Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government has debunked allegation that Governor Udom Emmanuel administration has neglected Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in terms development.
A former deputy governor of the state, Chris Ekpenyong, had, last week, during the second term endorsement of Emmanuel and Senator Godswill Akpabio by the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, lamented the absence of development, especially industries in their area as against what was happening in other senatorial districts.
But Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, in a chat with Daily Sun, said the current administration has done more for the senatorial district than any other area in terms of development in the past three years.
Inyang-Eyen said at the advent of Emmanuel’s administration, he had promised to spread development to all parts of the state and had particularly said those areas in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district like Ukanafun, Oruk Anam, Ini, Ikono, Obot Akara and even Abak, that were not favoured by the previous administrations, would receive special attention.
“In the last administration, the only road that was awarded in Oruk Anam was Ikot Ekan-Ibesit Okpokoro that terminates in the middle of nowhere. So, now the governor has awarded 23-kilometre road from Ikot Akaidem through Ikot Okoro to Ikot Ibritam. Ikot Ibritam to Ikefe to Ikot Akpan Afaha, which has been in the federal budget for several years has also been awarded and it is ongoing, plus two road projects, thus giving Oruk Anam alone four ongoing projects.
“What the governor has done in that senatorial district alone, is amazing compared to the records we met on ground. Record of fair sharing has been more pronounced in this administration.
“Out of the 10 local governments in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, we have touched seven. So, what will you do in your judgment, apart from Etim Ekpo, Essien Udim and Ikot Ekpene; and even the Abak Efiat that was supposed to be for Nto Ndang in Obot Akara has even affected Ikot Ekpene local government.
“I think in my very candid opinion the assessment of the former deputy governor was not fair in terms of infrastructure handled by this ministry,” Inyang-Eyen said.
He equally debunked the allegation that he was detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the behest of the association of estate valuers, explaining that his blocking the attempts by estate valuers to connive with some property owners to fleece the state did not go down well with some people hence their attempts to arms twist the state government to return to the status quo.
“I have said it time and time again that the compensation payment components that we met when we came in 2015 was open to abuse in the sense that an estate valuer would value a property and that same man would make payment. So, all decisions as to what is done was left in his hands. But the governor said it was open to abuse that we should decongest that arrangement.”
He said the unbundling of the valuation, verification and payment process was what made some desperate people go to EFCC, but that when he appeared there and gave the anti-graft agency the facts, they also saw transparency in the new approach by government.