Community Watch: A Village in Benue State Nigeria Needs A New Bridge

By Benjamin Idoko, Benue state

 

Residents of Uleke Community in Itabono Council ward, Owukpa district of Ogbadibo local government in Benue state, are in dire need of a new bridge that will aid easy commute and improve business opportunities within and from neighbouring villages.

 

Voice of the people:

Oduh Bernard a timber contractor who usually finds it difficult to transport his goods (timber) to customers in the nearby timber market said, “Since there is no access road in the community, if the bridge is constructed it will save us the stress and cost of transporting these timbers to the market in Enugu state and will also open another market place for us in Eha community.”

Aladi Edwin a resident of Uleke community said “Enough of this neglect by the government, we are really suffering because there is no access road in our community nor pipe borne water and no bridge. The government should urgently do something. Transporting our farm produce to the market is very stressful and most times they perish.”

Mr. Sunday Agbo, a diaspora son of the community, laments about the untapped natural resources (coal) in the community and palm trees that waste away. “Now that the government is talking about diversifying the economy it is the right time to explore the large deposit of coal in our community and there are also palm trees for commercial agricultural purposes too.”

Adding, “When we travel down home for visits and celebrations its usually difficult transporting our luggage to the house and those who have cars normally pack them at the other end of the bridge (that’s in Eha); they either use motorcycle or trek home, which is not supposed to be.”

Community-driven solution:

The old bridge in the community, which is now worn-out and abandoned, was constructed through community efforts.
ATT_1460094251988_Aru bridge as constructed by the community

Mr. Denis Arumona, the chairman of the association of Itabono Ai Owole Development Association, said, “We have tried in the best way we can, so we are now calling on the government of Gov. Samuel Ortom to come to our aid to liberate us from this perennial suffering.”

Government intervention:

Hon. Adoyi Omale, former chairman of Ogbadibo local government who is also from the village, when contacted by our correspondent said, “efforts were made then to grade the road leading to Aru bridge by my administration because it is very sandy and soft but to no avail we couldn’t. Construction of the Aru bridge is now a [joint-project] between the World Bank and the Benue state government through the Community for Social Development Agency. As the caretaker chairman and a son of the community I tried all I could but the past administration of Gov. Gabriel Suswam never saw to the project. I hope this present government of Gov. Samuel Ortom will release the counterpart funds for the project to commence.”

 

 

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