A non-governmental organization, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has charged Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State to adopt proactive measures to rebuild collapsed infrastructure of Aba, the once productive commercial centre of the South-east.
The body in a statement by its Executive Director, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said Abia State was blessed with such a commercially viable centre which could make the state to be economically viable even without other revenue sources.
“Undoubtedly, anyone from the Southeastern part of Nigeria will easily tell how economically viable the city of Aba is, which dates back to history. Ever before the establishment of a British military post there in 1901, Aba was a traditional market town for the Igbo race.
“When the incumbent Governor Okezie Ikpeazu mounted the saddle of governance in the state in 2015, he quickly unveiled his roadmap for the state with special emphasis on industrialisation and infrastructural revolution for the commercial town of Aba, the industrial capital and entrepreneur centre of Nigeria.
“Despite these lofty promises by the current administration, there hasn’t been sufficient investment in the city necessitating concerns that Aba, which previously was the industrial and production centre for most of the locally manufactured goods in Nigeria and saw buyers from across West Africa trooping in mass to the city is gradually losing its economic attraction due to continuous neglect, poor management and lack of deliberate efforts towards infrastructural revolution.
“HURIWA has tasked the Abia State Governor; His Excellency Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to be more pragmatic in acting on the issues bordering on the development of Aba as it will go a long way in justifying the confidence the people reposed in him based on his lofty promises to them,” they said.
Onwubiko, regretted there were no good roads to transport manufactured goods and other services adding that the more troubling, that streets and roads in the city, which were in deplorable conditions, are pest-ridden with dirt, including artificial marshes and mountainous roadside refuse dumpsites.
“In contrast to what it used to be, almost everything in the city denies its commercial status as basic social and economic infrastructures are elusive.
Apart from Faulks Road, newly fixed to link the Ariaria International Market, almost every important road to business and industrial centres in Aba are in awful situations.
“As a result, major industries are now disappearing from the industrial city and relocating to neighbouring states where there are better environments, security, people and business-oriented governments making people to wonder if Abia State has a government because everything is fast decaying”, HURIWA lamented.