By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Irked by the deplorable state of abandoned Use Ikot Amama road project in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the community has sent a Save Our Souls (SOS) request to Governor Udom Emmanuel to re-award the road project to ameliorate the suffering of the people.
Village Head of Nsai Use Ikot Amama, Eteidung Mbakara Sampson Willie while speaking to journalists who visited the community on a spot assessment of the abandoned road project and its effect on the growth of the community, said that the construction of the road was awarded by former administration of Senator Godswill Akpabio while serving as the Governor.
Contrary to false propaganda by previous administration in the state that the project was completed and commissioned,
Eteidung Willie disclosed that the road project was abandoned halfway leaving over 30 kilometres part of the road undone.
“We have made several attempts to draw government attention to the deplorable condition of the road but to no avail because we don’t have anybody in government to fight for us. The last time government attempted to construct the road was during the tenure of Governor Godswill Akpabio but the road was abandoned midway into completion.”
Willie lamented the deplorable state of the road to motorists and its negative impact on their socio-economic wellbeing especially as most economic trees in the community had been destroyed for right of way to the road construction.
In seeking remedy, ObongWillie said his community – Use Ikot Amama has written several letters to Governor Udom Emmanuel to come to their rescue but no response.
He said the Commissioner for Works Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen has not visited the abandoned road project site to plan for how to re-award the contract in the present administration in the state.
“The Commissioner for works has not visited this community before to see the extent of deplorable condition of the road since it was abandoned by the previous administration in the state.”
He said despite the agricultural potentials for food sufficiency and security, the closeness of the community to Arochukwu in Abia state making it a gateway, government has refused to recognize the fact that the road could boast the economy through sales of agricultural produce as the area is known for farming.
Many of our economic trees destroyed when some parts of the road was constructed were not paid and owners of those crops are grumbling,” Etteidung Willie added.
Eteidung Willie complaint that the community cannot sell their farm produce such as okro, fish, cocoa, maize, palm oil and kernel that are produced in the area in commercial quantities because of lack of motorable access road.
He said the rubber lumps and cocoa as well as other resources produced in the community have not been utilized due bad condition of the road in the area.
In addition, Eteidung Willie said, “We have over 1,000 hectares of land for Rice cultivation. Investors outside the state do come at different times and proposed to use the land which we gladly accepted but the proposals have never materialized because they never return due to bad access road. This is of great worry to us because such investments and its multiplier effects would assist in developing our area”
A farmer who identified herself as Mrs. Arit Inem at the popular Okro market in the community said, “I am a farmer, we labour more to produce what we have in our farms but we gain little from the proceeds because we sell them at a-give-away price to few buyers available to buy from them.
“Look round this market you will see baskets of Okro in high supply but the buyers are too few. Take a walk further to the next market where fish, cassava and other farm products are sold, you will notice same trend. This is because there is no access road”, Mrs. Inem lamented.
Our correspondent reports that Use Ikot Amama Road project which traverses six villages including Nung Udoe Itak, Oko-ita, Ikot Esifa, Ikot Esen to Arochukwu in Abia state was a sing-song project at public functions in the then Governor Godswill Akpabio’s administration gulped millions of naira contracts.
During the tour, it was observed that greater parts of the road were done and motorable leaving the other in a sad story of deplorable stage and neglect, hence the call for quick intervention by the current administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel to give the people sense of belonging since government it is said, is a continuum.