Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Chairman of Ishielu Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Chief Sunday Eze, yesterday commenced construction of Egedegede/Nkalaha Road in the area to link Benue State and ease the evacuation of farm produce in the two communities to their markets.
Egedegede, Nkalaha and Obegu communities were attacked by herdsmen last year during which many residents were killed.
Also, many houses were burnt and other valuable properties destroyed by the attacking herdsmen.
The three communities have suffered from bad roads which hinder free human and vehicular movement.
Eze while flagging-off the construction of Egedegede/Nkalaha Road yesterday, said part of the reason he was constructing the road was to show the people that they have not been abandoned after the herdsmen attack.
He noted that the road would be constructed with concrete to ensure durability.
“We have flagged-off construction of Egedegede/Nkalaha Road. Before now, the terrain was too bad, it was impossible for people to go home. We have finished earth work here during the dry season, we have finished earth work and after that the state Governor graciously gave the people 3km among those rural road projects the state government wants to embark on.
“But I want to start so that the governor will continue from where I stop and we are happy that the project has started today.
“This people, Egedegede and Nkalaha share boundaries with Benue State. People can access Benue State within few minutes when we finish construction of the road. From here to Benue State is not up to 10km. From here to the junction is 4km.
“When we finish constructing this road, farmers will be able to sell their farm produce, that’s the most important thing and they are very rich but access road to transport their agricultural produce remains their problems but when we finish the construction of this road, it will address the problem.
“For almost six years now, Senator Obinna Ogba has been including this road in his constituency projects. But we have not seen anything done and we cannot keep waiting for him but when he leaves office, we will ask question about it, we will ask him questions. We have to ask question, what happened?
“We want to tell the people that we have not abandoned them. The people were attacked by herdsmen and they lost their dear ones in that incident last year,” he stated.
The Town Union President of Nkalaha community, Ikechukwu Onwa, said peace is returning to the community after the herdsmen attack last year.
“Immediately after the attack, the governor through the Council Chairman set up a vigilante and they work day and night to make sure there is no problem in the community.
“The herdsmen killed 17 persons in this Nkalaha community and they have all been compensated. Motorcycles that were burnt have all been replaced.
“The construction of this road will help us a lot. In August last year, nobody crossed this road, it was very impassible but with only the lateriting, you can go to our market and come back without any problem. Our people are happy for the lateriting alone let alone the concrete road that is coming.
“Coming to Ishielu we are the highest producers of agricultural products; rice, cassava, yam. If our garri did not go to Nkwo Nkalagu market, there would be no garri there; if our garri did not go to Eke Ehamufu, there would be no garri there. Our problem is just this road.
“But we are happy with the state governor and the chairman of the local government for remembering us by resolving to construct this road,” he said.