PH Road Controversy: PDP Challenges Otti to Set Up Technical Verification Panel

Otti: Ikpeazu spent N10bn doing nothing on Port Harcourt road; Ikpeazu: It's a lie, I did 40% work on that road


It appears that the dust raised over the  reconstruction of the abandoned Port Harcourt road project in Aba would not settle any time soon.

This is because the present administration and the past one have continued to engage in altercations, each accusing the other of engaging in falsehoods.

Governor Alex Otti had during the second edition of his monthly media interaction on Sunday, October 29, 2023, said that his predecessor,  Dr Okezie Ikpeazu spent N10 billion on the Port Harcourt road project with  nothing to show for it.

He further rubbed it in by saying that “the only achievement was breaking people’s houses” without going ahead to reconstruct the road, adding that Julius Berger, the new contractor for the project has commenced work in earnest

But the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has replied by faulting the governor’s assertions and then challenged him to set up an independent technical verification panel to establish the true state of affairs.

The Abia PDP challenge was thrown in a statement issued by the vice-chairman/state publicity secretary, Hon Abraham Amah, saying that Otti was hell bent on discrediting  everything everything done by the past government.

According to him, what the governor said was devoid of “any fact” regarding the road project, adding that it “represents a new low in the execution of (his) agenda of running his government via propaganda”

He said that the proposed technical panel was necessary “to put an end to the falsehood and other lies being propagated by Otti and his administration to deceive gullible members of the public”.

A section if Port Harcourt Road, Aba


The opposition party said that the proposed independent technical verification panel  should include engineers from the federal ministry of works, from the Otti and Ikpeazu administrations as well as certified project auditors.

The PDP spokesman listed eight issues that the independent technical verification panel should look into and ascertain the veracity of the claims of the past and the current administration.

The issues of interest include the claim by Ikpeazu government that it awarded the Port Harcourt road to Hartland Nig. Ltd, at the cost of N9,882,752,246.4 and that the total length of the road awarded for dualization in 2017 is 5.9km.

The panel would ascertain if Ikpeazu administration did construct a total length of 13.5km drains on both sides of the road through Hartland Construction Company that was awarded the original contract.

It would review and verify documents showing how much the Ikpeazu administration had paid to Hartland Construction Company for the project and “if the dredged Umuagbai and Uratta ponds to receive storm water from Port Harcourt Road is still standing or not”.

Other things PDP wants the panel to do are to “ascertain and publish the scope of the current more than N30bn work awarded to Julius Berger without due process and competitive bidding as well as budgetary approval by the State House of Assembly, if any.

“Ascertain and publish the relevant designs and cost of contract awarded by the Ikpeazu administration as well as work already done and the design and scope of the over N30bn project awarded to Julius Berger by Alex Otti.

“Measure and confirm the total length of the road from Ngwa Road junction to Asa Nnentu Junction”.

Amah insisted that the Ikpeazu administration “never spent anything near the Otti propaganda sum of N10bn on the 5.9km Port Harcourt Road, Aba” and challenged him to back his allegation with documentary evidence.

“The good people of Abia are at liberty to go to the site and see the drainage or check the Umuagbai and Uratta works and also confirm the earth works done from Uratta Junction to No. 1 Port Harcourt Road section of the road,”

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