The people of Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State were on Friday, overwhelmingly excited that, for the first time in several decades, at least 11 different streets within the Uyo metropolis were well asphalted and commissioned by the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel
Streets commissioned within the Wellington Bassey axis included the Mbiakong, Asutan, Ekong, Effiong Udoh Akpan, Bassey Attah Streets and Ebong Lane linking the ancestral homes of the various indigenes of Uyo Local Government Area.
The life-touching interconnected network of roads are made possible via the Udom-led administration’s thrive to ensure that the internal roads in Uyo are made motorable for the smooth movement of men and materials in furtherance of the industrialization drive of the state government.
In his opening remarks at the 0.28km Akparen Street, the Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, explained that the people living in the area were completely cut off, as the roads were at deplorable states even when they are not far away from the city, but the face of the environment has been changed through networking of the six streets to global standards with dual drainage systems.
A community leader of the area, a Professor at the University of Uyo, in his goodwill message, commended the Governor for coming to their rescue, and narrated that for the past 50 years, the road neither experienced grading, pavement nor drain.
The people of the area assured the Governor of their votes to return him to the Hilltop Mansion come 2019, saying that he needs not campaign again in the area because he has done excellently well.
Governor Emmanuel, in his address, emphasized that he is more concerned about lifting the plights of people in the grassroots, stressing that he does not sleep at night as he goes round the state to ensure that security of lives and property is maintained. “But we could not enter this terrain because it was completely cut out of civilization.
“Not even a bike rider could ride on Bassey Street… Every single street in the state draws my attention at the same level. I was really moved and touched when people said that they have been living in the area for 50 years without even a side drain or excavation.
“That is why I decided to suspend every other official engagement to come here and sit with Uyo Village people. I pray as we live here, security will be enhanced through all these network of roads.”
The Governor moved to the Udotung Ubo axis to commission Udotung Ubo Lane, Akparen Street and Ibiono Lane, which, according to Commissioner for Works, were completely cut off and impassable for the past 18 years, while those within the Shelter Afrique axis include Prof. Offiong and Justice Edet Nko Streets.
Mr Ephraim further explained that the making of the densely populated areas of Akparen Street, Udotung Ubo Lane, Ibiono Lane, Nung Atai, Ibeno and Ibiono is adding value to the lives of people in the communities.
A goodwill message from a youth leader of the community, Comrade Christian John, eulogized the Governor, saying that “For the past 25 years, the roads which connect about six political units, have been impassable, but it is only in his administration that people of the area would enjoy a good road,” and assured the Governor of victory come 2019.
Also speaking, Chairman of Uyo Capital City Development Authority (UCCDA), Prince Enobong Uwah, otherwise called Champion of Politics, in his vote of thanks, poured encomiums on Gov Emmanuel for what he has done for the people of Uyo local government, saying that he has transformed all the internal streets which were not known by many people.
Gov Emmanuel, in his response, thanked people of the community for appreciating the infrastructural thrive in the area, noting that politics and governance are not one on one, but for the people.
Moving to the Shelter Afrique axis where Prof. Offiong and Justice Edet Nko Streets were commissioned, a former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Education, Mrs Eunice Thomas, who was full of excitement, recalled the days of their muddy trips from the Shelter Junction to their homes, and thanked the Governor for fantastically changing the lives of residents of the community.
She said that businesses that had been struggling to spring up would now be on flight modes, adding that the roads are very strategic in the sense that it will ease access for commuters and parents of school children in the area.
According to her, “It is said that little deeds of kindness do wonders to the heart. This is a mighty deed, so you have done excellently to our heart. We owe you a lot of thanks for your thoughts and expressing these thoughts. In deed there is love in your heart and we thank you so much for sharing it to the people of Prof. Offing Street.
“We want to assure you that we are indebted to you. We will surely deliver for you. Not only will we vote for you, we will bring people to come and see the proof of service to humanity.”
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem; Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh; Political Leader of Uyo, Sir Val Attah; Uyo LG Vice Chairman, Amb. Udeme Ukai Emmanuel, members of state executive council, members of the state House of Assembly, royal fathers, traditional rulers, youth and women groups to mention but a few, accompanied the Governor for the project commissioning.
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley