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Poor States Of Federal Roads: A’Ibom Traditional Rulers Demand Immediate Reconstruction Of Calabar-Itu Highway, Others

By Kenneth Jude


Traditional rulers under the aegis of Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, have sent a Save-Our-Soul letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the deplorable state of federal roads linking Akwa Ibom to other states as well as internally designated federal roads.
In an open letter signed by the Oku Ibom Ibibio, Patriarch of Ibibio Worldwide and Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, Nteyin Solomon Etuk, the royal fathers, while commending the President for his efforts in fighting insurgency, banditry, kidnappings and unrest in some parts of the country, called on him to intervene on the poor state of Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene-Aba Roads; Ikot Ekpene – Umuahia Road and Abak – Ikot Abasi Road.
The royal fathers decried the untold hardship commuters go through when plying the roads, adding that trips that should ordinarily take limited time now takes long and unpredictable hours in addition to damages done to vehicles.
“Presently, these federal roads are in very terrible states, causing commuters serious stress with most vehicles suffering damages.  What is more, journeys on these roads, like the case of Calabar – Itu – Uyo Highway that would ordinarily take 45 minutes for travellers and motorists to ply, now last for unpredictable hours and sometimes days.”
They expressed sadness that the Ikot Ekpene – Aba Road linking Akwa Ibom and Abia States has remained impassable for a decade or more, without any concrete action for its repair or outright reconstruction.
While acknowledging the President’s interest on the appalling state of the roads so mentioned through budgetary allocations, they expressed worry that it has not reflected positively on the roads.
“Our dear President, we have seen that your administration is concerned about the appalling nature of these roads as indicated in yearly budgetary provision for its reconstruction, particularly on the Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene-Aba Highway into dual carriage way.”
They noted that this expectation is yet to be met, adding that the road which is the only major linkage between Akwa Ibom and Cross River States and providing outlets to other states of the South South, South East, North East and North Central is worsening day by day.
According to them: “the deplorable conditions of these roads do not only affect intercity travels, but affects businesses as well as pose dangers to commuters.”
They appealed to the President to declare a state of emergency on the affected federal roads “and to direct the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to step in and treat it expeditiously,” adding that the measures will not only give people of the area a sense of belonging, but also demonstrate Federal Government’s appreciation “of our status as the leading contributor to the oil revenue earnings of our nation.”
The monarchs noted that the sufferings of the people and others who have experienced the hazardous nature of the affected roads are too much hence, they appealed to President Buhari to immediately come to the rescue of the people, maintaining that it’ll go a long way in dousing feelings of alleged marginalisation of the state in roads and other infrastructure.
“Mr. President, as a good father of the nation, do take full cognisance of the fact that we have contributed immensely to the economic and socio-political development of the nation to deserve attention,” they stated.

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