Residents and landlords in some major streets in Uyo metropolis are calling on the state government to come to their aid as potholes and failed portions of streets in their domains as well as adjourning ones have caused some of the residents to leave their homes for alternative accommodation.
Areas most affected from our survey are Nelson Mandela, Ikot Udoro, Ebong Essien and Udoette, School road, among others, all in Itu council area which are contigual communities within Uyo Capital Development Authority.
The incessant rain has been identified as the problem but residents of the area are blaming the government agency that is saddled with the responsibility of fixing potholes and failed portions of roads in the metropolis.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Chairman, Uyo Oku Community, Chief Ita Okon Inyang said that tenants are packing out of the area on a daily basis from both business and residential apartments because the roads are not motorable.
According to him, “No one passes to anywhere when it rains at Ebong Essien, Ikot Udoro Junction near NUCO School, Okon Inyang, Ekpo Abasi, Nelson Mandela and Udoette areas of Itu. Most times, shops are flooded and owners suffer so much loss especially if it happens at night. As you can see, all the roads here and the adjoining streets are bad.
“Car owners are not left out of the sufferings as flood often spoil their cars, knock their engines even when they park inside the compound. Tenants are just packing out of these areas on a daily basis from both business and residential apartments.”
The chairman however frowned at the publicity state-owned media houses give to the roads on how the state government has rehabilitated all the roads in the area.
“It is wrong that the state-owned media houses would announce that roads in our area have been reconstructed when it was only a small portion at Essien Inyang Street that was given a shallow touch which could not survive the volume of water flooding through Udoette and Nelson Mandela roads from Itam.
” The road collapsed within a very short time because the drainage provided could not carry the volume of water. Sometimes they will pour laterite as a form of intervention but it doesn’t hold because of the heavy flow of water”. he said.
Responding to the accusations, the Chairman, Akwa Ibom Road Infrastructural Maintenance Agency, (AKROIMA) Godwin Ntukude, the Agency responsible for maintaining failed portions in the state said, Udom Emmanuel’s administration was a responsible government that would never lay claim to what it has not done.
He stressed that the government has never announced that it has completed the entire stretch of Udoette street rather said it has been done a few meters away from the big gully and stopped at the sharp bend hoping that when the rain subsides, it would complete the final wearing course.
He said the governor was passionate about sustainable development and zero potholes and promised that the agency would go back to the site as soon as the rains subsided, adding that, no prudent manager of resources would embark on a road project during the rainy season.
“The state government is waiting for the rains to subside. No road work can be best done during the rainy season especially this year’s rains that have been hazardous. You know that no prudent manager of resources would apply asphalt during the rainy season and obtain optimal satisfaction even stone base unless there is a traumatic situation you just do something that would not stand the test of time and it’s not good.
“The governor believes in the philosophy of maintenance and sustainable development that was why he reactivated this agency to maintain zero potholes in the state.
“We have intervened in Udoette a few meters away from the big gully at the sharp bend and we stopped there hoping that when the rain subsides we will come for the final wearing course. Since what is remaining are just potholes, we will take it to Nuco secondary school.
“We have worked around to ensure zero potholes even the one in front of PHCN Edet Akpan, Nwaniba, Uruan street. I am sure if we had left it the way it was, people would not have been able to pass through those areas.
“You can imagine how much we have spent, each time we finish, the rain falls and spoils it and you know how much asphalt costs. We came over to four-lane and tried to reactivate the service lane, we went into udoette and attempted to do some meter square. We did not put the final coat, we announced to everybody that the next time we will come, we will do it and will move to Nuco secondary school. We never announced to anybody that we have completed the area.”