In the last two decades, the Chokocho-Igbodo road in Etche Local Government area has been an eyesore and a death trap. The “road” is far from the simplest definition of a road in the real sense of the word. Successive Federal, State, Local Governments and their Agencies have made several promises and paid numerous visits to this road but none of these have translated into actual reconstruction of this all important Federal access road that links Rivers State to Imo, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Lagos States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Residents, businessowners and commuters have continued to suffer untold hardship on this road.
Also due to the recent construction on Port-Harcourt-Aba expressway and the deplorable state of the East West road, Chokocho-Igbodo road has come under heavy pressure as it is the preferred alternative route for inter State transporters and commuters. More than a few oil tankers have fallen and spilled their contents into the plantain and rubber plantations along this road, the Chokocho river and of course the groundwater. Human, plant and animal lives have been avoidably lost due to the effects of the terrible situation of this road.
Etche is an oil producing community in Rivers State, contributing about 13% revenue to the state coffers with a good number of oil Wells and flow stations. Etche also has gas and is considered the food basket of Rivers State given the fact that the people are mostly engaged in agriculture. But with all these resources, transportation of their goods and services to markets is a major challenge.
Citizens Quest in our mission to bridge the gap between the Government and the governed set out to Etche today to see for ourselves the challenges of Etche people as it relates to this Federal access road. The team travelled the whole stretch of the road beginning from Chokocho➡️Okomoko➡️Egwi➡️Ulakwo 1&2➡️Akwu-Kabi➡️Okehi➡️Igbodo where the road is completely cut in two, depriving the people further access to neighbouring communities such as Ngo-Okpala in Imo State. The Citizens Quest team captured heart wrenching first hand pictures and uncensored video interviews from road users and residents.
No citizen should have to endure the hardship witnessed by the Etche people along the stretch of Chokocho-Igbodo road. The agricultural economy of the Etche people is almost crippled, the people and road users exposed to the terror of kidnappers, armed robbers and unnecessary vehicular accidents. This situation has a lasting solution, the resources are available, the people of Etche bring enough to the state and national table to demand the complete repair of this road.
We hereby call on the Federal and Rivers State, Government, Federal Ministry of Works, FERMA, NDDC and all responsible Agencies of Government to heed the call of Citizens Quest and immediately prioritise the reconstruction/rehabilitation of Chokocho-Igbodo road to alleviate the suffering of the people and improve the standard of living and commuting through Etche.
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