From Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF), a sociopolitical group, has appealed to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Effiong Akwa, for a quick intervention on the deplorable Nsasak-Urua Inyang-Ikot Uko-Azumni federal road to alleviate the hardship of the people in the area.
The over 20km road, which connects Akwa Ibom and Abia State, starts from Nsasak in Essien Udim Local Government Area and passes through Urua Inyang, Ikot Uko, in Ika Local Government Area, and terminates in Azumini, Abia State.
The road, according to ADF Co-ordinator in Ika LGA Mr Uyobong Udom, has been listed for construction by the NDDC over the years without positive action.
Addressing members of the group after the formal inauguration of the Chapter Executives, ADF Director-General Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, who spoke of the economic viability of the road when constructed, assured the gathering that he would take their appeal to Akpabio and Akwa for possibe action.
According to Ekpo, ‘we have to thank God for providing our grand leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio, with another unique office to continue his good works to the people. He always has Ika people at heart and will use his good office to ensure the quick delivery of the road project for public usage.’
Obong Ekpo, a former member of House of Representatives, recalled that Akpabio’s generosity was in evidence when the minister was a commissioner and he (Ekpo) chairman of Ika Local Government Area.
‘Chief Godswill Akpabio as commissioner shunned personal aggrandisement to build people and bridges of friendship across the state,’ Ekpo said.
‘He came to serve the state not to become a Governor, but worked himself to become the Governor. In one of our foreign trip as Council Chairman then to South Africa, all the 31 Council Chairman in what we called South African Accord endorsed him to take over as next Governor after Obong Victor Attah because of his selfless service and deep love for the people. That endorsement materialised in 2007 and Akwa Ibom witnessed uncommon transformation.
‘As then Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, he also gave us (council chairmen) the opportunity to serve the people well. In Ika, he approved and supported my building the Unity Hall in the council, among other projects. He is the most popular living Akwa Ibom person today and we are very proud to associate with him as our grand leader.’
Also speaking, a former Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr Udom Ekpoudom, urged the newly-inaugurated executives of local chapters of the ADF to remain focused on the ideals of the group.
Ekpoudom, recalling the achievements of the grand leader of the group, Akpabio, as governor, senator, and minister, commended the minister as a visionary, pragmatic and trustworthy leader and urged ADF members to follow his footsteps.