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Traveling to Port Harcourt through Aba is a journey you don’t want to make (Photos)



ARINZE CHIJIOKE in pictures captures the pains and stress travelers experience on the Aba-Port Harcourt highway as a result of the deplorable state of the road, while government mouths having awarded a contract for its repair since 2018

Early this November, I had a story I needed to tell in Oyigbo, a local government in Rivers State. Travelling to this location through Aba, the commercial city of Abia State is a roughly one-hour drive and the shortest route.

But before I set out, I was advised against travelling through Aba because of how the Aba-Port Harcourt Road had become a death trap. It is currently one of the most deplorable Federal Roads in the country.

But I insisted. I wanted to have a feel of what business men and women who ply the road on daily basis pass through because of a lack of clear commitment to fix the federal road. I bet it is a journey you don’t want to embark upon.

Those who cannot endure the pains have to travel through a community known as Etche in Rivers State which is a longer route to Port Harcourt.

In October, the Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, flagged off the reconstruction of some parts of the road, about 6.7 kilometres, awarded to construction giant, Julius Berger at the rate of N30 billion.

Julius Berger is expected to reconstruct the road as well as build a flood control mechanism within the area which is part of the flood-ravaged Uratta, Ohabiam and Ndiegoro flood-prone area, according to reports.

In 2018, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) announced the approval for the the redesign and reconstruction of the Aba-Port Harcourt road at the cost of N6.3 billion. There have been several reports about approvals of the projects, yet, nothing has changed.

Traveling along the road, it is common to see trucks stuck in the mud. Some of them are those whose owners have abandoned. Others are being worked upon by the drivers.

Community boys have also turned some section of the road into a money-making venture as they now stop vehicles and force drivers to pay money before they can drive past. The boys are always out filling potholes. It gets worse whenever it rains.

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As I journeyed along the road, I captured the struggles of commuters. Below are some pictures.

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