by crossriverwatch admin
The UIkelke nation comprised of several communities and villages in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State has bemoaned the state of its devastated road for which construction work awarded to a local construction firm in 2011 by the Cross River Rural Access and Mobility Board , RAMB has been abandoned.
The chiefs, elders and youths of the community who met recently in Wanokom, to deliberate on the state of the road and other issues affecting the people in a Town Hall Meeting organized by the House of Assembly member representing the area, Hon Ogana Lukpata, stated that some sections of the road bulldozed by the construction firm since 2013 have rendered the road impassable.
Chief Friday Eji, the Clan Head of Ijiraga and Ubet Stephen Odom, the Clan Head of Ipuolo while making their presentation at the meeting said the state of the road has made movement within the community a herculean task. “As we are here talking, our minds are in our mouths because if the rain falls even the Okada which brought me here will not be able to pass through some sections of the road because they have dumped earth and closed everywhere” Chief Eji lamented.
He said the construction work which began several years ago has not made much progress while the construction firm has removed its equipment from its base which gives the feeling that the road has been completely abandoned. “This work has been going on since 2011 and up till now not even one square meter has been tarred and very soon this government will come to a close then what will be our fate?” Chief Eji, queried.
Ubet Odom on his part stated that the state governor should be intimated on the situation so that he could intervene to ensure that the construction firm returns to site to at least clear the sand dumped on the road to enable the people pass on the blocked portions. “We have to send a delegation to the State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke to compel the contractor to return to site to ensure that construction begins because if work is not completed before the exit of this administration, then it will be too bad for us”.
Honorable Ogana Lukpa in his speech said though the pace of work has been painfully slow, the contractor has been mobilized by government so he will return to site and by the time the rain subsides, work will progress. “I had to raise a motion in the Assembly to force the contractor back to site and it is expected that once the rains slow down, work will commence in earnest”
He said the twenty-two kilometer road is the major artery in the community through which the people who are predominantly farmers evacuate their farm produce and with the bad state of the road, the people’s income is being badly affected. “Our people have supported the programs of this government since inception and the road is the only dividend of democracy that the people stand to benefit because it will accord them the opportunity to evacuate their farm produce to markets outside the community so the government has to help us”.
Engineer Okongor Okongor, the Director General of RAMB also confirmed to our reporter that the contractor has been mobilized with funds and it is expected that before the end of the year, work will be completed on the road. “African Development Bank, ADB, has released funds to the contractor and it is expected that he will fully commence work once the rains subsides and before the end of the year tie up the whole thing”.
He said the reports reaching him show that the contractor is working on the culverts and water logged spots and when he completes that he will commence the tarring of the road.
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