By Chioma Onuegbu
RESIDENTS of Afaha Ube Itam in Itu Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, said they are tired of waiting and livid at the state government for failing to rehabilitate the access road to their community despite several promises.
We feel neglected — Gold
An inhabitant who identified herself as Ama Gold said:” Sadly, government will come today, they will assure us they are coming to do the road, and tomorrow they will come again promising the same thing. We are tired of waiting, we are angry because of their unfulfilled promises.
“We feel neglected by government because we have been complaining, we have been shouting, appealing, and yet nothing has been done.
“And must we cry, shout and weep for what we deserve, for our right to access road? Right now, we are even begging and nobody seems to listen to us. I am afraid of what will happen to us now that the rains have returned.
“Last year, it was terrible. You have to swim in the flood before going out or returning to the house. It was as bad as that.
“Two years ago, a girl-child was carried away by the flood just at the beginning of the road while returning home one evening during a downpour. And many people often slip, fall and get wounded. So I am calling on the government to please do something fast ,” she said.
On his part, Mr. George Akpan, a mechanic whose workshop is also located within the community, lamented: “I have lost my customers because of this bad road. We are tired, no work. As rain has started now, I do not know how I and my family will feed. I have passed through so much hardship, I can hardly pay my children’s school fees because there’s no work. Even a bicycle, or motorcycle cannot enter this bad road as you can see for yourself,” he said.
“Sometimes a customer will call and when he gets to the beginning of this bad road and see how bad it is, he will call you again that he will come later to see you but he will not come. It is as if we are cut off completely from the rest of the state.
“The few cars you are seeing at this place were here before the rains returned last week, because nobody will agree to enter this road again until another dry season. Last Wednesday after it rained, one big truck decided to use the road because it is big, but it sank. You can imagine the situation when it starts raining heavily.”
Disenchanted — Michael
A welder, Christopher Michael, lamented: “I have been working here for about 15 years. State government has been promising to do this road but you can see that the state of the road is worse, no longer passable.”
We, the residents and tenants contributed money to bring sand to create the narrow walkway you are seeing so that we will be able to pass, enter our houses and business premises.”
“The gutters are not properly constructed so when rain falls, water does not flow out and the whole road is flooded. It is a big problem for us in this community. Our businesses are going down because of lack of patronage. My customers have abandoned me. It is so frustrating. And we are supporters of the PDP, we support this government, most people living here voted for this government in the last election, yet it abandoned us.
“We feel disappointed because this is not what they promised us. Good road, electricity and water are the basic necessities in life that every government must provide for its citizens. And I am appealing to them that we need access road in this community which is very close to the state capital,” he added.