Thursday, 11 November 2021

Calabar-Itu Highway: Unorthodox actions/demands by Landlord Communities

By Kingsley Agim 

As the poor state of the Calabar-Itu federal highway continues to leave commuters, traders, travelers and other road users with harrowing experiences, as well as hindering economic activities between Cross River and other States, the recent mobilization of contractors to commence intervention on the very important road must have left the road users heaving a huge sigh of relief.

With the road being a major route connecting Cross River State with her neighbors in the southern region of the country, one would have thought that the federal government's intervention on the road would get everyone leaping for joy, especially communities along the axis, where the baleful state of the road has made the inhabitants of those villages perpetual spectators and eyewitnesses to ghastly accidents scenes, and worst still, turned their communities into havens for armed robbery and other criminal activities.

But rather than relish in the welcome development and the imminent repair of the road, which would palliate such communities from the attendant criminal activities and boost economic growth within the area and beyond, the Okurikang and Akpap Okoyong (in Odukpani Local Government Area) parts of the Calabar-Itu road have become seats for many illegal and disgraceful structures.

Inhabitants of the aforementioned areas have brazenly erected juju shrines, buildings, warehouses, taps without borehole, tombstones without graves,  vulcanizing stands, drinking spots, healing homes and all what not — albeit with sub-standard materials — on the federal highway in contrivance to demand compensation from the federal government. 

It is disheartening to note that such illegal and disdainful activities are inimical to the overall weal of the people of the State. The State Government must as a matter of urgency resent such ignominious insinuations from those communities, and as well, investigate those behind them. The Government of the State, with unwavering commitment to correctitude as its cynosure, should assist in clearing all illegal properties on the Calabar-Itu federal highway to ensure a hitch-free remediation course on the very important road.

May I also challenge authorities like the Council Chairman, House of Assembly Member and Councilors representing those areas to rise up to the responsibility of interfacing with their local communities/constituents in order to avert some of these unwholesome issues.

We must rise against acts that are hostile to our growth and development as a people. For development is the pathway to the future we want for all.