by crossriverwatch admin
Villagers in Akparabong Community, Ikom Local Government of Cross River State have accused Senator Victor Ndoma Egba of not telling the public the truth about the situation with the community water project, a contract that was awarded to Emos Trade Investment, a company allegedly owned by the Senate Leader, by the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, some years ago.
When crossriverwatch visited Akparabong, most of the villagers who spoke to us said that anyone who claims that the water project in the community had been completed was telling the public lies.
They accused Senator Egba of abandoning the water project and wondered why the Senator will misinform the public about such a sensitive community issue.
It will be recalled that following complaints and appeals from indigenes of the Akparabong community and other concerned Crossriverians in the Cross River State Coalition for Change CRSCFC, about the abandoned project, the
Senate Leader on January 15, 2013, personally wrote on the wall of the coalition on facebook saying the project had been completed and water was going to start flowing from there in a few days time.
Crossriverwatch and other national dailies reported the Senator saying: “In the past few days, I have noticed with keen interest, the agitations of our people in respect of the Akparabong water project. I had chosen to keep mum on those agitations because there were some logistical delays in the completion of the project, and it is not in my nature to give excuses instead of giving results”.
“I am happy to state before this forum and my brothers and sisters from Akparabong that the water project has been duly completed. The reason why the completion was delayed this long instead of the initial December 2012 deadline was as a result of issues bordering on powering the water system. As I script these words now, a power generating plant has been mounted to power the water system, and in the next few days, portable water will run in Akparabong community.
“But I am not satisfied with powering a community water system with a generating set. Therefore, I have further initiated steps to install a transformer to power the system, which I expect should be delivered very soon. I thank everybody on this platform and those outside of the platform for their constructive contribution in our common goal of making government more accountable, which will in turn build a better society”.
But indigenes of the Akparabong immediately sent us protest mails and complaints about our report and challenged crossriverwatch to visit the community and confirm the Senator’s claim so as to avoid misinforming the public.
Crossriverwatch did pay a visit to Akparabong and confirmed that the water project has not been completed.
Our reporter saw piles of pipes that are supposed to convey water from the natural source to the treatment plant lying waste. Pipes passage ways were also not yet constructed from the source of water supply to the treatment plant while the treatment plant was not more than twenty five percent completed. With the site obviously devoid of activity.
Most of the villagers expressed fears about speaking on camera saying “we no want rich man to come deal with us say na we dey talk him matter for journalist o. But we know say the water no dey flow and them don abandon this place since”.
One of the youths who volunteered to speak on camera told our reporter that the villagers have been complaining that “the source of water supply for the project which is Ewowor stream should be under water not surface water as the stream where the project is connected to is being polluted with faeces from its source in Akparabong Farm to the boundary between Akparabong and Adijikpo village where the water head is. All of these things have not been done and someone goes on air to say the water project has been completed and the person is a Senator. That is quite unfortunate.
“It is unfortunate that Senator Ndoma is doing this to us. We loved him and voted him because of their family history in this community. But did you see the community market and the bridges that lead to this community? That is where the Senate Leader comes from.”
Another elderly man who said he is a teacher in one of the secondary schools in the community but begged that his name or picture should not be in print wondered “why will a Senator be talking about powering a community water project with a generator in the 21st century. Is that what the NDDC approved in the contract specification? Did the contract drawing not pass through due process? What was the approved power source in the contract as awarded so that someone does not make it look like he is buying a generator to do the community a favor? Our children and women are dying of preventable diseases, what we need is the water not misinformation.”
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