Iwuanyanwu, Udenwa Trade Blames Over Abandoned Road Contract
Former governor of Imo state, Chief Achike Udenwa and Chairman, Hardel and Enic Group, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu have traded blames over the stoppage of rehabilitation works on the Orji- Egbu- Naze-Nekede – Ihiagwa- Obinze road which cuts across Owerri federal constituency.
Pointblanknews.com gathered that the road which leads to the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) and the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, has been in a deplorable state since it was awarded to Hardel and Enic Group of Companies; a construction firm owned by Iwuanyanwu.
Udenwa, who during his tenure as governor which lasted from 1999 to 2007, awarded the road contract to Hardel and Enic Construction Company and alleged that the latter abandoned the project without doing any work. But in swift reaction, Managing Director of Hardel and Enic Group, Sir, Bon Unachukwu in a statement made available to newsmen, regretted what he described as malicious falsehood being peddled against his firm and its chairman.
'The statement that our chairman has stopped the construction of the road project is entirely false. It is not possible for an individual to have the power to stop a state government from awarding contract or construct a state road. Let it be known to all that the said road project has been terminated and re-awarded to other contractors who were paid huge sums of money by the state government. We did not in any way frustrate the state government. The above facts can be verified from the Imo state Ministry of Works.'
According to Unachukwu, the company did not abandon the contract but Udenwa terminated the contract awarded to Hardel and Enic to rehabilitate the road as a result of a political disagreement between the former governor and Iwuanyanwu and rewarded to another construction company.
He also alleged that due to the disagreement between the duo, Udenwa revoked a street in Owerri named after Iwuanyanwu, which the latter challenged in court and won.
The Managing Director further stated that they made it clear that they were no longer interested in continuing with the contract since it has been re-awarded to another company, but in getting paid for the work done before the termination of the contract and wondered why the former governor would want to tarnish Iwuanyanwu's integrity which he built over the years.
Unachukwu added that when Chief Ikedi Ohakim took over as governor in 2007, the company also maintained that it was not interested in continuing with the contract, demanded that debts owed them be paid, even as Ohakm reportedly awarded a section of the road to another company.
He urged Imo people to appeal to the state government to force the contractors handling the road project to resume work or allow the state government to re-award it to other contractors who could complete it.