Okon Bassey in Uyo
The people of oil-rich Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom State at the weekend frowned upon their continuous neglect by the Federal and State Governments as well as the firm exploiting oil in the area.
Rising from the national congress of the Ekid People’s Union (EPU) on Saturday, the community warned that governments and ExxonMobil drilling oil in the territory should not take their silence over the years of neglect and underdevelopment for granted.
Calling on the federal and state governments as well as ExxonMobil to urgently intervene and come out with a road map for the development the area, the union said: “We have been persistent in pressurising all the three tiers of government to grant Eket land the modern aesthetic facelift which it deserves, yet nothing has come of it”.
The re-elected Nation President of the EPU, Prof. Asindi Asindi, who read the positon of the people, charged Ekid people to always speak with one voice.
He pleaded with the Governor, Eket Local Council Chairman and Eket representatives in the State and National Assemblies to seriously and committedly take up the issue of political neglect of the areas.
Said Asindi: “Eket sits on a land from which more than 60 percent of Nigeria’s oil wealth is derived. Why should our entire region be so dilapidated and wretched-looking while other cities far from and around us are undergoing visible rapid development in spite of the recession?
“It is rather depressing that a good number of projects planned for Eket have not yet taken off and those that were initiated have either been stalled or abandoned. Is it not palpably painful that Eket which is the goose that lays golden eggs has persistently remained moribund and rural?
“infrastructural decay in Eket is clearly visible. Nearly all roads are riddled with potholes; flooding is posing threats to our residential areas and farm lands. Qua River Hotel, Akwa Palm and Qua Steel industries have been allowed to die in a piece meal fashion. Eket has had no functional street lights- we are in total darkness at night. Eket is one place in Nigeria where environmental sanitation has long been neglected”.