South-South youths invoke spiritual power over deplorable state of federal road
Youths under the auspices of South-South youth Crusaders for Change have resorted to prayers to draw the attention of the President Muhammadu Buhari, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, and Niger Delta Affairs, Minister, Godswill Akpabio, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, Ita Enang, to the deplorable condition of the Itu- Calabar highway.
The youths said they would not relent in their prayers until the Buhari-led administration redeemed its promise on the road.
Leading the prayer session which held at Oku Iboku Junction, along the road, Apostle Idoreyin Godwin said they resorted to prayers because they believe that God would eventually heal the land.
“Many lives have been lost on this road and we are here to seek God’s intervention because we believe that God will heal our land” Apostle Godwin said
Throughout the session which lasted for about two hours the youths displayed play cards of various inscriptions some of which read “we are not protesting, we are praying, “Buhari help us on this road” We are cut-off from other parts of Nigeria” “Why to neglect Niger Delta/South-South” etc.
In his remarks after the prayer session, President of the group, Iniobong Edem, called on Buhari, and his aides not to play politics with the road as many lives have been lost already.
He wondered why work is yet to commence on the road project alleging that the President in a national broadcast in 2016 had announced that work has commenced already on the road.
“The President, Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Works and Housing, Niger Delta Affairs Minister, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, we will not rest until our prayers are heard concerning the completion of abandoned Calabar-Itu-road.
“We call on them to do away with all excuses and mobilise the construction company, Julius Berger, which they earlier awarded the contract to, for peace to reign at Aso Rock”.
The president of the Association of Ibom Contractors, Engr. Lawrence Bassey, who claimed he impressed on the youths to shelve their protest, recounted the frustration on the road and called on the federal government to fix the road before it is too late.
He lamented that the road whose contract was awarded the same time as other majors in the country is still suffering neglect while thousands of lives are being lost daily on the road
Earlier, The Secretary, Association of Ibom Contractors, Victor Matthew said it is worrisome to watch on television and newspapers the progress made by the federal government on other projects while Calabar-Itu-road continue to suffer neglect
“It is worrisome to watch FG project concerning another region on television and pages of newspapers, while ours look like a scam,” he said.
The highway is the only link road between Akwa Ibom and Cross River States but has been in a deplorable condition cutting off economic activities between the two states.
Promises have been made by the federal government that a contract for the construction of the road had been awarded but there has been nothing to show.