Deplorable Condition Of Roads , A Disaster to Economic, Security and Social Sustainability

Apr 16, 2024 - 12:01
Apr 16, 2024 - 12:01
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Deplorable Condition Of Roads , A Disaster to Economic, Security and Social Sustainability

By Uwem EKOH

It is a fact that most roads constructed in the former Cross River State, particularly in Akwa Ibom State between 60s and 90s are today either impassable, poorly maintained or untarred.

Quality road infrastructure provides flexible and mobility of workforce, gives credence to good governance and public welfare.

Unarguably, good road network in any city or community gives citizens a sense of belonging, bring about better life style, lowers production cost and raises productivity, especially, in the agricultural sector where transportation of crops and other commodities to consumers is a major factor in the production chain.

But in the reverse, the age-long predicament of the deplorable road spanning through Urua Utuat in Edeobom, Afaha Abia, Ikot Obio Asanga, Ikot Odiong all in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area and Ikot Ekang in Etinan Local Government Area calls for urgent intervention by the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). 

No doubt, successive governments in Akwa Ibom State including the current administration have provided good roads in most parts of the state, in fulfillment of their responsibilities to its citizenry.

It's regrettable that Socio economic activities in these parts of Nsit Ibom and Etinan Local Government Areas have suffered major setback in recent time because of the prevailing condition of the road linking the two Local Government Areas.

Nsit Ibom Local Government Area is in Etinan Federal Constituency of Uyo Senatorial District of the State and it was created from Etinan Local Government Area many decades ago. 

Interestingly, the two Local Government Areas share common boundaries, political interests, social relationships such as marriage and business. But the road in question is now at the state of disrepair causing serious barrier to this affinity that has existed long time ago, hence, making live unbearable for residents of these communities.

The ancient bridge ( otherwise, called Garman Bridge then) between Ikot Odiong and Ikot Ekang in Nsit Ibom and Etinan Local Government Areas respectively has become a death trap and the environment is gradually deteriorating and has now become a den for criminal activities.

The fact that the Police and other security operatives cannot carry out their duties in these communities owning to the bad road is most worrisome and calls for immediate action.

Farming and other agricultural and economic activities between the two local government areas have so far broken down since stopped because of the bad condition of the roads.

This urgly development calls for serious attention as it poses major security threat and danger to inhabitants of the community.

Criminals and hoodlums may likely take advantage of this neglect to turn the community to their hideout. 

Recently a team of Journalists who were on the spot assessment of the aforementioned roads can attest to the claims put forward in this report that the road is in a deplorable state and has caused untold hardship and endengered the lives of the people.

The road is among the important public assets that one can travel from Owot Uta in Ibeskpo Asutan Local Government Area straight to Ikot Ekang in Etinan Local Government Area within few minutes today, the pains, agony of travellers and other road users on this neglected road are becoming worrisome and embarrassing to citizens.

We urge the government to live up to it's duties in this regards as a matter urgency in order to bring about immediate comfort, and safety and to a large extent reduce cost of transportation.

The Member representating Etinan State Constituency, Hon Uduak Ekpo-Ufot in his remarks during the visit to the road expressed worry over the poor state of the road and observed that the road linking the two Local Government Areas has denied the people a sense of belonging economically and otherwise.

He said, "I know His Excellency, the Governor has good plans for the people of Etinan and the state at large, I appeal to the State Government and the NDDC to see how the road can be fixed as a matter of importance in order to make live more meaningful to the people".

When contacted, the Transition Chairman of Nsit Ibom, Mrs Aaron refused to comment on the poor condition of the road but rather said that she will not like to mount pressure on the Governor for anything since she remains an appointee of the Governor.

Baring his mind on the poor state of the road, the immediate past member representing Nsit Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Ifiok Udoh disclosed that as a Lawmaker, he sponsored four motions while in the House for the construction of four roads in the area including the Afaha Abia/ Ikot Ekang road to no avail.

He appealed to relavant authorities to address the bad road condition so as to make life better for citizens.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Amos described the road as death trap and expressed the hope that the Governor would consider the road in due time.

Etuk, who hails from Nsit Ibom Local Government Area maintained that one of the cardinal focuses of the state government is to attract massive infrastructures across the state in line with the ARISE Agenda of the Governor and was confident the road will be giving a facelift for people to enjoy the good governance of Governor Umo Eno.

Speaking with newsmen in his Palace, the Village Head of Afaha Abia, Eteidung Monday Johnny Ekpo expressed worry over lack of access road to the community.

He lamented that the poor road network has denied them maximum comfort and quality life making the current economic hardship in the country worse, adding that his subjects can no longer do business to cater for their families.

The village head said, lack of access road has caused mass relocation to the city and begged the Governor, Pastor Umo Eno to intervene to give them a sense of belonging.

Eteidung Monday Johnny Ekpo requested for the repairs of the road in honour of the late Paramount Ruler of the area, HRM late.

Edidem Effiong Jimmy Iyawot who was from Afaha Abia. On his part, the village head of Ikot Obio Asanga, Eteidung Emmanuel Usoro also expressed displeasure over the poor state of the road passing through his village and expressed the belief that the problems of Ikot Obio Asanga and its environs will be solved when the road is constructed.

In the same vain, the village head of Ikot Ekang in Etinan, His Highness, Eteidung Ekere Jonathan Akpan said, all pleas through letters by the affected village heads and concerned citizens of the two communities to the previous administrations to work on the road, yielded no positive results.

He noted that the boarder communities are no longer connected, farms and other businesses have been truncated because of no access road to the two Local Government Areas and assured that he will mobilise his youths to support the construction of the road anytime the contract is awarded. Also, a former Executive Director of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Jos, Obong (Elder) Joseph Etuk, who is a stakeholder in the area lamented over the neglected road and wondered why contract for the World Bank project (RAMMP which is ongoing) would stop at Urau Utuat and not extend to Ikot Ekang in Etinan.

The Political Leader of Mbiaso Ward 5, Barr Samuel Awakessien, who is from the community express worry over the poor road network in his community stating that they have been cutoff from other communities especially, Etinan Local Government Area and hoped that the road when fixed will return social and economic activities in the community.