Wednesday, March 3, 2021 10:01 am
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Critics are subjecting the Okoro-nu-Odu overhead bridge commissioned for use on Monday in Port Harcourt by Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, to scrutiny after the fall of a heavy duty truck that was trying to make a turn under it.
Also, critics have also observed that rather than help alleviate the traffic gridlock in the area, the bridge seemed to have worsened the traffic jam.
While commenting on the gridlock around the bridge and the fall of the truck while trying to make a u-turn, one Kachi Welsley said: “basically an engineering design is to address serviceability and human problems, not to compound them.
“At the beginning sides of the overhead bridge at Rumuokoro, there ought to be turning points to enable cars coming and trying to get back in opposite directions turn easily without first getting to the roundabout under the overhead bridge.
He observed that the bridge was designed in a way that all cars coming down in opposite directions of the bridge must get to the roundabout under it before they can turn.
“They should check that of Agip and redesign for such turning. In fact that of Rumuokoro needed an interchange like Obiri Ikwerre or Mile 1.
On his part, Comrade Prince will Dike said, “The Okoro-nu-Odu flyover is constructed to cure the menacing traffic in that axis. Regrettably, the flyover has now worsened the gridlock. Why?Due to poor engineering design. Sad!
“What should have been erected there is an interchange – a replica of what (former Governor Rotimi) Amaechi built at Obiri Ikwere. Or the prototype design of Agip flyover, still the beautiful signature project of the Amaechi administration.”
But in his reaction, Wike said the critics were faulting engineering design of the Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover because they are baffled on ‘how God has helped his administration not only to pay salary but to execute quality projects.’
“I’m proud to say it that we have shocked so many people. They don’t know what to say again. I read this morning where one of them, incidentally, I hear he is from Ubima, said, they have seen the Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover, but it is poorly designed.
“Now, we have finished it and they say it’s poorly designed. I’m sure, tomorrow too when they see this Rumuogba flyover, they will find one fault to talk about it.
“In 2015, on 27th of May, the former governor had his birthday at Obi Wali Cultural Centre. There, he told them that there’s no way we will get money to pay salary not talk of doing projects.
“But see how God works. We are not only paying salary, we are also doing projects. We can stand up tall and tell anybody in this state what we have done.”
Wike has also announced that his administration will build a world class for treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases in Rivers.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Rumuogba flyover in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, Governor Wike said the contract for that project will be signed in the next two weeks.
Governor Wike said the Deputy Governor and other members of their team know that even if they are in their second tenure, they cannot rest on their oars in providing service and projects to Rivers people.
“For me, Rivers State deserves the best. I’ve told the Deputy Governor and our team, yes, this is our second tenure but we are going to work as if it is our first tenure. That is what we are doing.
“We are not interested in going to Abuja every day to stay. We are interested in staying in our State and developing it with the resources that God has given to us.
“Let me tell the people of the Rivers State today, in the next two weeks Julius Berger Nigeria PLC will come back and sign a contract with Rivers State Government, a project where we are going to build a Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Centre. It shall be the best in this country and shall be completed in 14 months.”
Governor Wike said the inauguration of the Rumuogba flyover had left so many people speechless because they least expected that such feat would be accomplished.
He stated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) do not have room for excuses because the party always fulfill any promise they make to the people to improve the socioeconomic status of Rivers state and its people.
According to Governor Wike, Rivers people should expect inauguration of five more flyovers in the next 12months, that will include the Rumuola, Ogbunuabali, GRA, Aba Road Rumukalagbor and Ikwerre road -Olu-Obasanjo flyovers.
“This is one of the three flyovers that we signed with Julius Berger Nigeria PLC sometime in 2019. The others are the Okoro-nu-odo flyover and the Rebisi flyover. We gave them 16months.
“So many people thought we will not accomplish it. They thought it will be one of those elephant projects that will be abandoned by our administration.
“But to the glory of God, giving us the resources, giving us the strength, and giving us the wisdom, Julius Berger Nigeria PLC completed these three flyovers in 14months.
“Already, there are three other flyovers that are on-going. The Rumuola flyover, the GRA flyover and the Ogbunuabali flyover.
“We have just signed the flyovers 7 and 8 and we are going to pay Julius Berger Nigeria PLC 70 percent upfront. We don’t want to hear that the project cannot be completed. So, in the next one year, we are going to commission another five flyovers to the glory of God.”
Inaugurating the Rumuogba flyover, former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, expressed delight at the untiring efforts of Governor Wike in transforming the landscape of Rivers State and particularly Port Harcourt with people oriented projects.
According to him, Governor Wike has also demonstrated nationalistic spirit by creating a conducive climate that has promoted peace, and unity among all residents in the state.
“We respect you because most of the time, you’re on the ground here in Rivers State taking care of the good people of your state. I want to say not all governors can say the same. Keep on moving, keep on doing the right thing.
“Being a governor is a very serious assignment. It is a contract between you and your people for 8years. Now, we are almost 6years, we have just 2years plus for you to be in Government House in Rivers State before by the grace of God you’ll move forward for the national assignment.”
Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the Rumuogba flyover is the last of the triplets flyover projects conceived by Governor Wike who possesses long term vision, high ambitions and far sightedness.
“The Rumuogba flyover is 842.58m long from ramp to ramp, the transition area from 4 lanes to 8 lanes is 205.92m long. It has 8.3m wide service lanes on either side of the flyover each measuring 1.24km with a combined total of 2.48km.
“The 20 single arm and 59 double arm streetlight poles are powered by a dedicated substation equipped with a transformer and backup generator. This is the same power source for the traffic lights installed at intersections around the flyover.”