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You Will Lose Your Job, If Road Fails, Okowa Threatens Zonal Chief Engineer

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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Delta State governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, may have endangered the job career of the Zonal Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Works, Engr. Uririoghene Akporavbare, who is supervising the Rehabilitation/Asphalt overlay of the Nsukwa/Ejeme-Aniogor/Agbor-Aladinma/Owa-Aladinma/Ndemu in Aniocha South, Ndokwa-West and Ika North East local government area of the state.

The threat of the governor on the female engineer who is apparently from Delta South Central Senatorial District, it was learnt was borne out of fear that some portions of the ongoing construction were not properly given stone base and sand filling before the asphalt overlay was done on the bad portions.

Okowa dished out the threat Tuesday 23rd May 2017, while on an inspection tour of the 24 kilometer road under construction by Bube-Dan Global Resources Limited.

It was gathered that a project monitoring team from the governor had visited the site after it rained cat and rat and reported the bad situation he saw to Okowa, who expressed serious concern about the durability of the road.

One of the engineers from the construction company, who refused to disclose his name when our correspondent approached him, told the governor that the rains obstructed their works on the said day but they went through the thick and tin to continue work.

Hear him: “His Excellency, as a matter of fact, that very day he is talking about the overlay, it rained. After the sweeping, the water tanker and some persons from the ministry were here, as we are laying, the rains started falling. All the mold spilt into the road again, he noticed it, we told him and we have to sweep before we continued. And for the stone base he is talking about, he came when we are regulating the road and we completed it”, he argued.

The Zonal Chief Engineer who was summoned by the Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye , to give her own side of the story said, “they laid it up to 6 inches, that is 150 thickness before priming. That is for the pot holes”.

She said it was only done on the failed section as it is the process of regulation, “they will first of all fill with 150 stone base thickness before priming, before the asphalt. That is before the overlay of 50mm”.

In his response, Okowa said, “but if the road fails, you are still young in the service, if it fails and I am still here as governor, you will lose your job because what you are saying now from your confirmation is that you saw it and you approved of it. So, if there is anything wrong on the road in the next few years first send your letter of resignation, there is no two ways about it because you will be sacked”, Okowa sounded.

On his part, the Commissioner who responded to a question put to him by our correspondent said, “the governor did not express fears. What happened was that he wants a confirmation, his project monitor visited the place while they were working and as we were told it rained on that day and so when the place got dried, it became moldy and when he visited, he was wondering if asphalt was going to be laid on top of the mold which of course the Zonal Chief said the place was properly swept before asphalt was laid. And so there is nothing to be afraid of, we can guarantee that”.

Two kilometer overlay out of the 24 kilometer road which gulped N1.3 billion have been done while 5.2 kilometers of recovery (regulation of potholes) have been done and 17 kilometers have been cleared.