…Calls on State Government To Address Infrastructural Deficit
By Our Correspondent
A formidable media group under the aegis of Itu/Ibiono Ibom Media Vanguard has raised an alarm over what they described as ‘outright marginalization by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
In a release christened, “Deplorable Condition Of Roads In Itu And Ibiono Ibom, A Case Of Outright Marginalisation By Akwa Ibom State Government” jointly signed by its Co-ordinator General, Comrade Ubong Ignatius and Secretary, Pastor Dominic NsikakAbasi and made available to Century Newsfront, the group noted that less than 10 per cent of roads in the two local government areas are accessible, further explained that some of these roads were constructed during the colonial era, which had long fizzle out by use. The release reads in part, “The cardinal objective of government at the federal and state levels is basically to provide basic amenities like roads, electricity, water, education and health facilities as well as security for its citizens. It is the responsibility of the leadership to ensure equitable distribution of amenities to all sections irrespective of political, religious or ethnic differences in order to give all citizens a sense of belonging. Since the creation of Akwa Ibom State in 1987, successive administrations in the state both military and civil have marginalised Itu and Ibiono Ibom local government areas in the provision of roads and other social amenities. Though the two local government areas have contributed enormously toward the economic, social and human development of the state and also supported the enthronement of leadership of the state during elections; despite these, government presence in these areas is very negligible. It is quite pathetic that less than ten percent of the communities in both Itu and Ibiono Ibom local government areas have motorable roads, while some sections of the said roads were constructed during the colonial era, which are in ramshackle or sorry states”.
The duo who listed some of the many communities that have either been completely or partially cut off from the state capital, accused the state government of being insensitive to the plight of the local populace whose are languishing in abject poverty, penury and pains. The group accused the state government of doing little or nothing to ameliorate the pains and suffering of the Akwa Ibom citizens residing in those communities despite huge and humongous allocation from federal government and the oil funds received every month, “Indeed, most of the roads linking many of the communities have been cut off by erosions. These problems are further compounded by the difficult terrain and topography of these areas as effects are often experienced during the rainy seasons. For instance in Ibiono Ibom local government area, the only major road from Use Abat which was expected to terminate at Use Ikot Amama and Ikot Esifa was abandoned at Urua Abasi since 2010 leaving the residents of Use Ikot Amama, Urua Abasi and its environs in perpetual darkness and gloominess. Interestingly, the present administration in the state led by Mr Udom Emmanuel claimed it has constructed more than 1,700km of roads across the state in the first four years of this government.
In the seven years of the administration of Mr. Udom Emmanuel, only 3.5km of road which is in Ikot Udom has been constructed in Ibiono Ibom. Communities like Aka Ikot Udo Eno, Idoro, Afua, Ikot Eshiet, Edem Urua, Ntan Mbat Atan Aya among others have no motorable/access roads as citizens of those areas are completely or partially cut off from Uyo, the capital city. The story is not different in Itu local government area where many communities have been completely or partially cut off. Typically are Ikot Antuen, Ikot Ntu, Ika, Ikot Adakpan, Ikot Abiyak, Ikot Essien, Ntiat Itu, Ikot Ayan, Adu Itu among many others.
The state government should address infrastructural deficit in Itu and Ibiono Ibom local government areas especially in the area of road construction in order to open up the two local government areas for speedy development as well as give citizens of these local government areas sense of belonging in the Akwa Ibom project and among the comity of people”.