WE ARE CUT OFF – Itu indigenes laments

Unyimeobong Ikpe

The people of Ikot Akpan, Itam and Adang Itam communities both in Itu Local Government Area are lamenting over the absence of access roads to their communities, a situation they say has cut their villages from neighbouring communities.

Conducting visiting journalists round his community, the village head of Adang Itam, Chief Akpan Akpan Udosen said for four years now, the village had been without access road to link them with Mbak Atai, Itu Local Government headquarters.

He attributed this to erosion which had cut the link road into two, thus denying them of interaction with other communities.

Chief Udosen said the exploiting of laterite for building which was the major source of livelihood for the people had died a natural death since there was no road for the evacuation of the product.

On electricity, the village head told the journalists that the community experienced power supply fifteen years ago, and described the situation as pathetic.

He said, ” my subjects are migrating and the village is becoming empty; we are cut off from the headquarters “.

On his part, the Chairman of Adang Itam village council, Mr Ubon Okon Akpan, said the absence of access roads had taken a heavy toll on the health of the people as they were not able to access the nearest health facility at Mbak Atai, the Local Government headquarters. He said many people had died in the process.

Mr Akpan said that the youths were now jobless as their businesses had crashed. He said that, going to school had become a nightmare for their children as they had to go through other villages to enable them to get to where their school was located. Mr Akpan appealed to the government to come to their aid.

The village council Chairman disclosed that the State Government had donated a transformer to the village since the year two thousand and fourteen but that the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company had failed to install it, thereby keeping the village in perpetual darkness.

At Ikot Akpan Itam, the Chairman of the Village Council, Mr Ibanga Jacob Etuk, told journalists that the community had suffered from lack of access road due to erosion for four years running.

Mr Etuk said in spite of the visits of Federal and State officials to the erosion site, nothing tangible had come out and the people were still suffering from the effects of lack of access to neighbouring communities.

The village council Chairman wondered why the people of the village should be so neglected in spite of their support for government.

Mr Etuk however, said the people of the community were optimistic following the visit of the Executive Chairman of Itu Local Government, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Etetim Onuk, who gave them hope that a new access road would be created for them. He appealed to the Local Government Chairman to expedite action in that direction.