He stated that the condition of federal roads in the state has created a notion of a deliberate plot to isolate Aba, the commercial hub of the state.
The Governor lamented that the inability of customers from Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and other neighbouring states to easily access Aba suggests a negative plot against the State.
Addressing newsmen at Government Lodge, Aba, Ikpeazu charged contractors handling federal road projects linking Aba to neighbouring states to hasten their jobs to lessen the suffering of the motorists.
“The thought of a deliberate attempt to seize Abia by the jugular and squeeze the life out of her, remains in his head. If you can’t let me and my people receive visitors and patrons from neighbouring states who come to buy our goods, what you’re doing is to isolate my people.”
“At some point, I began to feel that there is a conspiracy to stagnant the economic life wire of a state like Abia. Quickly take your mind back to 2014, which road would have used to Ikot-Ekpene? You are in Aba, you can’t go to Ikot-Ekpene, Port Harcourt and Enugu. You’re in Umuahia, you can’t go to Ikot-Ekpene. So, we’re supposed to have been isolated as people living in Siberia and left to die?
He explained that his administration created an alternative route that links Akwa-Ibom State to Aba for easy access to the city.
“Cut off that alternative route, you cut off oxygen from this city and everybody will start crying. At a point, I threatened to roll out machines to get the road from Aba to Port Harcourt fixed because of how important it is. Our people who go to the Oil Mill Market in Port Harcourt cannot go again. Anybody who goes from Aba to Port Harcourt cannot come back that same day.”
Ikpeazu alleged that the federal ministry of works stopped the state government from reconstructing the Ekeakpara –NNPC road, but failed to work on the same road.
“I mobilized a contractor for N3 billion to do the NNPC- Ekeakpara Road. The idea was to do the first three kilometres with rigid pavement technology from Osisioma Junction to the NNPC Depot because of the heavy-duty vehicles that stay there.Then the rest of the road will be done normal very well too down to Umuikaa. Midway to that project, somebody came that he had a contract to do that road from the Federal Government. And up till today, nothing has been done.
“We’ve written more than 6 letters on that. Our plans on that road were better and more cost-effective yet nothing is coming out of it. We left to avoid litigation from their contractor, but they’ve refused to do anything. You wouldn’t do the work; you wouldn’t let me do the work, so you want to create a Siberia here. However, as I heard in South Africa, we’re the children of those who refused to die.
“I’ll keep pushing for the interest of our people. And let me say that if that NNPC Depot stops working, the entire South-East not just Abia will suffer from the supply of petroleum products.”
He assured the people of the state that his administration will take advantage of the coming dry season to do massive works on all roads under the state government.