Some communities in Awka North which make up the capital territory of Anambra state have cried to the State Governor, His Excellency Willie Obiano to come to their help and rescue the only bridge that links them to Awka capital city which is at the verge of collapse.
The bridge known as Okpuno river bridge (bridge Obibia-Okpuno) which was constructed by Peter Obi is situated at the border of Okpuno and Isu Aniocha providing a motorable access for communities on the Awka North side of Anambra state capital to Awka central city.
Communities that would be directly cut off from accessing the capital city should the bridge collapse are Mgbakwu, Isua Aniocha, Urum and Amanuke as it is a major and easy link between the communities and Awka central city.
But not just the communities that will be affected, considering the fact that Anambra State has many government institutions and parastatals located in these communities such as Anambra State Polythechnics and Anambra State Radio FM all located in Mgbakwu.
All these will be affected if the bridge is abandoned, as it is already in a very bad shape, and it falls.
The communities lamented the plights they face in terms of road infrastructures and other amenities citing that the only motorable roads linking them to the capital city are all dilapidated, muddy and absolutely unmotorable.
9News Nigeria learnt that some youths from Mgbakwu for example had to engage themselves in amateur construction of the gutters in order to channel flood from the road which becomes disaster to residents each time there is rainfall.
They however acknowledged the fact that governor Willie Obiano has good intentions for the communities, but that much is still expected to be put in place in order to carry the communities along in terms of infrastructural development of Anambra state capital.
They cited that the governor has made some efforts to put the roads in shape, but that either the contractors or the State Government has abandoned the projects purported to put the roads in order, thereby leaving the roads in worse state than what they were before the maintenance efforts began.
After hearing from some indigenes of the communities affected, 9News Nigeria correspondent, Samuel Abasiekong contacted the Secretary General of Mgbakwu Progressive Union, Mr. Paul Nwafor, who confirmed the very bad state of the bridge and also narrated the ordeal of the communities and that of Mgbakwu in particular.
He said that the road in question has been awarded for reconstruction and that the works have been done half way due to the rainy season.
Mr. Paul also added that it will be good if the Anambra state government would heed to the yearning of the people and attend to the Obibia Okpuno bridge.
These communities therefore call on Governor Willie Obiano to do something and rehabilitate the bridge before it is too late. They recalled that after the “Obibia-Okpuno” bridge collapsed some decades ago, it took several years before it was reconstructed by Peter Obi the then governor of Anambra State.
9News Nigeria correspondent in Awka had an eye witness account of the bad shape of both the muddy roads and the collapsing bridge.
In a follow up effort, 9News Nigeria contacted Anambra State Government House and a referral was made to the state’s Ministry of Works. The spokesperson to the commissioner of works was briefed on the plights of the Awka North Communities.. One Mr. Sunday from the Ministry of Works later contacted 9News Nigeria for more information on the matter, and promised that something will be done about it.
The contact we had in Government House Awka had later called back asking that 9News Nigeria relate the information to him by email. The communities ordeals were clearly narrated again via the email address provided, and our concern was made clear that the Ministry of Works or the state government should do something to rescue the bridge from falling.