Youths protest deplorable condition of Ikot Akpaden-Okoroete-Iko Road in A/Ibom
Youths under the aegis of Eastern Obolo Forum of Village Youth Presidents (EOFVYP) have protested the deplorable state of Ikot Akpaden- Okoroete-Iko road which they said has cut off the local government area from the rest of Akwa Ibom State.
They were allegedly angered by the attitude of oil companies including Sterling Global that are operating in the area but had failed to construct the only access road in the area.
According to checks, when a section of the road fell two years ago, the state government was said to have cordoned off the spot to allow commuters continue making use of the road.
Chairman of the youth group, Samuel Gogo Adasi said that the protest was aimed at “holding Sterling Global Oil Company to immediately start intervention on Ikot Akpaden-Okoroete-Iko road, since this is the only road used by the company and its contractors to access the company sites in Eastern Obolo local government area.”
He said the road had suffered much damage due to the heavy duty trucks and tractors conveying the company’s equipment and her contractors to its sites.
“This is also the only road connecting Eastern Obolo Local Government Area with the rest of the world and it is no news that the current deplorable state of the road has caused the locals plying the road to experience several forms of hardship ranging from avoidable road accidents to loss of lives. The road has become a death trap,” he said
According to Adasi, Sterling Global should commence immediate intervention work on Ikot Akpaden-Okoroete-Iko road, and that there should be no interference by the state government in the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the oil companies operating in the area and the employment of youths in the companies.
The youth also promised to keep an eye on the company’s activities and threatened to shut down operations in all the company’s sites and other offshore platforms if their rights were not given them.
A total of 43 youth presidents from the 43 villages and other youths across Eastern Obolo Council Area were said to have taken part in the protest.
After a meeting attended by the representatives of the oil companies, security agents and the local government officials that lasted several hours, it was agreed and signed by all parties that the oil company “will commence immediate intervention work on the Ikot Akpaden-Okoroete-Iko road and also that the company will cooperate with Eastern Obolo youths in terms of employment.”