Uzodimma, predecessor trade words over road project
Governor Hope Uzodimma has countered his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha, for claiming that the road project he invited Senate President Ahmad Lawan to commission at the weekend in Owerri was executed by him in 2011.
The current representative of Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, had accused the governor of re-inaugurating the controversial Akachi road, he reportedly constructed during his first four years in office as the state’s helmsman.
The two-term former governor also faulted the renaming of the highway as Evan Enwerem Road in honour of the late ex-senate president and one-time Imo chief executive.
Reacting through his Senior Special Assistant (Print Media), Modestus Nwankpa, Uzodimma urged the public to disregard the claim, adding that he was in the state to “right the wrong” of his predecessors.
He boasted that his work would be likened to the late Sam Mbakwe, who performed creditably to the admiration of the people.
But a statement yesterday by Okorocha’s Special Adviser (Media), Sam Onwuemeodo, maintained: “With every sense of responsibility, we want to solemnly state that the popular Akachi Road, Owerri, which Governor Hope Uzodimma brought the President of the Senate, His Excellency Ahmad Lawan, to commission last Friday, was constructed by Senator Rochas Okorocha when he was governor.
“Governor Uzodimma also dropped Akachi and gave the historic road, a new name, Chief Evans Enwerem Road. And he did that, to ensure, that the road won’t be associated with Okorocha again.”
Reiterating the import of the infrastructure, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, explained: “Most Imo people and Nigerians, who had visited Owerri from the Imo Airport or Aba Road and vice visa, must have used the Akachi Road. It was one of the first roads I constructed when I became governor in 2011. And it has remained strong.”
The statement added: “The place in question was Imo State Government’s official site for refuse dump. It was a place where refuse generated within Owerri and environs since the state was created in 1976 were dumped. And criminals had used the area as hideout until Okorocha came in as governor.
“Okorocha evacuated the mountainous refuse at the place. Opened up the place. Constructed a road with a befitting bridge and named the road, Akachi, because nobody had believed that the place could be useful again.
“Akachi means the Hand of God. The reason being that, it was only God that had made it possible for the site to become what it later became. The bridge constructed on the road, was also called Akachi Bridge.”
The senator insisted that the road had been used by both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, as well some other federal officials.
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