Forgotten by Govt & its budget stolen, how Cross River community is fixing its roads
The Afafanyi community in Bahumono clan, Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State, kick-started the construction of its major roads through communal efforts — following years of neglect by the government.
Even budgets made already three times in the last five years have been stolen. The community said they can testify to the budgets approved by the state government under the current administration of Ben Ayade running into several millions.
Yet, the money has never been used by the government even though the governor had promised again during the 2019 electioneering to fix some of the roads once and for all.
Not waiting for another ordeal as the raining season approaches, they have decided to take reconstruction and repairs of the roads in their own hands.
The community which comprises of three villages as Akpoza, Etetom and Ezomezom villages collectively embarked on the exercise as part of their efforts to support themselves in achieving minimal self-development to the best of their abilities.
The construction exercise took place along the Afafanyi – Abeugo major road which was paved and cleared for construction during the Liyel Imoke administration, but was left to the mercies of erosion.
Residents were seen pouring heavy concrete mixtures on the marked road which already contained heavy local stones and woods bought for the job when this reporter arrived the scene.
Speaking with the reporter, youth presidents from the three communities expressed sadness over the treatment the community has gotten from the state government ever since it existed, adding that aside the electric power supply and installation of the only transformer powering the three communities by the then Governor Liyel Imoke, nothing has again been done for the society since its existence.
“We are forgotten. We have been left to wallow in abject poverty. Our youths are okada riders and farmers even when we have graduates of colleges of Education, polytechnics and Universities from within us.
“Aside from the recent help by the United Nations Development program to renovate one of our primary schools blocks and the age long paving of this road and the installation of the inactive transformer, the government has done nothing for us. Even the electricity was last seen 5 years ago,” the Akpoza youth president, Odogwu Inah said, representing the other two Youth presidents who said they were too angry to speak.
Also speaking, Ekpe Uwa, community spokesman, said that community is trying its best to survive Nigeria as she seems to not be part of the state or country.
“It is only during elections that our people are remembered. Promises on the peak, these officials come here and go without fulfilling a single thing. And the worse is this one who ruling now. He is worse.
“People come to tell us three times the state assembly has approved budgets for the road, three times it has been embezzled. That’s the governor we have today is cross river state.
“I am not surprised that we recorded clashes during last elections and campaigns” he said.
“So, since they have forgotten us, we are doing our best to develop our community in the ways we can.
“But most importantly, we need jobs. At least, our youths should be supported so they can support us as the money for this project was gotten from the annual launching programs we use for such projects.
“We’ve been able to build general toilets, bridges and most importantly, constructed more cement roads as you can see when you go round the village for over 20 years. We won’t get tired until they government sees what we are doing and helps us out,” he said.
Other residents of the community expressed delight in the ability of the three communities to come together as one and embark on such generational exercise.
They, however, also called on the state government to remember they exist and help them especially in the area of human resources and not wait till election time to remember the communities.
Additional reports from Crispng