WHY POTHOLES RESURFACED ON UDOM ROADS (PART ONE)?
By Franklyn Isong
“My boss the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has ordered all contractors handling projects in the state to resume work at their different sites.
“He also made it compulsory that soil test should be conducted on all projects sites with proper documentation to ascertain quality and suitability of work done, warning that anything short of this will be unacceptable to the State,” Mr. Ephraim Inyang, Commissioner for Works said.
Often times, I have said that Governor Emmanuel has good programmes for the State. But regrettably, as it were, he lacks people with good intentions to drive his programmes, interpret his dreams and implement them for the state, almost five years gone.
For instance, at the 2020 Budget defence of the Ministry of Works, members of the House of Assembly strongly criticised roads constructed and commissioned by Udom administration which potholes have resurfaced within one year of commissioning. Whereas, roads constructed by past administrations are still pothole-free.
Tax-payers monies were used for these projects and tax-payers monies have been used to fix up these potholes by government. No excuse or explanation, whatsoever, is acceptable for this noticeable but avoidable lapses.
Yesterday, Friday, I concluded a three week independent investigation to find out why roads constructed and commissioned by past administrations are still pothole-free, against the ones done by this administration.
As a journalist and conscience of the society, this is one article I feel so hesitated to write. Reason being that, my intentions have over time been misconstrued. Already, I have started getting mixed reactions from certain quarters in government, after I talked about my investigation and this write up passively on Comfort 95. 1 FM “Issues-In-The-News” on Thursday, when the duo of George Essien and Rose Akai, the programme’s anchors, brought up this disturbing issue for discussion.
Nevertheless, my loyalty is to the society and my conscience. My interest is for Governor Emmanuel to end his tenure well and nothing more. I am not a politician neither am I interested in governmental position.
It would be a great disservice to the state and failure on my part as a patriotic citizen, not to share my findings and thoughts with the governor, if this will help him achieve good successes in delivering quality and durable road/other projects before his tenure ends in May 29, 2023.
My findings have revealed that a lots are not just right with the supervision of projects in the Udom led government. It is either the contractors are incompetent or these projects are poorly supervised or officials of government saddled with the supervisory roles have compromised with the contractors to deliver substandard roads to the people!
Bearing in mind that the governor has ordered these contractors to return to sites as said hereabove by the Works Commissioner. Where did Udom get it wrong? What has he done wrongly? What should be done to remedy the situation? And when should it be done?
These and many more, are questions this article seeks to find answers to.
It is said; “for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.”
Watch this space for Part Two!
•Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society.