ICYMI: Students protest poor state of Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road in Abia -GCFRNG

ICYMI: Students protest poor state of Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road in Abia -GCFRNG

Some students from the Michael Okpara Agricultural University, Umudike (MOUAU) in Abia on Monday embarked on a peaceful protest against the deplorable state of the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway in the state.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that students numbering at least 100 carried banners with inscriptions such as “Fix the Umuahia-Ikot-Ekpene Highway”, “Enough is enough”, “I want to graduate and be a corper, no a corpse ”, among others, they marched through the main streets of Umuahia.

They expressed their displeasure at the inability of the Federal Government to fix the road and blamed the state of the road for the road accidents that had claimed the lives of road users, especially school students.

They called for immediate action to alleviate the suffering of road users and stop the occurrence of traffic accidents.

Speaking at Akanu Ibiam Road, Mr. Chukwuma Ugochukwu, President of the Government of MOUAU’s Student Union (SUG), said that the condition of the road had thrown road users into incalculable difficulties.

Ugochukwu said: “Yesterday, a MOUAU student was killed in an autocrash involving an SUV and a truck that occurred on the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway.

“We are no longer comfortable with that path. We ask that this path be studied with immediate effect.

“This road has caused a lot of losses at the school and we seek immediate government attention along the way.

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“We are giving a four-day ultimatum to the state government to begin palliative work on the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway.”

Furthermore, Mr. James Daniel, a MOUAU student, said that the deplorable state of the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway had resulted in the loss of many lives, especially of MOUAU students.

“In 2019 we were told that the road was awarded, but the only work we have seen is the construction of drains, leaving the road unmade,” added Daniel.

Mr. Somto Chukwu, another MOUAU student, said that the incessant occurrence of accidents on the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway was a call for the government to combine his words with actions.

Chukwu said it was regrettable that the road had been awarded several times, but there was no indication that the road reconstruction had been approved.

He said the series of accidents that had resulted in the deaths of students was alarming and called on the government at all levels to do what is necessary.

In response, Mr. Chris Ezem, Secretary of the State Government, said that the state government was committed to leaving a legacy of good road infrastructure.

“We are not playing politics with the road and we cannot afford to lose any more lives on the road and our condolences go out to the family of the deceased,” Ezem said.

He described the highway as an important factor in achieving socio-economic development in Abia and added that the Commissioner of Works would begin the inspection of the highway.

Ezem said the road in question was federal, adding that the state government would initiate palliative work on the road to make it passable.

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