Elders of Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have denied receiving contracts from Governor Udom Emmanuel for the reconstruction of dilapidated internal roads in Eket metropolis.
It could be recalled that Governor Emmanuel during a media parley recently, stated that Eket elders should be held responsible for the deplorable state of internal roads in Eket.
But the elders under the umbrella body of Eket Integrity Forum on Monday, denied the governor’s claims telling him to mention the names of those he awarded road contracts to.
Chief Usoro Usoro, a member of the board of trustees of the forum in an interview admitted that the governor only gave contracts to Chief Nduese Essien, an ex-minister for lands and housing who according to him had already delivered 16 out of the 19 projects awarded.
He added that awarding contracts to one person in Eket should not amount to such generalization.
He insisted that the urban renewal project was not awarded to Eket elders saying that the governor’s utterances were totally unacceptable.
His words, ”the so-called urban renewal was not awarded to Eket elders. The one kilometer construction from the bridgehead to where the old Post Office was, on Hospital road, was not awarded to an Eket elder. That road has been there for more than six years. The abandoned Idua Road, which has been there for about four years was not awarded to an Eket elder.
”The uncompleted, yet commissioned Eket-Ibeno Road, was not awarded to an Eket elder. The governor commissioned that road about three years ago, yet some sections are yet to be completed. The street lights which were supposed to be part of the road design are not there.
”I don’t know which angle the elders are to be blamed. He should have been more specific? Are we to blame the elders for not making much noise about the deplorable situation in Eket or what? as it is, it appears Mr Emmanuel was only trying to shy away from the expected role of accountability to the people who worked hard to ensure his initial emergence and eventual return for a second term, as governor.”
Usoro who claimed that the governor had short-changed Eket people said it was due to their advocacy that made him direct the contractors to return to sites across the State.
Meanwhile Chief Nduese Essien, an elder in Eket said he has completed 16 out of 19 internal roads in Eket awarded to his company, Kefam Nigeria Ltd, noting that works are still ongoing on the remaining three.
It was gathered that roads completed so far include: Stadium Access road, Larkin-Smith, Clinic Road, Stadium Road, Udo Umoh, Edem Udo Extension, Nssien Street, Akpaisang Street, Afaha Ukwa Obokidim-Iko Ekwa Road, and others