By: Agosu Tayo
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has resolved to fix the perennial flood predicament bedeviling the Ariaria International Market, Aba as he donated N10m to traders who lost their goods to the recent flood.
Ikpeazu, who stated this during a meeting with the traders at Government Lodge, Aba, made it clear that he will not be happy as a Governor if he concludes his tenure without putting an end to the flood menace in the market which had defied past administrations.
The Governor stated that he had always been worried by the plight of the traders which necessitated the rehabilitation of the roads leading to the market and also commenced the remodeling of the market to meet with international standards.
Stressing that there was no motorable road in Aba when he assumed office in 2015, Ikpeazu noted his efforts in rehabilitating the Ekwereazu –Akwa Ibom Road as well as Ukaegbu, Ehere and Faulks roads to boost access to Ariaria market.
His words; “There’s no Abia State without Aba and there’s no Aba without Ariaria market. No Governor will succeed without paying attention to trade and commerce as far as Abia is concerned. We will fix the flood problem at the market. Ariaria market is at the lowest level of Aba, but the flood problem will soon be a thing of the past.
I will not be happy as a Governor if I conclude my tenure without fixing the flood menace at the Ariaria market. I have taken steps to fix the problem within a month. There was no motorable road in Aba when I assumed office in 2015. This is why we did the Ekwereazu –Akwa Ibom, Ehere, Ukaegbu and Faulks roads to boost access to the Ariaria market. We continued with other key roads in Aba including Osusu, MCC, Eziukwu, Milverton, Samek etc”.
The Governor also pledged to complete the rehabilitation of Faulks Road, stressing that his administration has already mapped out N1 billion for the project.
“Those who mocked us will see a new Faulks Road. We will also complete the rehabilitation of Faulks Road. I have already mapped out N1 billion for the project. I will tackle the Ariaria flood issue permanently. We must ensure that the flood problem is solved. If I fail to do it, then I won’t feel I’ve done enough for Aba. Between now and the next one month, all crucial water channels in Aba will be opened.
Anybody that wants to make an omelete must break eggs and I sympathize with our traders who are currently being inconvenienced as a result of the work we are doing but all that will soon give way to celebrations.”
He charged traders to stop disposing waste materials into the drainage channels to boost the water flow in the area.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for trade and investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, announced that Governor Ikpeazu has endorsed the two years tax waiver document for displaced traders in Ariaria International Market as well as approved the procurement of 10 new refuse disposal tricycles for the market to support improvement in sanitation and called on the traders to partner with the government in order to ensure better sanitation practices.
Chairman of the Ariaria International Market, Elder Emeka Igara, expressed gratitude to the Governor for coming to the aid of the traders.
Earlier, Anyanwu Austin, Ego Samuel and Chimaobi Godwin, who spoke on behalf of the victims also thanked the Governor and pleaded with him to open up the drainage channels leading to the Ifeobara pond to boost water flow in the market.
The Governor was joined by the member representing Aba North/South in the National Assembly, Hon Chimaobi Ebisike and the members representing Aba North and Central in the state House of Assembly, Hon Aaron Uzodike and Hon Abraham Oba, respectively, as well as other top government officials.