By Archibong Jeremiah
Members of Esuk Ekpo Eyo village Akpabuyo Local Government Area, Cross River State this morning held a demonstration to protest the deplorable state of roads in their community.
Speaking to CrossRiverWatch, Chief Ekpenyong Ekpo Asuquo, village head of Esuk Ekpo Eyo village who led the protesters explained that the road has been bad for a long time as a result of the heavy duty trucks that ply them on daily basis in their large numbers and all effort by the community to reach out to the appropriate agency in government to salvage them from the danger of losing the road completely have yielded no results which is why they have decided to block the road today irrespective of the consequence.
According to the village head, “As a result of the bad road we have written series of reports to the government for assistance to no avail, we have sent our plea to Hon. Essien Ayi the member representing us at the federal House of Representatives who responded to our request for him to visit us which he did and revealed that the United Cement Company, UNICEM is paying 130 million monthly which made them reluctant to repair the road and that they had already referred the road to Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA but we have waited for long with series of write ups which yielded no result which is why we are holding this peaceful demonstration”.
Continuing, he said, “The state government has not sent any team here to visit us but only police men and army, the army men shot some gun fires you can see some of the cartridge, we have blocked the road for just today since morning”.
CrossRiverWatch observed that the road was blocked disallowing vehicles from Calabar as well as those from the community and its environs from passing. Only motorcycles were allowed to pass after paying an unspecified token.
As at the time of filling this report the road was still blocked.
When CrossRiverWatch contacted the Akpabuyo LGA Chairman, Dr. Patrick Ene-Okon, over the development, he said, this is not the first time the residents are blocking the road. He said they have tried something like that some time ago and he intervened by patching sections of the road but complained that the council is now short of resources and is not able to undertake the repair of the magnitude of the damage that has been done to the road.
He confirmed that the road is so bad that it is almost becoming impossible to commute between Calabar and Akpabuyo. “FERMA also intervened and repaired a portion, it is the portion that was not repaired that has become so deplorable that it has become a very big crater that no longer allows vehicles to use the road.”
He said the community is took today’s action to force UNICEM from carrying heavy tonnage of laterite through the road.
He recalled that he has been appealing to the community to be patient with the government because there is very little the government can do during this raining season until the dry season returns then a contract will be award.
“But the community due to a long period of suffering on the bad road have also lost their patience. I understand how they feel, because even all my vehicles are going bad because of the road. There is no time I go to that place and come back without going to the mechanic. But I will still appeal for patience until the dry season returns but government will work with other relevant agencies to find a palliative solution.” He said.
follow us on twitter @crossriverwatch
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.