Igede people in Benue State have decided to take responsibility for dilapidated roads in their own area by pulling finances together to fix the roads.
The Igede people are spread across two local government areas of Oju and Obi in Benue South Senatorial District.
Our correspondent reports that work is already going on at the site after the people, who were tired of waiting for government’s intervention on their impassable, federal and state roads summoned courage to take the bull by the horn.
They succeeded to begin repairs on the roads by calling out each other to contribute money or volunteer service for the project to at least fix the broken down roads, which link their areas to other parts of the state.
Also, they received support from professionals such as civil engineers, architects and surveyors among others who are indigenes of the areas.
Chairman of the road project, Amity Ijwo, told Benue/Plateau Trust, that it was a collective decision of all members of the communities to embark on the project.
Ijwo said that the project involved the rehabilitation of the road to enable motorists to ply the route.
He said on many occasions the government had promised to rehabilitate the road but it was never done.
“The road is very vital to our community so we decided to volunteer to work on it through community efforts,” he said.
The project manager added that so far about N4 million had been raised for the project while different people have volunteered their services to get the work done.
Already, according to him, work on the road has commenced with the money and support realised.
“We are working now from Obakini-Obarike-Ito. While Obakini is in Gwer LG, Obarike-Ito is located in Oju council area.
“This road has been bad for over 12 or 15 years during which the first contract was given. The culvert was sand-filled but the road was not graded.
“Recently, the state government started grading for up to 8-kilometers out of the total 36-kilometers and stopped. And at that stage, it couldn’t be used, especially during the rainy season.
“This time, we want it used throughout the year. We are insisting on getting it done for use because of the challenges of the alternative Awajir – Oju road we were using to Makurdi before now.
“Although, the Awajir road is bad, however, there is still a problem on the route. This is because Bonta community in Konshisha LGA on that road and Ukpute in Oju LGA are always fighting, which sometimes leads to total cut off of our community,’’ he said.
He said that was the reason the community insisted to have this road fixed so as to have an alternative route whenever the other communities are fighting.