*Nwaoboshi, Victor Nwokolo, Elekeokwuri Also Urged to Act
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and his Edo state counterpart, Governor Godwin Obaseki have been called upon to quickly consider and act on the reactivation of the Ekpon –Igbodo Road that had been in use by the people of the two communities and now links Edo and Delta states after the old Bendel state was divided.
The initial clarion call came from the people of Ekpon in an appeal made by them to the two state Governors in a programme aired on one of the major Television Networks in Nigeria, Channels Television, at 10 pm on Sunday, April 23, 2017, when the community particularly called on Governor Godwin Obaseki to see to the reactivation of the old road that was quite visible in the 1960s up to the 1970s. but is now overgrown with weeds and in a very impassable state of disrepair.
Spurred by the Ekpon call, the people of Igbodo, who also understand the strategic importance of that road to them economically, are also pleading with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to liaise with his Edo State counterpart so that the road can be reactivated for mutual economic benefits to both Delta and Edo States.
Mr. Ndubuisi Ugbede, a journalist and former Director of Times Journalism Institute, Iganmu, Lagos, who was greatly enthused by the call from the Ekpon end, wrote on his Facebook page: “We at Igbodo call it Iko Isaiah, (meaning Isaiah Road). It was part of our lives in the 60s and 70s. Buses of the Ike Jehova brand used to pass there. It is a shorter course to Ewohimi, Uromi through Okene to Abuja. It has commercial values as it further encourages movement of agric products between Edo, Delta and even the North and the East. Road maintenance workers used to work on the road enhancing employment, but the road has been abandoned for long and is presently impassable.
“In fact, the road is now closed. Weeds have taken it over. We are also appealing to our own Governor Okowa, the way the Ekpon people had appealed to Edo State governor, to pay attention to this abandoned road. Please Ika people, give this a voice. It is an important interstate route linking the hinterland,” Ugbede pleaded.
Two other concerned citizens, Mr. Toba Iyeke and Mr. Moses Egbo equally wrote on the same platform, also pleading with the Delta state Governor to “help us by paying attention to this road.” Egbo, who applauded the call declared: “Please let something be done about this road by relevant authorities.”
Mr. Chukwudi Abiandu, publisher of Banner Online News.com, an indigene of Igbodo, while lending his voice to the calls, also noted that the appeal for the reactivation of this all important road has been long overdue because of the strategic economic value the road has for the people of both communities.
Abiandu even went a step further by equally calling on the representatives of the people, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi representing Delta North in the Senate, Hon. Victor Nwokolo, representing Ika Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representative and Hon. Anthony Elekeokwuri, representing Ika North East in the Delta state House of Assembly, as well as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to, as a matter of urgent communal well being and infrastructural development, please set machinery in motion to help to reactivate this all important road, just in the same commendable way the government was tackling the Onicha-Ugbo road that links Abuja through other parts of Edo state.
“Doing so, will help to open up the Igbodo community to progress and prosperity as envisaged by Governor Okowa of Delta state and equally create another route for travelers through this Igbodo-Ekon Road as a veritable link to and from Abuja, the federal capital of Nigeria.