By Tangseama Gabriel
Firstly, we congratulate the Government of Akwa Ibom State for finally completing the Uyo – Ikot Ekpene Road after six years. For those who have alleged that Governor Udom Emmanuel has not completed any significant, dualized road project since becoming the Governor in 2015, the administration can point at this.
It smacks of Executive deception for Governor Emmanuel to claim that he met the road at 20 percent completion level. He may deceive the rest of the world or the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan whom he has invited to commission the project but he cannot deceive Akwa Ibom people who use this road daily and indeed know the true state of this road when he took over from Chief Godswill Akpabio in 2015.
Even at that, even the Senate President President cannot be deceived. This is the same road he plied from Uyo to Ikot Ekpene in August 2018 to witness the uncommon defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio to the All Progressives Congress at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium. His memory cannot fail him. No wonder, the State Government had an evil intention towards the project when it destroyed the commissioning plaque by the Ibom Specialist Hospital. But the truth can never be destroyed.
Facts don’t lie. The truth is that by May 2015, the then Governor Akpabio had commissioned the first phase of this road measuring about 17km out of a total of 25km. As the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Mr. Udom Emmanuel was one of the dignitaries who held the tape for the first phase of this road project to be commissioned. Is he now saying that only 20 percent of this road was commissioned then!
It is a fact that the road had been dualized up to Ikpe Annang junction in Essien Udim Local Government Area. And from Ikpe Annang Junction one lane of the road which traffic was diverted to, had been constructed for about 2km towards Ikot Ekpene. How many kilometers is it from Uyo to Ikpe Annang Junction?
Before now the excuse given for the non-completion of the road was that compensation was not paid for a particular building which obstructed the right of way and couldn’t be pulled down because the matter was in court.
Even by the admission of the then loquacious Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang, as could be seen on the internet, the road was 50 percent completed, which was still deceptive. How it will now come down to 20 percent completion must be another wonder of the Udom Emmanuel administration. Some lies are not worth telling especially by the Executive Governor of the State.
We understand that in view of his underwhelming performance with no significant road project commissioned in the last six years, Governor Emmanuel is looking for projects to add to his name. We have already commended him for completing this road project. The lie that he met the road at 20 percent completion is totally unnecessary.
There are many other road projects that Governor Emmanuel has started. We urge him to complete them and take the full credits for them instead of engaging in a game of deception, which a State Chief Executive should not indulge in.