By Ike Uchechukwu
IKOT EDEM UDO—THE people of Ikot Edem Odo community, comprising 11 villages in Akpabuyo Local Government Area, Cross River State, routinely cut off from other parts of the state by flood and bad road, during the rainy season, are sad that Governor Liyel Imoke failed to construct a link road to the agricultural area, a month to his exit from power.
They also regretted that their elected representatives and prominent indigenes, including a minister, did little to alleviate the plight of the people. The Village Head, Chief Patrick Eyo, who spoke with Niger Delta Voice, said the community wrote several times to the state government to come to their aid by building a link road to enable them go about their daily business, even in the rainy season, but their request was ignored.
He said: “We are just lucky and fortunate that the rain has been inconsistent this year, otherwise life would have been really difficult for my people. “This road (College Road) that you are looking at is the only road that we have apart from the stretch that was constructed to the link community from the junction.
“In spite of prominent people from this community, nothing has changed. We even have a minister and other top people, yet it looks like the government has forgotten us totally.”
Filling potholes, clearing bush paths
He told Niger Delta Voice that the people set every Tuesday of the week aside for sanitation and maintenance day, as their contribution in making sure that they fill the pot holes on the road and also clears the bush paths.He said: “It will interest you to know that every village also works for three days of the week to ensure this routine is sustained.
“This means that out of five working days in a week, we only have two for ourselves because the remaining three is for our community and village, and despite this, the road is still as bad as it is.”
‘Contractor collected money, vamoosed’
His words: “We have three public boreholes in this community but only one is functional. The second one attracted by Essien Ayi developed fault for more than six years and the amount needed to fix it is very huge and the community cannot afford to handle it alone. “Despite our prayers to some of our representatives to help us, nothing has been done. All the politicians that came kept making promises, but the place has been overgrown by weed.”
Chief Eyo further revealed to Niger Delta Voice that the third one, which was supposed to serve the maternity, was never commissioned. He added: “What you see there is just a monument that has never worked for one day. The contractor just collected all his money and abandoned the project because they feel we are bush people who cannot do anything.” He, however, appealed to government at all levels to come to their aid by constructing a link road this year, to make life easy for the people.
Another indigene, Chief Chris Effiom, explained that almost all the basic amenities in the community were not functional. He said: ”Our major problem here is link road. It is almost impossible to come out from this community when it rains because of flood and bad road. Taking our farm produce to the market is very difficult.
“Please, they should come and help us. The people of Ikot Edem Odo voted during the elections; we are law abiding and we carry out our civic responsibilities at all times. So we should also benefit from government.”
Chief Effiom noted that from Ikot Edem Udo to Ikon, Ikot Obot, Ikot Effiom Essien, Idere and Esuk Mba, there is no link road anymore and that it was telling on the the people and effecting farmers negatively, who could not transport their farm produce because of impassable roads.