Chief Edem Moses, the Village Head of Ikot Akpa Oso, Asutan Ekpe clan, Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, has appealed to the state government to come to their rescue over the only access road to the community destroyed by mining activities.
Moses said the major road to the community has become impassable as huge duty trucks moving sand out of the dredging sites have destroyed it.
He stated that vehicle owners in the community find it difficult to drive through the main village roads, and motorists are unwilling to drive into the community due to the deplorable road.
The Retired Deputy Superintendent of Police said that he and some members of the village had fallen into the village stream while trying to negotiate through the bad roads.
He stated that aside the bad roads, the bridge linking the village to neighbouring villages had collapsed more than 20 years ago, cutting off access to Ikot Akpa Oso.
According to him, though the construction of the bridge was awarded by former governor, Obong Victor Attah, work has been abandoned, making it impossible for children from neighbouring communities, who attended the only primary school serving the six villages in the community, to look elsewhere.
“The bridge collapsed about five years before Obong Victor Attah became governor. He awarded the contract for the construction of a new bridge and said it should be very strong. That time I was not the village head. But the contractors collected the money, duped Obong Victor Attah and abandoned the project.
“Since then, we don’t have access road to Ikot Nko. If we want to go to Ikot Nko, we will have to pass through Ikot Ukim, Nung Udoe, Okponduwa Erong, where you have the Air Force School and Ikot Okon to get there. Before the road got bad, it did not take us more than five minutes to get to Ikot Nko.
“The stream is the boundary between Ikot Nko and Ikot Akpa Oso. Luckily for us, we have water project constructed by the Cross River Basin Authority.
“Ikot Nko has no primary school. Because of the collapsed bridge, children who used to cross from Ikot Nko to the primary school here do not come again. They now travel far distance to Okponduwa Erong to attend the primary school.
“Unfortunately, the school (Lutheran Primary School), is the only primary school in Asutan Ward 2 which consists of six villages. It was founded in 1949; I attended the primary school.
“We have written a series of appeal to the state government especially when the current Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Ephraim Inyang, was the Commissioner for Works. Now, we are at the mercy of God.
“There was a day I fell into the stream with my motorcycle. Some other persons have fallen into the stream trying to navigate the road.
“I appeal to the government to help us by constructing the road so that we have access road to Ikot Nko. We understand the road was in a certain contract leading to Ikot Obioedim, linking the airport road but due to political reasons, the road was cut off. If not, this road would have been tarred,” he stated.