Joe Effiong, Uyo
The ongoing construction of flyover at Ekom Iman Junction in Uyo by the Akwa Ibom State government may result in a communal revolt as the village head of Ediene Ikot Obio Imo has threatened to block the by-pass made in his community.
Akwa Ibom State government had diverted traffic into the communal road and blocked Abak Road leading to the flyover to ensure unhindered construction wor, more than a year now.
But the Village Head of Nnung Udoe, Ediene Ikot Obio Imo in Uyo LGA, Eteidung Augustine Edwin Udoh has threatened to mobilize his people rto block the bypass unless serious maintenance is effected as soon as possible.
Eteidung Udoh said the community has suffered untold hardship and has witnessed frequent cases of accident since the community’s roads were opened to the public.
The Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen at the commencement of the project said the flyover, when completed, will allow commuters coming in from Abak to gain easy access into the town and those going to Abak, Ikot Abasi and Port Harcourt from Uyo to use the fly-over while allowing those coming in from Idoro Road and Etinan town to negotiate via ground ways.
The commencement of the project witnessed, not just the demolition of shops around the roundabout, but also divertion of the flow of traffic from within and outside the state through Ediene group of villages to the hospital road at Ukpom Abak.
Heavy duty trucks conveying granites from Akamkpa in Cross River State to Akwa Ibom and down to Port Harcourt were all diverted to ply the small community road, constructed by the immediate past administration.
The village thus said in addition to the number of accidents witnessed daily, the road, has been badly damaged and the community almost submerged.
The Chief who regretted that the Idoro road was constructed and dualized with a very high elevation but without drainage, said the ongoing construction work at Ediene Ikot Akpan has also diverted heavy volume of flood waters into the community now bearing heavy traffic.
He maintained that it was the responsibility of a construction company handling any project that calls for diversion to maintain such alternative roads till the main project was completed.
“As we speak, smaller vehicles can no longer pass through there, because the heavy trucks have badly damaged the roads.
“We have written several letters to Julius Berger, the construction company handling the flyover to come and take care of the deplorable state of the road. Our situation is peculiar because we have flood coming in from the dualized Idoro road, flood diverted from ongoing road construction at Ikot Akpan Ediene and from this heavy traffic diverted into our community. We are almost submerged!
“I will mobilize my community to block our roads if Julius Berger fails to take steps to maintain them. We are not against development, but we cannot continue to fold our arms and watch our communities submerged in muds. Julius Berger would not do this elsewhere. Akwa Ibom State government should not continue to ignore our community”. He said
The Chief who also reminded the state government that the new housing estate “Martha Udom’s Vineyard” was right in the middle of the flooded area, cautioned that no meaningful development would be possible if proper drainage is not connected to take flood out of the community..
He regretted that the construction company had further provoked hostility from the community through the sack of the only two members of the community engaged on the construction of the flyover.
“How do they think we feel to watch outsiders come in to work in our community while the only two youths engaged from here were the only ones affected by Covid-19 redundancy?” The village head questioned.