Saturday 27th May, 2017
Translate Language:::
Share

Another calamity looms in A'Ibom as community seeks government intervention

Another calamity looms in A'Ibom as community seeks government intervention

The issue of wage bill fraud has posed a serious threat to the finances of the Bayelsa State government, and has con­tinued to hamper the economy of the state. In this report, UCHENNA NWAFOR, writes on the challenges and strate­gies the state government has applied to address the matter.
From Bassey Anthony, Uyo
Unless the Akwa Ibom state government acts with a sense of urgen­cy, it may be hit with another bloody tragedy similar to or worse than the December 10, 2016 collapse of the Reigners’ Bible Church building which killed dozens of people and injured many others.
This time around, the threat is not just about a church but an entire commu­nity situated within the Uyo metropolis with a population of over two thousand people, which comprise of indigenes and non-indigenes.
The impending environ­mental disaster facing the people of Afaha Etok village has to do with uncovered outfall drains, which they lament is endangering their lives and property.
Afaha Etok village is situ­ated within the Uyo capital city. The community is host to some key government and economic infrastructure such as the Ibom Tropicana complex and the popular Afaha Market.
To further underscore the strategic importance of Af­aha Etok, the gigantic, state-of-the-art Godswill Akpabio International Stadium and the Ibom International Air­port have road links to the community which is said to have an expanse of 600 me­tres.
Worried that their lives and properties, including the afore-mentioned govern­ment infrastructures could be destroyed, the people of Afaha Etok are appealing to government to cover up the outfall drains.
Investigations by our cor­respondent in Uyo reveal that the drains were constructed by construction giant, Julius Berger at the instance of the state government to channel water from Uyo metropolis to the Obot Idim watershed.
In a save-our-soul letter to Governor Udom Em­manuel, the village head of Afaha Etok, Eteidung Hilary E. Asuquo JP said the com­munity had made several ap­peals to government for the drains to be covered up but that nothing has been done in that regard.
According to Eteidung Asuquo, the government had covered up similar outfall drains in other communities within Uyo and its environs such as the Akwa Efak, Dom­inic Utuk drains etc and won­dered why such an interven­tion has not been extended to Afaha Etok drains.
“In September 2011 a del­egation of the Akwa Ibom state government led by one Engineer Udofia in com­pany of technical expatriates from the Julius Berger while addressing the entire com­munity on this same project assured us that the drains will be covered especially the resi­dential areas such as ours.
Whereas Akwa Efak area is in front of Afaha Etok, while the Afaha Atai area of same drains is quite behind Afaha Etok all of whose residen­tial areas are covered, Afaha Etok has not been covered”, he said.
Continuing the royal fa­ther said, “Our dear gover­nor, indeed we know you and have always seen you to be a lover of SAFETY, a lover of your people, committed promoter of safety and a se­nior advocate of safety who has vowed to ever secure and protect the lives and property of your people. Please save our souls.
“I cannot be insensitive to the recent calamity at the Reigners Bible Church nor forget so soon the lesson on the importance of safety to the generality of Nigerians, the Akwa Ibomites and in particular the people Afaha Etok”.
Eteidung Asuquo lament­ed that his people are dis­traught and disturbed and as they fear for their safety and the safety of their families, adding that “this apparent lack of information is causing tension among the youths, women and elders in our community.

SHARE ON: