September 28, (THEWILL) – Community leaders and shop owners in Ulliong, Edikor and Uduetta, all located in the fishing belt of Udung Uko LGA, a predominant costal area in Akwa Ibom State, are in a joyous mood over the construction of the first ever access road into the area since its creation in 1996, 27 years ago.
At the inauguration of the 9.5 km road with a spur to Eyo Abasi in Oron LGA, on Tuesday, they noted that before the commencement of work on the access road, the route was a death trap thus completely abandoned by motorists.
The Paramount Ruler of Udung Uko, HRM Edidem Bassey Etim Edet, on behalf of other royal fathers in the area, appreciated the Governor of the State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, whom he said has through the execution of the project, fulfilled his social contract with the people of Udung Uko.
“Through this project, you’ve proven your worth, and the social contract you signed with Udung Uko people, you have fulfilled it”, the royal father said.
He added that with the new road in place, Udung Uko LGA would begin to generate income, in order to finance some of its projects, which he said would yield benefits to the people.
Addressing the gathering, Governor Emmanuel said, “I want to assure you that till the last day that I would exit office, I will continue to work for our people.”
On the extension of the road to Mbo LGA, which is less than 10 km drive from Udung Uko, Mr Emmanuel said the contract has also been approved, and assured that it would be completed before the end of his administration.
Also, his Edo State counterpart, Mr Godwin Obaseki, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, described Governor Udom Emmanuel as his colleague, in whom he is well pleased.
According to Obaseki, “This is not just a road, but a social and economic connection between Udung Uko people and the rest of the state, because a road does not mean anything if it doesn’t bring economic benefits to the people.”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor has held that Nigeria is producing a new set of politicians, and that his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, is the leader of the new set.
While explaining the components of the 9.5km road, the Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof Eno Ibanga said, the road was constructed with drainages and a main alignment that has been linked up to Eyo Abasi, thus providing major access for the people and adjoining communities.
A shop owner, Asuquo Abang, male and middle age, recounted how the previous state of the road affected his sales negatively. He nonetheless alluded that since the completion of the road, patronage has significantly improved as commuters accessing the Oron fishing belt, now preferred to stop over and buy different items from provision shop owners along the newly constructed road.
Esther Etim, a seamstress, and a mother of two, said she was grateful to the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel for carrying Udung Uko people along in his Completion Agenda for the state.
“I didn’t expect that this road would be completed before the end of the Governor’s tenure, but he has demonstrated that he is a promise keeper. Therefore, I thank him very much, because through this access road, I now look forward to gaining more clients”, Etim said in vernacular.