Residents of the Gbagarape Community who hitherto went through anguish to connect to the rest of their kith-and-kin on the other side of the gully now can heave a sigh of relief as the only road connecting them to the FCT is nearing completion. Formerly referred to as the “Valley of Death,” the major economic road hewed apart by a deep gully, has been levelled and asphalted to the delight of residents who now refer to the erstwhile death trap as “the slope of life.”
The road, measuring nearly 2km embarked upon by the present FCT Administration has rekindled the economic and social lives of the community which is now witnessing a burst of estate development and commercial life.
The Coordinator, Abuja Satellite Town Development Department, Hon. Isyaku Yamawo, who expressed delight at the state of work on the Nyanya-Gbagalape road during the tour, said the FCTA has so far paid N174 million to the construction company, representing 35 percent of the total contract sum of N501 million. He however disclosed that certain contingency measures are being considered to introduce side railings along the brinks of the slope in order to make the road safer.
According to him, “We received complaints that the way the place is sloppy; there is concern that there must be protective railings. We will look at the contingency we have and see how we can bring up the rail on the sides.”
Speaking to news men when the FCT inspection visited the site of construction, a community resident, Iddeye Amanam, was effusive with delight at the respite which the road has brought to the community. A journalist, Caleb Onwe recalled how he lost his car to the wear and tear induced by the road and the stress in navigating the terrain. According to him, he had written severally about the road, which he described was then the “Valley of Death.” Today however, the story has changed, he declared.
Giving his assurance to the visiting team, the Site Engineer, Proportions Dredging and Construction Company, Engr. Frank Asiegbu, said work has reached 70 percent, adding that the company is working really hard to ensure that the completion date of end of May is achieved.
The Chairman, Gbagalape Community Development Association, Wale Ajibode, who spoke on behalf of the Chief and entire members of the Gbagalape Community, thanked the FCT Minister for the wonderful work that is going on. Ajibode who described the work as a super miracle said most of the residents doubted that the project would be successfully completed by the FCT Administration considering the extent of damage done to the road by years of erosion and neglect.
According to him, “When this contract was awarded and announced last year, people started saying it’s not possible. It’s unworkable. But the FCTA has broken the jinks and we want to say thank you very much.
“I want to say this is super miracle because if you have lived in this community for 10, 15 years, you will know that it’s a miracle. We used park our vehicles two kilometres away from Gbagalape and walk down anytime there is rainfall, from June. But now, I don’t know how to describe it. Everybody is delighted. Everybody is happy,” he said.
He appealed to the FCT Administration to install speed breakers and railings on the river bank to guard against fatalities as motor users are already showing signs of over excitement over the new development.
Chief Press Secretary.