he people of Ndueotong Oku, a remote community sandwiched between Uyo and Uruan Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State, at the weekend lauded the Federal Government for intervening in a gully erosion problem that has hitherto ate up a significant portion of their land.
The Federal Government had in 2018, flagged off the erosion control project pegged at N1.69 billion. It was completed in 2019.
Speaking during the inauguration of the project, Chairman of Ndueotong Oku village council, Obong Aniefiok Samuel, acknowledged that the steep gully had cut off his community from its neighbours in Ibiaku Uruan, Uruan Local Government Area and was on the verge of sinking the famous EKASUS Secondary and Technical College, before the Federal Government intervention.
“The gully erosion made it impossible for the people of Ibiaku Uruan to assess their community through this road,” he stated.
Obong Samuel appreciated the effort of the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, for facilitating the award of the contract, adding that he, on behalf of the community, had promised the presidential aide of unalloyed cooperation.
“I promised that we are going to give a peaceful environment for this job to be actualised,” he recalled.
He disclosed that the community had sent a letter of appreciation to President Buhari.
In his response, Senator Ita Enang lauded the community for cooperating with the contractors to make the project a reality.
Giving background information of the project, Enang divulged that having been frustrated in his attempts to ply the route; he started working on how to rectify the problem.
He said: “When I went back (to Abuja), I discussed it with His Excellency, President Buhari, and he agreed that I should write. I now wrote, took it to him and he wrote on it to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who oversees the Ecological Fund Office, and he minuted on it to the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, who ordered that it be scoped for the purpose of it being awarded.”
Enang called on Akwa Ibom people to expect more federal projects from in the area.
Speaking before commissioning the project, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, described the project as a convincing sign that the Federal Government was committed to the progress of Akwa Ibom State.
“I have no doubt in my mind that this Federal Government intervention will bring a huge relief to this community, which have for a long time been stressed by this ecological challenge,” Akpabio added.
The minister counselled Akwa Ibom people to continue offering support to the Federal Government even as it delivered its electioneering promises.
A goodwill message from EKASUS Secondary and Technical College, Ndueotong Oku, Uyo, was presented at the occasion.
The event witnessed cultural display by the children and women of the benefitting communities.