From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri
Residents of Nekede, Eziobodo and Ihiagwa communities in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State have threatened to go naked in protest over the terrible condition of roads in the area.
The aggrieved villagers, who were mostly women, said they would take to the street to protest what they called government’s indifference to the plight of the people, saying the three communities had been cut off from the entire state.
They said despite the fact that the communities jointly played host to two federal tertiary institutions namely Federal Polytechnic, Nekede and Federal University of Technology, and other Federal Government’s institutions, with the attendant high vehicular movements, the federal and the state governments have remained non-challant to the people’s ordeal.
Speaking with journalists, spokesperson of the women, Lady Mariam Oziri, said: “We decided to do something absurd to attract the attention of the insensitive government and if nothing is done, we will mobilize women and march naked to the Government House.
“We are tired of excuses every year. The state government has been playing hide and seek with one contractor who was said to have been awarded the contract by the previous administration and each year the road continues to deteriorate and this has affected commerce and exposed residents to untold hardship.”
Lady Oziri said the deplorable condition of the roads had forced motorists to hike transport fares thereby multiplying the woes of the people, especially students of the two higher institutions in the area.
The construction of the Nekede-Ihiagwa Road was earlier engulfed in controversy as the contractor, Hadel and Enic, dragged the state government to court when Governor Rochas Okorocha revoked the contract.
However, the contractor had severally denied reports that the pending suit was responsible for the delay in the construction of the road.
An inside source in the Government House, who pleaded anonymity, told Daily Sun that the contract for the construction of the road had been awarded, adding that work would commence on the road immediately after the rains.