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Calabar-Itu Highway: A’Ibom, Cross River Govts Must Act Now-Akan Udi


A former commissioner for works, housing and transport in Akwa Ibom state, Engineer Akan udi has called on the governments of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states to pull their resources together and rescue the dilapidated Calabar-Itu-Odukpani highway to save the people further agony.

Udi, a renowned engineering consultant who spoke exclusively with Crystal Express yesterday, said the call became necessary because majority of the road users are from both states while the road plays a major role in sustaining the economy of both states.

According to him,” I have always been screaming that the road will take about N40million combined from the government of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states to fix the bad spots with good materials from a quarry. I don’t know why that has not happened. Sometimes we can’t wait for the Federal Government for what they will delay to do for us. After all it is our people that still ply that road daily. The government of both states should carry out serious palliative measures to restore the road for public use”. The erstwhile commissioner who also served in the ministry of industry commerce and tourism under Rtd Col. Yakubu Bako’s regime explained that corruption eating up the country must be confronted from the home front through behavioral and attitudinal change.

In his words,” The truth is that government alone cannot fight corruption in the country. We need to work on the mindset of individuals and citizens to change for the sake of our collective good than catching and jailing people”.

He further explained, “If a Nigerian stole 10billion dollars and got jailed for 10 years, he can take two billion dollars and service the prison apparatus and live like a king in the jail and still come back a free man to enjoy the remaining loot. So it is more of letting people know the effects of corruption on the system, including ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to stay in Nigeria and enjoy his life but today because the education system here is corrupt, people send their children abroad. Some have to fly to India or Europe for medical checks or treatment because corruption will not allow our hospitals function optimally. We have to sit down and start from the families to eschew corruption. It has to be from inside out not from the top”.

Taking a shot at the qualities Akwa Ibom people should look forward to in electing a governor in 2023, Udi explained,

“We need a governor that loves the state, one that listens to the people, a governor that will know that he was elected to serve not to be served and a governor that will be able to pull together or harness the abundant intellectual resources we have in the state to advance the course of the state. Akwa Ibom is very small. If we have good roads, one can come from Nkari to Uyo or Ebughu to Uyo in 30 minutes even from Ikono to Uyo in 30 minutes. We can only achieve these, if we have integrated development plan in the state. We should pray for a governor who will put up a realistic development plan to last his first four year term. He should also be able to plan and know where the state should be in 20 years, then doing his best and exit for the next person”.

Speaking on the need for governors to plan for concrete and enduring development and growth in their various states, he highlighted that real development can only be achieved in the country through a 20 year integrated development plan by both state and federal government.

In his words, “Nothing will be achieved if you don’t have an integrated development plan in at least 20 years running. Go round the country and see several laudable abandoned projects because people don’t believe in continuity from what their predecessor did in office”.

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