Group protests abandonment of roads in A’Ibom

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The International President of the group, Mr. Etim Ante, who spoke with newsmen in Oron on Monday, said the withdrawal of STEMCO from working on Akana-Obio Oron internal roads, could mean the abandonment of those roads, which STEMCO had begun, by this administration and the succeeding ones.

Ante explained that not less than 12 of such roads in Akana-Obio had been abandoned after the construction firms had signed contracts for the construction of the roads with the statement government.

He stated that the grievance of Oron youths is not that the company does not have the right to withdraw when government does not fulfil its own obligation, but that STEMCO is the only credible construction firm in the area.

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He said, “We don’t understand why STEMCO is withdrawing from working on Akana-Obio Oron internal roads.

“We just woke up to see them moving their equipment away from Akana-Obio and when we tried to ask them what happened, they refused to utter a word.

“Our grievances are not that STEMCO does not have the right to leave when conditions are no longer favourable to them, our annoyance is that this is the only credible construction company we see in Akana-Obio.

“We had similar experience in which not less than 12 internal roads in Akana-Obio were abandoned by  construction firms. We don’t know whether government had reneged in their agreement with the companies or not.”

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Ante appealed to Akwa Ibom State government not to allow the company to abandon roads in Akana-Obio. He noted that it was at the instance of the governor that the company was asked to move base from Ikot Ekpene to Oron.

The youth leader lamented the absolute deplorable road condition in the area, saying as rainy season had set in, movement of goods and persons would be restricted as different segments of the roads would have been severed by torrents.

Efforts to reach the state’s Commissioner  for Works, Mr. Don Etim, proved abortive as calls and text messages  to his telephone indicated that it had been switched off.

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