By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The people of Ikot Effanga Mkpa Town Council in Calabar Municipality of Cross River State, and host community to Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Cross River Basin Development Authority, Federal Character Commission and Cross River State Dump Site have vowed to block the commissioning of the Niger Delta building until their demañds are met.
They are not happy with the way and manner they are being treated by both the Federal and state governments and it agencies, and have threatened to take necessary action to correct these abnormally.
Also, “they accused Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of deliberate neglect as well as being insensitive to their plight.
. The council also accused NDDC of the marginalization of the indigenes of Ikot Effanga Mkpa in the just concluded employment exercise carried out by the agency.
It would be recalled that they were promised ten slots, not even one was allotted to them as host community.
Speaking to newsmen, the leader of Ikot Effanga Mkpa Town Council, Chief Effanga Ineng Effanga, accused the ministry of non observant of the local content principle in terms of employment.
A director in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs declined to comment on the issue stating that by his status he cannot talk to the Media.
The town council complained of not responding to their complaints which include, implemented promises Inspite of the fact that they have their Secretariat in Ikot Effanga Mkpa town council”.
Also the Town Council did not spare Cross River Basin Development Authority for a similar act of negligence and insensitivity when they carried out employment but failed to employ somebody from the host community.
The Council had approached the management of Basin authority but they did not listen to their plea to assist them.
According to their spokesman they frowned seriously over this act given the fact that “we are host to many agencies as mentioned above including National Agency for the Prohibition of trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), yet they have nothing to show for being a good and receptive host”.
The issue of Cross River State Dump Site in Ikot Effanga Mkpa managed by Calabar City Urban Development Authority is another head ache for the town council, who averred that the dump site has become a major source of ill health to the people living there.
This is as a result of unethical ways and means of dumping refuse in the area thereby causing untold health hazard with attendant complications to the people, they noted.
Effanga who is the leader of the team stated tthat he former Head of Service of the federation, Winifred Eyo Ita, had taken a special interest on recycling of refuse to create wealth, but since her removal, that idea died.
He lamented onbehalf of the town council team that the state ministry of environment had promised to recycle and create wealth from the dump site but uptill now nothing has happened and the dump site has become a major source of ill health.
Another vexing issue is the Land Grabbing by the government. Alluding to the fact that parcel E1 and parcel E2 in Ikot Effanga Mkpa was seized by the state government without payment of compensation to the town council of Ikot Effanga Mkpa.
The team stated that the State House of Assembly under the government of Mr Donald Duke, the House of Assembly advised the state government to negotiate with the host community and work out modalities, but this government has unilaterally covert the land for its use without any compensation.
Erosion menace is another big problem in the area especially the area between NTA and Basin authority/ technical school. The town council team agreed that Newmap tried their best by tracking the road leading through Eburutu Barracks, but it was like child’s play because no serious work had been carried out to curb the menace.
The ceding of their land along 146 Battalion Eburutu barracks by Nigerian Army to herders men for cattle market and albatour without the town council consent and approval is what they frowned at.
The Town council team promised to block the Commissioning of the new Secretariat of ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and make the environment uncomfortable for them.
Other members in the team are Hon. Bassey Edet, Chief Offiong Essien Henshaw, Elder Effiom Bassey( Youth leader) and Arc Effiom E. Ita.