The Minister of Works, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has been blamed for neglecting the poor state in Akwa Ibom State in view of the deplorable state of roads in the state.
Speaking to Journalists in Oron local government area, the Clan head in Udung Uko local government area, His Highness, Ofong Etim Edet said that the Minister is not fair to Akwa Ibom. Citing several instances of collapsed bridges and deplorable federal roads across the state, “the Works Minister is not treating Akwa Ibom well, at all. For instance, look at the collapsed road in Itu local government area, the Itu, Calabar High Way, which renders travellers helpless in the thick forest up till now, we have not heard that the Minister has visited the scene nor sent any representative to the site of these unfortunate happening. But we are aware of other places that he visited even places that are not as grave as that of Akwa Ibom in a few minute after the incident”, the royal father noted.
Ofong Etim Edet, a-one-time Executive Chairman of Oron local government and that of Udung Uko respectively, a successful businessman and an acting Paramount Ruler of Udung Uko local government area queried why federal government led by a former Military dictator, Muhammadu Buhari should pay deaf ear to the plight of Akwa Ibom State in view of the contribution of the state to the nation’s revenue as number one oil producing state in the country, “as I speak, there is no road from Akwa Ibom to Cross River State, our people are using speed boats from Oron to Calabar and that is not good enough for our people and there is high need for government to provide ferry for our water ways”.
The royal father regrets on the lamentable state of the East West road that had been abandoned noted that the road was meant to run from Calabar in Cross River State across Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta to Edo and beyond. He observed that since the road stopped in part of Oron, no plan has been made to extend it to Cross River State as earlier planned, “the East West road was to terminate at Cross River State but as we are now, the road seem to end in Oron with no plan to extend to Cross River State. I want to call on the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, the Managing Director of NDDC and Chairman of the NDDC to as a matter of urgent public important to revisit the East West road by linking it from Oron to Calabar in Cross River State so that economic live of our people will be enhanced because as it is now, the essence of the road is not felt by our people here in Oron”.
His Highness, Ofong Etim Edet used the forum to appreciate the effort of Governor Udom Emmanuel for renovating and starting road construction in Oro Nation, which hitherto was not given any consideration by any government. He called the entire Oro people in particular and Akwa Ibom people in general to support Governor Udom as according to him, “Governor Udom has a two term mandate to deliver in the state” and called on the people that according to him are fanning the ember of disunity and division to stop forthwith rather, should join hands to support Governor Udom to succeed.