The people of Ikot Ekwere Itam, an agrarian and business community in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have cried out over the lack of access road and appalling road network in the community. A Community leader, Mr. Enang Udo, who spoke with the Niger Delta Voice recently lamented that during the rains, the community was always waterlogged, thereby impairing mobility.
Govt snub appeals
Mr. Udo said the neglect of the community in the provision of road infrastructure and even the repair of the existing roads were becoming perennial, as previous and successive administrations at the state and local government levels, ignored the appeals to come to the aid of the community. He said the village council had sent Save Our Souls (SOS) to the state government and other relevant agencies, but got no response from them.
He said, “As a consequence of the perceived neglect of the area by the government and the relevant agencies, the lives of the indigenes and the residents alike have become gloomy.
“Churches population and enrolment in schools in the community have been on a steady decline because of inaccessibility and poor state of the existing roads.
“More so, businesses in our community have been seriously hampered due to the inability of vehicles to access the community with goods or come in and purchase farm produce from the community.”
On a visit to the community on Sunday, Propeller observed the untold hardship residents suffer each time there is rain. Aside motorcycles, and, at few times, tricycles, which are the only means of transportation in the community, it was also observed that tippers and other trucks used to convey building materials access the community thereby worsening the untarred roads condition.
Village Head of Ikot Ekwere, Mr. (Etteidung) Sunday Matthew, could not be reached when Propeller visited but a resident, Mr. Ido Ben, said motor cars normally boycott the community because of the bad roads.
“We know the outgoing Governor Akpabio’s administration may not be able to intervene as it is right now, but we are hopeful that the next government under Udom Emmanuel will come to our rescue”, Be said.
Urgent call to Akpabio
Even as the administration of Governor Godswill Akpabio is winding down, Mr. Udoh implored him to take remedial action to ameliorate the sufferings of the people before full rain sets in.
Mr. Aniete Ukpe, Chief Press Secretary and Special Assistant to Governor Godswill Akpabio on Media, expressed the impracticality of one administration fixing all the roads in a state and equally addressing other developmental challenges of the people.
Ukpe, when contacted, said, “The fact is that man thinks in comparative terms. You are tall if everybody around you is shorter than you and you are short if everybody around you is taller than you.
“For you to understand the road situation in Akwa-Ibom State, you need to compare what is happening in Akwa-Ibom State with what is happening in other states, then, you will understand that what is happening in Akwa-Ibom.
“You need to also find out how many roads were tarred before the present administration came in and how many have been tarred by the present administration. You also need to know that one government cannot tar all the roads in a particular state.
“So, government does what it can, given available resources and in this particular case, the administration of Chief Godswill Akpabio has broken records in the tarring of roads in Akwa Ibom State and if we have one or two roads that are not good, that is what the next administration can handle.
“That is why we are concerned about the succeeding administrations sustaining the momentum of development so that if they keep doing what the present administration has done, then, we will have fewer bad roads in the state.
“Within Uyo, the state’s capital, it is rare to see bad roads, not that they do not exist but there are few, very, very few.”
. Culled from: Vanguard, with additional report by Douglas ETIM