“Thank God today is Abaji market and it has not rained yet otherwise there is no way I could have conveyed passengers and their goods to the market because the road would have become slippery,” a motorist, Saidu Yakubu, said.
Yakubu is one person among many other residents of Pandagi, Rimba and Ebagi who have to bear the hardship caused by the deplorable state of the road on those that ply it.
He said he comes from Abaji town to transport farm produce from Pandagi and neighbouring Ebagi village to the market, and decried how the bad state of the road affects motorists and commuters alike.
“Sometimes, I have to ask my passengers to disembark to reduce the load, especially while driving up the hill across one of the rivers at Rimba village,” he added.
He said the passengers would now have to carry the goods on their heads and climb the hill across the river before loading back into the vehicle again to continue the journey to the market in Abaji.
Other residents who spoke with Aso Chronicle said the abandonment of the road project by the contractor has left them in agony especially in the rainy season.
They said some parts of the road had been taken over by erosion, making it difficult for both motorists and cyclists to ply as it became slippery whenever it rained heavily.
A resident, Usman Yabako, said motorists that convey crops to the market in Abaji find it difficult to ply the road because some portions of the road washed off any heavy downpour.
He said the contractor only graded some parts of the road and constructed a water drainage at Pandagi village. He added that the contractor also dumped a heap of laterite in the middle of the road between Pandagi and Ebagi village, making it difficult for motorists to pass.
“In fact, apart from the water drainage they constructed, which is just about 300 metres from Pandagi to Government Secondary School (GSS), for almost four years now, no other work has been carried out again by the contractor,” he said.
The Etsu of Rimba, Alhaji Abu Garba Mohammed, who led our reporter in company of his neighbouring Ebagi village chief, Alhaji Muhammadu Tsado, to see some bad portions of the road, also expressed concern over the abandoned road project.
He said it was worrisome that the road project, which was awarded to an indigenous construction company (Dutum Construction Limited) over four years ago, has remained uncompleted.
He said the partial work carried out by the contractor had only worsened the situation, adding that some houses in Rimba had collapsed due to the blocking of the water drainage.
“Before, whenever it rained, the water flowed freely without entering peoples’ houses, after the contractor came in the name of constructing the road, they blocked the water drainage. And unfortunately, the recent flood destroyed some of my peoples’ houses,” he said.
The traditional ruler said whenever it rained, his people have to use hoes to divert water to divert the flow from entering their homes.
He said when a delegation was sent by the FCT Administration last year to the Ona’s palace in Abaji, he was among the chiefs invited to receive it and that they lodged complaints over the abandoned road project. He lamented however that up till now nothing had been done about it.
He said the abandoned road project is negatively impacting the socio- -economic activities of the area, adding that a bridge which connects Rimba-Ebagi village had been washed away by flood recently.
He therefore appealed to the chairman of the council, Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya, to liaise with the FCT administration to get the contractor mobilised back to site.
Also, the Etsu of Ebagi, Alhaji Muhammad Tsado, noted that many of the residents were peasant farmers, but it was unfortunate that they were facing challenges of lack of good access road to convey their produce to the market.
When contacteda, the coordinator of Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD) of the FCTA, Isyaku Tanko Yamawo, said he didn’t know the contractor handling the abandoned road project, but that he would meet with the STDD director in order to find out.
“I will try and see the director in order to find out which contractor is handling the work, then we will know the next step to take,” he said.
The coordinator added that he will soon lead a team to inspect the abandoned Pandagi-Rimba-Rimba road project after identifying the contractor.