“The State government appeal to the people of Obot Akara and other users of the two collapsed bridges is to remain calm because His Excellency the governor (Mr. Udom Emmanuel) is conscious of their situation, that is why he sent me here this morning and as I return, I will make report immediately to him so that new bridges can be provided for these people as soon as possible”.
Those were the exact words of the State Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-Eyen, Wednesday, after inspecting two derelict bridges at Mbiaso, Ikot Ekpene, linking Ikot Ukpong and another one at Ikot Amba in Obot Akara Local Government Area.
The Commissioner who was accompanied on the fact-finding tour by the Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Itiat and Directors from the Ministry of Works, was taken around the communities in Obot Akara by Engr Samuel Inyang, the Managing Director of Seyang Construction Company – the firm that constructed one of the best bridges at Nto Edino – Ekwereazu Road, during the first term of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
However, an eye witness report has that, Mbiaso-Ikot Ukpong bridge collapsed while a heavy-duty truck loaded with cement was passing through it, two days after the on-the-spot-assessment by the State government delegation.
“Now we are physically here. We’ve seen that the people need a-45 metres span bridge at Ikot Ukpong community in Obot Akara linking Mbiaso in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area. We also need to restore this Ikot Amba road to a passable condition, provide a-60 metres span bridge”, Inyang-Eyen informed, while fielding questions from reporters.
While speaking to youths who had gathered at the site of the collapsed bridges, the Works boss conveyed the greetings of Governor Udom Emmanuel to the Communities and urged for patience while government’s effort are in top gear to fix both the collapsed bridges and the roads.
On his part, Engr Samuel Inyang, a native of the neighbouring Local Government Area; Ikot Ekpene, noted that, Obot Akara had been deprived of good roads in the past, and commended the Emmanuel-led administration for putting smiles on the peoples faces with the construction of modern roads and bridges in the locality.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel has come as a saviour for Obot Akara people. In the last ten to twenty years, nothing, as you can see, happened in this part of the world”, Engr Inyang said.
He further explained that, “Some of the roads His Excellency (Mr Udom Emmanuel) has constructed are Trunk A (federal government) roads. But, because of his sincere love and affection for the people, the governor has decided to do something that will benefit Akwa Ibom people and I can tell you, there will be a remarkable difference in terms of infrastructure here before Udom’s administration and by the time he completes his eight years administration in Akwa Ibom State”
Meanwhile, when the new bridges in the two communities are finally put in place, it is believed that its primary beneficiaries; the people of Obot Akara, who are mainly farmers and fishermen, will be able to transport their products to the city without any difficultly and their many years of crawling on the terribly muddy road during rainy season will come to an end.