Through Sunday Ani
Residents Ugbene-Ajima, an agrarian community in the Uzo-Uwani local government area in Enugu State, applauded Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s progress in rural development.
They described the governor as a listening and compassionate governor who always remembered the long abandoned, neglected and suffering communities in the state’s road infrastructure.
They also praised the governor for providing the community with an accessible road after decades of suffering and neglect by previous governments.
Community spokesperson Ikechukwu Onodi said residents, over the years, have gone through hell trying to access other parts of the state due to the lack of accessible roads; a development he said has been ignored by successive governments in the state, and which existed even before the country’s independence.
He said the road was initially a creation of communal efforts; having been built by the youth of Ugbene-Ajima, under the direction of the late John Nwa Oke Agada, using hoes, cutlasses, shovels and axes, but lamented that successive state governments have categorically ignored the people’s call to rebuild the road and make it accessible over the years.
Recounting their ordeals, Onodi, who is also a lawyer, said: “Before the reconstruction of the road between 2018 and 2020, traveling along the road was a nightmare for road users. The road was like a path leading to the farm; traversed ravines and potholes which made the journeys rather tortuous.
“You were always sure to be covered in dust after crossing the road during the dry season. During the rainy season, travel was, most of the time, impossible due to erosion on the road. Locals and visitors avoided the road for alternative routes.
“Keeping the road clear of weeds on both sides was a lifelong responsibility of the age classes. They organized the younger ones on the routine manual cleaning of the sides to make them passable when not overrun by gullies. The 20-kilometer road trips took over an hour.
He said all these horrible experiences are now a thing of the past due to Ugwuanyi’s intervention.
“The trip from Nsukka urban to Ugbene-Ajima has now become a cruise of just 15 minutes. The two community markets are now booming on Eke and Afor market days, respectively.
“We are sure that the spirits of our late parents and ancestors, who suffered all their lives for a living on the road, will now rejoice that Gburugburu cleared the thick forest (Osuowsua) and delivered an accessible road for us.
“The people of Ugbene-Ajima will never forget Ugwuanyi for listening to their tears and wiping away their tears,” he said.