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Abandoned Kubwa-Arab road project turns into criminals’ hideout

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Residents of Kubwa, Abuja, have appealed to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mohammed Bello, to ensure the completion of the Kubwa-Arab-road-Dutse Alhaji bypass to save them from incessant attack of criminal gangs parading the area.

Some of the residents who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kubwa, a satellite town in Abuja said the abandoned road project had brought them pain and misery.

NAN reports that the abandoned portion of the road stretches to about one kilometer from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) farm to the St. Vincent De Paul Hospital new site at FO1, Kubwa.

Mrs Patience Aghedo, a civil servant, told NAN that she had problem accessing her health insurance domiciled at the St. Vincent De Paul Hospital popularly know as “Daughters of Charity”.

According to Aghedo, the euphoria of the road construction which started during Mallam Nasir El’ Rufai’s reign as FCT Minister during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure has been cut short with her awful experience on the road.

“This hospital new site was opened two weeks ago but it has not been easy coming here. I like coming to the hospital in the evening because of my work, but as it stands now, I don’t think I can try it here because of the security implications.

“Hoodlums now use that uncompleted portion as their hideout and I don’t want to fall victim. I may consider getting a hospital around me just to avoid this road because it is not safe.

“If this road was through, one can windup and drive through it in case of emergencies no matter the time of the night, but as it is, you can’t even drive near that abandoned portion and go home safe.

“I started using this hospital since 2005. I have 5 kids and they are all from this hospital because their services are okay but the problem now is this road.

“You begin to ask yourself if the contract has been abandoned or someone has embezzled the funds appropriated for the project?

“The EFCC need to visit someone to ensure the road is properly fixed. Please let government come to our aid even if it is only to construct a bridge across the small river and leave it untarred,” Aghedo said.

St. Vincent the Paul Hospital new site at FO1 Kubwa
St. Vincent the Paul Hospital new site at FO1 Kubwa

Another resident of the area Chinedu Ibe, regretted that development of satellite towns appeared not to be in the agenda of the current FCT administration.

Ibe recounted how hoodlums attacked and snatched peoples belongings along the road because of its condition.

He noted that the negative reports and attacks emanating from the area ought to have evoked the action of the FCT Minister considering that Kubwa has emerged as one of the biggest satellite towns in Abuja.

“This is the first time I am coming to the hospital since they relocated to this new site, and I was impressed when I came and saw the magnificent buildings on ground, but one major challenge I have was locating this place.

“When they were in their former place along Byhazin road, it was very easy to locate, but here most people don’t really know the place and there is a road that connects Arab junction to the hospital but because of its abandonment, it becomes difficult to connect the hospital.

“There is a place in the middle of the road project where they are supposed to construct a bridge but they didn’t do that, and as such, it led to the abandonment of about one kilometer of the road towards Dutse Alhaji.

“Apart from the hospital, you can also connect Bwari Area Council Secretariat through this same road.

“If government can complete the project by constructing the bridge and completing the small portion of the road left, I think people can easily move around Kubwa and its environs,” Ibe added.

Existing structure at the old site of St Vincent the Paul Hospital along Byhazin road Kubwa
Existing structure at the old site of St Vincent the Paul Hospital along Byhazin road Kubwa

The management of the hospital also appealed to the government to come to their aid to avoid hoodlums attacking their patients and other road users.

Chizoba Okonkwo, who spoke on behalf of the management pleaded with the FCT Minister Mohammed Bello to mandate the contractors to complete the project.

“We are calling on Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to help us. Patients have abused us on several occasions because of the difficulty in accessing the place.

“It is not our fault that we relocated to a new site. It was due to the construction of railway line, but we believe there is solution to every challenge.

“We appeal for that little portion of the road to be fixed to enable us do our community work with the dedication it deserved,” Okonkwo said.

Thomas Ahokegh, Head of medical record of the hospital noted that the healthcare facility had been operating in Kubwa since 1996.

Ahokegh pointed out that the bulk of people working in the hospital live in Kubwa and Bwari.

He said: “But with the present relocation it has become difficult for people to easily access healthcare. If this road is fixed, a lot of lives will be saved because one minute is enough to save life during emergencies.”

NAN

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