CLO Tackles President Buhari Over Deplorable Federal Roads In Akwa Ibom
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to fix the deplorable state of federal roads in Akwa Ibom state. The call was made by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch.
Addressing a press briefing in its office in Uyo on Monday, November 11, 2019, on the state of federal roads in Akwa Ibom, the chairman of the international human rights group, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, stated that; “as part of its civic responsibilities, the Civil Liberties Organisation, expresses its concern over the deplorable state of the Ikot Ekpene-Itu-Calabar Federal Highway and calls on the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately mobilise contractors to site before the Christmas seasons in order to ameliorate the untold hardship of the road. users.”
The CLO berated the federal government for failing to fix federal roads in the state over the years, saying that; “the Ikot-Ekpene-Itu-Calabar Federal Highway which is the only link road between Akwa Ibom and Cross River States has been left to suffer various stages of degradation which has culminated in its current deplorable impassable state. With various segments of the road eaten off by gully erosion while large chunks of the road now constitute death traps to motorists and. commuters leading to loss of many lives.”
The CLO observes that; “a journey on the road from Uyo to Calabar, which naturally should be accomplished within one hour, now takes up to six or seven hours. The cost in terms of man-hours and damage to vehicles is better imagined than experienced. The cost to economies of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States as well as Nigeria in general is gargantuan.”
The pro-democracy group stated that; “when the Ikot Ekpene-Itu-Calabar Federal Highway first featured in the budget of the President Buhari’s administration, CLO heaved a sigh of relief as did other Nigerians and wild celebrations followed the reported award of contract by the Federal Government to Julius Berger. When equipment started working on a section of the road at Itu, Akwa Ibom State, CLO and the road users were happy about the sincerity of the federal government only for the construction works to stop immediately after the 2019 general elections giving an impression that the road was only used by the ruling APC federal government for its political campaigns and nothing more!”
The civil society group asserted that; “the condition of the road has since worsened, and motorists and vehicles are writhing in pains on the road. Transport fares on the road have quadrupled and travelling on the road is a nightmare. The prices of agricultural products in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States have skyrocketed on account of the deplorable nature of this very important road.”
CLO tasked the Federal Government to immediately mobilise the contractors to return to sites to ensure the expeditious completion of the dualisation of Ikot Ekpene-Itu-Calabar Federal Highway.