By AR Reporters
Traders, Tuesday, counted their losses when as fish-laden truck fell along Opi Nsukka-9th Mile by Ogbede in Igboetiti LGA of Enugu. The road has been in bad shape for over twenty years with no sign of respite on its way.
The truck loaded the packaged fish (mangara) from Borno State en route to Southeast markets when it fell inside one of the dilapidated parts of the road, our correspondent gathered.
A conductor of the truck, who identified himself as Musa, said, “The place was waterlogged. The driver did not know which part of the road was bad. It happened in the night. The whole load fell into the flooded areas. Everything lost.”
Another conductor said, “It happened for about four days. The owners were informed. They managed to carry some. But much damaged because of rains. You can perceive the stench.”
Our correspondent saw some locals trying to buy some rotten packs. One of them said, “We want to buy some of them to feed our pigs. The fish is already damaged. They are no longer good for human consumption.”
A native of the area, Nkem Ugwuele, said, “This kind of calamities occurs daily. This is the worst road in the entire Southeast. Buses and cars pass through the old road, but trucks have no other means of passing from Northern parts to the Southeast except this road.
“The federal government has neglected it for a long time. Southeast states have not helped matters. There is no week that trucks don’t fall down along this expressway with the attendant losses.”
A trader at Ogbede, Moneke Ogbodo, said, “The refusal of the federal government to repair the 9th Mile-Nsukka road is a ploy to make the cost of goods more expensive in the Southeast. Goods coming from the North to Onitsha, Enugu, Southsouth etc must pass through this road. The trucks, mainly owned by northerners, charge so high. I think the civil war has not ended.
“If you are coming from Lagos, it is the same. The roads are bad. That is why the cost of goods is increasing daily in the Southeast.”
Chief Nnanwike Emma Nwodo, from Ukehe and former council chairman of Igboetiti LGA, said, “When you start talking about how the Igbo are being maltreated, many people may never appreciate it. But you find that when you leave this part of the world, there is no other place you will see a federal road as bad as the ones in Igbo land.
“Occasionally, a trailer will fall in the middle of the road, and no other vehicle would pass for some hours or days. It is unfortunate. It is a clear indication that the Southeast is not being treated as part of the country.
“Be it because we fought the Biafran war, but how many years did the Biafran war end? Why must the punishment for the war still remain? Even in the Bible, after the fourth generation, people can be forgiven for the sins of their father.”
He called on Southeast governors to rise to the challenge.