Ikpeazu, Osusu Road and the recovery of Aba in phases.

-Ben Udechukwu

I am not writing for those who view Aba from the prism of a city in ruins despite recent efforts to change the narratives. I am not writing for those who believe that unless all roads in Aba are reconstructed same day, then the Governor had not dome anything. I am not writing for those who have never been to Aba before or had visited Osusu Road in the last fifteen or so years. I am not writing for those who make unhealthy comparisons to score cheap political points.I am writing for the thousands of shop owners in Osusu Road whose businesses were forced to go extinct owing to deplorable state of the road that lingered several years. I am writing for the thousands of house owners whose property value were dangerously downgraded owing to the impassable nature of the road.I am writing for the thousands of vehicle owners who despite having vehicles trekked miles to access their houses. I am writing for the itinerant traders who had to stop at Osusu/Faulks, walked miles with heavy loads because Osusy Road was a no go area for several years.I am writing for the thousands of inhabitants of Slaughter Lane, Leach, Broad Street , Uzoigwe Road, Onuoha Road, Cemetry Road, Akalanna Street, Ehime Street, Egbulefu Streer, Ukaku Street; Nwogu Street, Ferguson and indeed several others who tarried for several years, made to find alternative routes because their Osusu Road separated them from the rest of Aba.

The Abia Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu Ph.D no doubt has demonstrated comprehensive understanding of mostly phenomenal challenges faced by Aba residents. Gradually, he is recovering critical infrastructures that would return Aba back to reckoning. This he is doing in the most effortless manner.

If you had ever lived in Aba, you will appreciate that Ikpeazu has identified those roads that despite their distance and stretch are critical to the recovery of a city that suffered long years of neglect.If you had ever lived in Aba, you will appreciate that reconstructing Eziukwu/Cemetry Road is a bold statement that no road is intractable.

This is not mentioning Porthacourt Road that seemed a mirage or a Faulks Roads that in those days was another name for nightmare. In my time, I knew when there was no single passable road in the whole of Ogbor Hill axis. Today, you may not find any that is in bad shape. If you doubt me, see Umoba, Ukaegbu, Ovom, Umuola and Opobo Roads.

Ikpeazu left lasting impressions on these roads not so much for fun but in his determination to recover Aba in phases.Of all the over sixty (60) roads reconstructed in Aba, we find Osusu Road as capturing the mood of a Governor whose ears are close to the ground, a Governor who listens, a Governor who has in 2.3km of Rigid Pavement injected life into a community that had long given up on government. Osusu Residents and indeed hundreds of thousands of commuters would in several years appreciate an Ikpeazu that restored hope at a time it seemed a budding mirage.

We will not forget even if dreams die.

*Udechukwu, a public affairs analyst writes from Aba*

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