Ehor and Ekpoma have been cut off from Edo State, motorists advised to beware

By – Faith Iguodala Okoro.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Edo State headed by Mr Godwin Obaseki appears helpless over the state of the Ehor and Ekpoma axis of the federal owned Benin- Auchi express way and also the alternative state owned Iruekpen – Ekpoma – Irrua roads through Ihumudumun in Ekpoma.

All the roads in Ekpoma are totally bad and impassable, causing heavy vehicular traffic gridlock as well as damaging cars and motorbikes.

This has skyrocketed the transportation price in the locations. Benin to Ekpoma that used to be N300 or N400 has since the last 48 hours skyrocketed to N1000 or N1500 because they now have to travel through the ranges and forests of Ugoneki near Agbor, tripling the journey time from 45 minutes to about two hours.

The federal Trunk A road leading to Abuja, at both Ekpoma and Irrua, has been totally destroyed under the watch of two APC governors in Edo State; Mr Adams Oshiomhole and Mr Godwin Obaseki.

Public opinion in the community, especially at Ekpoma which is worst hit by the dilapidation, is that the Ekpoma roads, both the state owned and the federal owned portions, have been deliberately left to rot by the APC governments because of the government’s apparent dislike and disdain for the Esan people in general and “an unwritten policy of ‘political and economic emasculation of the district’ to achieve preconceived political objectives at the detriment of the people” as one AAU Professor (who craved anonymity) put it.

“Dem nor like Ekpoma at all because we nor vote for them. But the more they try to frustrate us the more God will encourage us and frustrate their efforts.” – said a bike rider who was interviewed by Urhokpota Reporters, Friday, at Ekpoma.

“The entire roads in Ekpoma are bad. No. Terrible. This is a clear testimony of a failed APC government. We will no longer buy any crap propaganda about why the road went bad. Let the APC come and fix the roads or shut the f**k up!” said a law student at the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) (names withheld) in an interview with Urhokpota Reporters’ crew that visited Ekpoma yesterday.

A dualization project for the very important federal road from Benin City in Edo State to Lokoja in Kogi state was initiated and awarded by the out gone presidency of Dr Goodluck Jonathan but stopped by the Buhari presidency.

Work started at both the Benin City and the Lokoja fringes of the road (as can be seen at the dualized portions after Aduwawa to the Byepass in Benin City and the Lokoja axis) but the work could not be completed before the abrupt end of the Jonathan presidency in May 2015 even though the contract had been awarded.

Information available to Urhokpota Reporters indicate that the contract was stopped by Minister for Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on the directives of his party’s government for undisclosed rather mischievous reasons.

A portion of Benin – Auchi road at Ekpoma, near Big Joe.

Meanwhile the road has been deteriorating, especially at the Ehor, Ekpoma and Irrua portions, since the last three years during which time the former governor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, turned a blind eye on the road and curent governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, is yet to consider that road as a state emergency that must be fixed by all means necessary or possible.

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The road has now totally broken down. Motorists travelling to Edo Central and Edo North of Edo State or the northern parts of Nigeria are now forced to avoid Edo State portions of the road and travel through either Agbor in Delta State or Ifon road in Ondo state, thereby affecting the economy, self-esteem and sociology of Edo State in a negative way.

In the last 48 hours, the road at Ehor-Iruekpen-Ekpoma has now been totally locked down and impassible.

It now takes an average of 12 hours to drive from Ehor to Ekpoma amidst increased security threats and health hazards.

Driving from Benin to Sabongida Ora now requires motorists to use the Ifon road in Ondo State instead of Iruekpen in Edo State.

Travelling to Auchi or Akoko-Edo now requires the avoidance of Ehor and Ekpoma because motorists must travel in a circumvent through Ugoneki near Delta State or Agbor in Delta state causing untold hardship and waste of manhours to both motorists and passengers.

Motorists and travellers from Benin to Abuja or environs through Edo State are hereby advised by Urhokpota Reporters to completely avoid using the Benin Auchi road for now and use any other alternative roads until further notice to avoid being stranded for hours at Ehor/Iruekpen/Ekpoma axis.

 

URHOKPOTA REPORTERS

 

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