Andy Esiet, Calabar
Cross River state government will soon commence the construction of a 39 km road in the state to boast economic activities with Benue state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche at weekend stated that at an on-the-spot assessment of the 39km C’River-Benue border road project abandoned about two decades, the state governor, Senator Bassey Otu promised its completion to boost economic activities and ease vehicular movement.
In a meeting with the Clan Head of Wanokom, Chief Denis Ugede and other chiefs in his palace, Senator Otu said
“today I decided to drive through all the wards in Ukelle particularly this Northern flank that borders Benue State to appraise the state of the road here with the view to bringing back the economic life of this area.
“This particular road has been a problem to my people and the project is one that is very dear to heart. So, I decided to come personally for an on-the-spot assessment of its current state to enable us commence construction work as soon as the dry season sets in.
“My aim is to create access road here to bring the ever bubbling socio-economic activities in these border communities to better the lot of our people”.
He said, “already, there are some work going here and we will find out the level they have gone for possible collaboration with relevant Federal Government agencies handling the work so as to ensure speedy completion of this all important road project.
“I have been informed that successive administrations have carried out same inspections and never fulfilled the promises made, but be rest assured that this will be the final inspection by state government officials and we are definitely going to complete the construction of this road project”.
Gov Otu amid cheers from the crowd during inspections of the 39km Northern Ukelle- Benue State road
Otu commended the traditional institution for the support accorded his predecessor, Prof. Ben Ayade, and extended his gratitude to the support his administration has started receiving from them.
“Let me give you my assurance that we will do all within our ability to raise the standard of living of the people of Ukelle,” the governor assured.
On his part, the Clan Head of Wanokom, was full of praises for the governor, asserting that, “the Ukelle Nation will now sleep well having gotten such a heartwarming assurance from the government to complete their road after several years of being exposed to untold hardship due to lack of access road to evacuate their farm produce.”
Ugede who decried the level of food wastage farmers have recorded over the years, said, “We are happy that today, God is going to use you to liberate the Ukelle Nation from this prolong suffering and I am happy that this will take place during our life time.”
He reminded the governor on the need to review upward the monthly stipends of traditional rulers as promised during his campaign visit, maintaining that, the review will boost their morale in carrying out their traditional roles in the communities.
Former member of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Ogana Lukpata, who spoke on behalf of other stakeholders, disclosed that the people were shocked to see the governor carry out an on-the-spot assessment of roads in the area after over two decades.
He said, “we are extremely delighted to have His Excellency undergo an inspection of the abandoned road with the view to fixing it and to us, he has already started his 2027 campaign in Ukelle and we will be glad to support him.
“This road has become a big set back to us because our people are very industrious but limited by access road to evacuate their produce. I can attest that now that you have come, seen the road and resolved to see to its completion, economic activities on this road will be humongous and will transform the lives of our citizenry”.