The saying that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers indeed found its expression in the lives of the people that reside around Midim waterside and those that ply the Hospital road in Abak local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
Residents of the forgoing locality have been facing the menace of erosion which has completely submerged the entire road, making it impossible for them to access their homes. The residents, particularly those that reside along Hospital road, Abak, within the Manta road axis at Midim Waterside, has been crying out to the governments and other agencies, at the three-tier levels, without any indication of succour.
INDEPENDENT gathered that Hon. Friday Iwok, representing Abak in the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, visited the community in company of the Transition Chairman of the local government area, Mr. Emmanuel Udosen, but no resulted has been attained from the visit.
Mr. Friday Udoh, a resident, who spoke to INDEPENDENT on the issue alleged that HENSEK, a contractor engaged by the state government hurriedly moved equipments to the site. The action was ostensibly triggered, having being hinted that Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) was willing to respond to the people’s plea, only to hurry out from the site when NDDC did not embark on the project as learnt.
However, contrary to the decision of abandoning the site by the contractor, NNDC eventually mobilized contractors to the site in response to the people’s cry to the Akwa Ibom State Government. The move was to allow NDDC intervene on the project and allow the people heave a sigh of relief after several months neglect.
Udoh said in response to the SOS sent to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to come and help. On October 12, 2017, the Managing Director of NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of the Hospital road, Abak.
Another resident, Mr Jimmy James said; “The news was received with joy and happiness by residents of the area, as well as the people of Abak and lovers of good things.
On October 16, 2017, just as the contractors were about to mobilize to site, the state government that has been at political daggers-drawn on efforts by NDDC to intervene in the development of the state, suddenly woke up again. Mr. Ephraim Inyang, called a press conference to register the state government’s unhappiness at what he called politicization of projects by the NDDC”.
“We will resist every attempt to bring politics into this road and allow us to remain in the state we have been since this road became impassable some months ago. They should allow NDDC to intervene and we would accept whatever they can do to at least reduce to pressure on us for now”.
INDEPENDENT gathered that Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen, Commissioner for Works, in a press conference on Monday maintained that the Hospital road, Abak, needs a lot of technicality to properly address the menace of the erosion.
Inyang, in a media parley insisted that any intervention that fails to get to the root of the problem would lead to another collapse shortly thereafter.
He informed Akwa Ibom people; “We were working on technical drawing to properly restore Hospital road in Abak, before the main construction commences. It is not about filling up the collapsed portion but to first tackle the encroaching ravine and likewise constructing the appropriate drainage system before asphalting the road”.
Source @ INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER