Ordinarily, it would have been heartwarming that indigenous contractors are awarded contracts to construct roads in Abia State because as stakeholders in the state, one would have thought that they will perform creditably well seeing that this is also their place of origin, but the greedy ones among them who cut corners and compromise quality just to rip off the state in the hope of being re-awarded the same roads several times have left a sour taste in the mouth of Abians and soiled the image of other upright contractors.

For instance, Tunnel End Construction Co. Ltd owned by Engr Enyinnaya Nwafor which was awarded the Ntigha Umuaro Road, Mgboko Umuanunu Autonomous Community in Obingwa LGA, the road that leads to Akwa Ibom State, did a shoddy job that has failed in under just two years. This is a great disservice not only to the Governor who is left to bear the brunt of the sharp practices by such a contractor but also ultimately the people who daily lament that Tunnel End should have just left their road untouched rather than (de)construct and leaving it in its current abysmally bad condition.

The lame excuse by apologists of Tunnel End claiming that the road failed so quickly because it was a Trunk C road that is being used as a Trunk A road with heavy duty vehicles piling the kind of pressure it was not meant to bear on it is not only irresponsible but also insulting to Abians, a balderdash indeed! If Tunnel End meant well for the State especially those who use that road regularly to transport goods and services, he had two options before him: he should have insisted on constructing the road to meet the standards of a Trunk A road since that is the burden the road had been bearing even before its construction work was awarded. Enyinnaya Nwafor knew this but chose to misadvise government for his own selfish purposes. Or, even if it must be constructed as a Trunk C road which Tunnel End apologists want us to believe, the simple and sensible thing the construction company should have done if it meant well was to build barriers at both ends of the road to ensure that only vehicles meant to ply the road use it in exclusion of heavy duty vehicles. This way, the claim that the road failed because of pressures from heavy duty vehicles would not have arisen in the first place. This is how it is done even in Enugu our neighbouring state. But, no! Because of greed and the insatiable desire by such companies as Tunnel End to always want to shortchange the State by having the same roads awarded and re-awarded to them several times, they create high sounding excuses for failure and attempt to vainly explain away their greed and gross incompetence in the hope that Abians would swallow their evil dish of lies hook, line and sinker.

Can anyone just imagine for a moment that more responsible construction companies will play that kind of evil game with our lives and resources? Certainly not! But that is what Tunnel End Construction Co Ltd does to Abians repeatedly and with so much impunity!

In accordance with their evil plots, Tunnel End now has the same road awarded it twice just within two years or thereabout. What a shame of a company!

The question now is, how long will Abians continue to endure the shenanigans of these rudderless companies whose only credentials is that they are ‘indigenous contractors’?

The ant that eats the vegetable lives on the vegetable. It is our own people that are killing us and the earlier we shed all forms of sentiments and emotions and confront these compromising contractors with the bitter truth, the better it is going to be for all of us!

With Tunnel End, there certainly is no light at the end of Abia’s Tunnel. Only the truth can give us that light!

Wilfred Chidiebere sent in this piece from Obingwa LGA, Abia State

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