious dawn” according to our late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory.
Cletus Aziegbe is both a professional Accountant and a certified Taxation Expert.
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