SOS: INDIGENES WORRY OVER DEATH TOLL AT UTU-ETIMEKPO JUNCTION
Indigenes, community dwellers and travellers of Afaha-Obong, Etim Ekpo, Udua Inyang, Iwukem Road, worry over the threat to life which Utu Etim Ekpo roundabout has posed as numerous lives have been claimed at the spot since its construction.
This was the tone of the motion brought to the floor of the hallowed chamber of the Seventh Assembly by Member representing Etim Ekpo/Ika State constituency, Hon. Mfon Idung, today.
In interaction, the Member said, “My major concern is the souls going at the round about. It is a matter of urgent importance. I believe there will be a timely action. On daily basis, people are travelling to Aba and Port Harcourt. Some years ago, the youths went to remove the roundabout and we said no that they should not take laws into their hands. It is a thing of concern to the people of Etim Ekpo/Ika.
“From Udua-Inyang to Abia borders, the road construction was awarded by NDDC to a contractor but the job was abandoned and today the road is inaccessible.
Still on, the motion titled, ‘Continuous deaths from ghastly vehicular accident at Utu Etim Ekpo roundabout,’ brought pursuant to order III (three) Rule I (one) of the standing order of the House stated inter-alia; “I am compelled to bring forward this motion as the last desperate attempt to save the souls of the remaining people of Etim Ekpo and Ika Local Government Areas that I represent in this hallowed chamber and in fact, other persons who, for any reason, have to travel through the Afaha-Obong, Etim Ekpo, Udua Inyang, Iwukem Road.
“My people rolled out drums and celebrated the award of contract for the construction of Afaha-Obong, Etim Ekpo, Udua Inyang, Iwukem road to Setraco Nigeria Limited sometime in 2007 during the early days of the former administration. The people saw the administration as a sweet relief and redemption to the once forgotten, rejected and dejected people who contribute immensely to the economic sustenance of the State through Agriculture.
“The road construction which was soon completed and put to use but instead has caused hardship, untimely deaths of uncountable number of innocent and unsuspecting commuters many of whom are indigenes of the area.
“The roundabout located after Etim Ekpo bridge, after the Local Government Secretariat, is inappropriate, obscure and not easily noticeable to approaching vehicles. This leads to frequent accidents at the roundabout resulting to loss of lives of uncountable number of persons both indigenes and other innocent road users who merely use the road to get to their destination.”
The member however recalled how 36 lives were lost at the roundabout on November 1, 2012.
The prayers of the motion stated that the Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel should order the immediate inspection of the roundabout by the commissioner Ministry for Works and a team of Engineer to ascertain the appropriate design and location of the roundabout and report to the State Executive.
Also, the Governor should direct Setraco to redesign and reconstruct the roundabout under the supervision of the Ministry of Works in line with the international best practice for the construction of roundabout on public highways.
The plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey referred the matter to the Committee on Works and Transport in collaboration with the Ministry of Works for further investigation and report to the House within two weeks.