With the hype, support and endorsement of the superhighway come and gone, it’s time we talk about the reality of our roads in Cross River state.
Since the new mapping of the Superhighway now routes through Etung Local government rather than Ikom as earlier mapped, then over 70% of the state will have to live with the old road including Ikom.
While I still earnestly support the Superhighway, we cannot pretend that all is well with the current road. I just read an article by Christiana Ukung-Alawa tiltled “We may all die while waiting for the Superhighway”. The piece raised some inward concerns.
Apart from mere rhetoric’s, is there any meaningful plan to incorporate the current highway into 2016 federal budget?
Our national representatives, Legor Idagbo, Jarigbe Agom, Bassey Ewa, Mike Etaba, Rose Oko, Owan Eno, we the people would like to have updates on your positions on this road.
I intentionally left out Gershom Bassey and other southern representatives. The road may be significant for them, but not as important as to my Northern and Central representatives. Gershom Bassey and other southern congressmen fly into Calabar and out of Calabar. Except on important assignment, they hardly take this road.
But you my brothers and sisters of Central and North, the market women who cannot take their produce to market because of bad roads are your mothers, sisters or aunties. The young undergraduates that often die on these roads are your relatives.
The excessive blind spots and daily accidents on these roads affect your people directly, you cannot stay at the comfort of Abuja, in air conditioned legislative offices and forget your people.
The people elected you all into the House. You are our mouth piece. The village woman in Abi, Yakurr, Ikom or Ogoja cannot express their pain to the national government, that’s why you were carefully elected to speak for them.
Let Governor Ben Ayade focus on the superhighway and some local roads if he can, at least with that his hands are full and let him give account to those.
We the people are calling on you in Congress to give us a proper representation by making Calabar-Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja road a reality in the coming fiscal year. Failure to get this addressed immediately would be termed a disappointment.
As other representatives in other states are making inputs into the 2016 budget, please, do the same for your people.
Whatever it will take to get this road fixed, whether it is lobby, internal and external pressure, external loans, world bank and other international organs infrastructure support, please do it. The people will not take “not within my power” for an answer.
So long as this road is concerned, we the people are ready to ascribe the credit to you the members, House of Reps. and Senate. The era of empowering your constituents with wewing machines and Okada is over.
If you really want to empower your people, come together as a team, all you members of Congress from the State; map out a strategy on how you will ensure this road is permanently fixed. At least we are enlightened enough today to know it is within your jurisdiction to lobby and make this possible.
This is the social media age, our people are getting enlightened daily and all forms of timidity and fear of the high and mighty is subsiding. The people are beginning to know their rights and also are beginning to understand your obligations to them as members of Congress.
This time around, Keke NAPEP, sewing machines and Okada will not be enough as empowerment. This road is our expected collective empowerment. More so, government is now an open book.
Please, update “we the people”, what you are doing about this road, meetings you are holding about the road, petitions you are turning in about the road, International support you are attempting to attract to the state to help with infrastructure and the road.
Please understand this, the number one priority in Cross River State today is the Calabar-Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja Road. If you have plans to empower the people, this is the only empowerment “we the people” are requesting from you in the next four years in office. Collective empowerment to benefit all, not selective empowerment to benefit a few.
We put our complete trust in you, your team consist of some the best the State has sent out to Congress in recent years. Don’t come back empty handed, don’t come back only with proposed bills in their hundreds that have little or no effect on the lives of the common man.
Don’t come back telling us the number of bills you initiated while in Congress, come back telling us the number of federal projects you attracted to the state. Please, comeback with this road fully fixed. Come back with full credit for this Calabar-Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja road.
Abraham had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Jacob representing the Superhighway has received all the accolades, praise, presidential visit and ground breaking, but please, we should not forget that Esau representing the current road is the older one.
If you cannot bless Esau and accord him a presidential ground breaking, at least please, remember Esau and at least accord him a plate of porridge. Change his garment after over four decades of continued use.
We the people have spoken, I don’t think we are asking for too much.
Princewill Odidi a social commentator writes from Atlanta, USA.
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