The Chief Whip of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong Bassey, has called on the state government and its relevant agencies, to intervene in the gully erosion menace affecting Nna-Enin portion of Ikot Ekpene-Itumbonuso-Arochukwu Road in Ini Local Government Area, predicting possible loss of interstate economic activities, if the mishap was not halted.
Ekpenyong, who represent Ini State Constituency in the sixth assembly, made this known, during the plenary, describing the dilapidated road, as a Federal Road linking Akwa Ibom State and Arochukwu axis of Abia State, as well as the only visible motor-able road connecting Ini Local Government Area and other neighbouring Local government areas of the state.
The lawmaker, popularly known as Iraq, stressed that, the landslide has remained uncheck for about ten years, and thereby pleaded with the state government to please proffer remedial measures to checkmate wanton loss of lives and properties, which has been a recurring decimal for the natives of the area.
“It is pertinent to note that, the Ikot Ekpene-Itumbonuso-Arochukwu Road, is a Federal road linking Akwa Ibom and Abia States, while also serving as the only stretch of tarred/motor-able road connecting Ini to other parts of the state.
“With the collapse of this road at Nna-Enin village staring at me and other Akwa Ibom people on the face, interstate activities between Akwa Ibom and Abia State are under threat of being disrupted in this axis, while daily social and economic exchanges within the entire Ini and neighbouring Ikono, Obot Akara and Ibiono Ibom among others will suffer severely.
“This unpalatable scenario will worsen the excruciating hardship already faced by my people in Ini and also that of our Akwa Ibom brothers and sisters in the region. The landslide which remained unchecked for the past nine years has almost cut-off the road at this section” The lawmaker revealed. He pleaded with the Akwa Ibom State, through the Ministry of Works to intervene and salvage the plight of members of his constituents, reasoning that, injury to one was also injury to all. “It is therefore expedient for the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Works to halt imminent collapse of this road, by carrying out appropriate remedial work and intervention without further delay” He said.
The MP however, expressed optimism on the ability of the state government to proffer solution to the menace, recalling that, several government agencies and the governor had previously paid on-the-spot-assessment of the calamity. “It is also on record that the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly Committee on Works/Transport in October, 2015 had paid a visit to this dangerous site, during its road assessment tour of Ini. The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works with his team during his visit in November 2015 also personally visited and witnessed the extent of threat facing my people at this landslide site
“These are in addition to the State Governor His Excellency Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, who in March this year, during the recent Cocoa Development Scheme flag-up in Ini, pledged to intervene towards repairs and rehabilitation of this terrible road portion. “Our Governor is a listening and caring one. I am optimistic that, he will salvage the plight of my people, by providing remedial measures” Iraq stressed.
Our Assembly Correspondent gathered that, erosion menace has been a recurring decimal on the lips of almost all the lawmakers since assumption of office about a year ago. Aside from legislator Representing Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh, who some time ago wept regarding the menace in Esit Eket Local Government Area, The Itu State MP, Prince Idongesit Ituen has led a delegation to visit a dead-trap in his state constituency, while the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nse Essien, had also complained bitterly about a near-gully erosion site which has invaded the Ikot Akpatek road in his constituency.