By Tom Moses & Chioma Onuegbu
EKET—The contractor handling the East-West Road, Gitto Construction Company, is being blamed by over 200 residents of Udo Umoh Street, Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State as the cause of the flood that displaced some of them.
They are accusing the company of channelling all the water from Eket-Oron Road into Larkin’s Smith, which empties into Udoh Umoh Street and its environs.
It was gathered that the early morning downpour yesterday, which lasted for hours, displaced over 200 residents, destroyed property worth millions of naira, submerged houses and pulled down fences.
It was also gathered that one Toyota Vibes, with number plates AE 368 KTS and a Mercedes Benz 190, KET 317 AA, were destroyed when a fence collapsed on them.
Shortly after the downpour, the residents of the area took to the streets in a peaceful protest, calling for state government’s assistance.
The protesters converged at Eket Council Secretariat, which is directly opposite the residence of the Paramount Ruler of Eket, His Majesty Edidem Edet Abia, causing traffic gridlock.
Speaking with Vanguard, one of the landlords in Udoh Umo, Mr. Ben Akpan, said the rain started at midnight.
Also speaking, Mr. Abakasanga Ekefre, Chairman of Udoh Umo Development Committee, said: “This flood issue has persisted for a long time now. It happened sometime last year. We wrote a letter to the Gitto Construction Company handling the construction of East-West Road.
“But today’s flooding has been the worst ever because there is no compound in Udoh Umo that the flood has not penetrated.”
Ekefre, therefore, called on the state government to come to their aid as the flood had rendered many residents in the area homeless.
“We want government to come to our aid and help us see that this drainage in Eket-Oron Road is diverted into other places or construct a wider drainage in the area,” Ekefre pleaded.