By Abasiofiok Inyang
Residents of of Abak Urban in Abak Local Government Area and Ndot community and environment in Oruk Anam Local Government on Saturday, September 25, 2021, witnessed a devastating and destructive flood that wrecked havoc, destroying properties worth millions of naira.
Residents of affected communities who spoke with our reporter in tears while battling to rescue some household items, expressed dissatisfaction on the path of government for consistently keeping them in agony whenever rainy season alights.
One of the victims in Obio Ndot community, Mr Enobong Tom, said that the government is seamlessly delighted each time flood visits and throw him and his neighbours into untold hardship due to poor planning occasioned by the construction of Ikot Okoro road.
According to him, “The incessant flood in the area whenever there is a heavy rain is a result of government action during the construction of the Ikot Okoro which did not make serious provision for drainage. Even the one that were provided, they were channeled to the community”. He added that, “So far, some residents are made to flee their homes for safety while some are stuck in dilemma whether to stay as our fate hang in a balance”.
Another victim and resident of Ikot Okoro road, Abak who gave his name as Umoh Eno, said that “looking at the magnitude of damage done to these law-abiding citizens as businesses are shut down, leaving myriad of bread seekers in the vicinity hopeless, penniless and depressed”.
He described non chalant attitude of government towards the plight of residents as “unfortunate” , despite collecting taxes and revenues “without allowing these residents access to enjoy benefits such taxes”.
“How could a reasonable government false-feed the public that this flood vested area is preoccupying its leniency on Land Use Act whereas that same government after giving approval to citizens to explore their rights on new land development through the Ministry of Lands and Town Planning went behind to defraud the same citizens by wrongly siting an Housing Estate along Nto Eshiet by Port Harcourt Street in Abak, a development that has become a blockade to the existing water way and also upheld the nescience by awarding a second-hand contract to Setraco Construction Company who ended up worsening the Abak-Ikot Okoro Road with a road construction that terminated the extant water way in the area”, another resident who gave his name simply as Iniobong queried.
Meanwhile, Assembly of Residents of The Flood-Prone Vicinity in Abak is contemplating sueing Akwa Ibom State Government for Citizenship Rights infringement, saying that for more than a decade now despite been law-abiding as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria demands. They also threatened to take Akwa Ibom State Government to Court to determine the extent of damage done to its members and demand compensation accordingly.
They have also frowned at what they described as ineffective representation of Abak Leaders in government ranging from The Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo; Member representing Abak, Etim Ekpo, Ika in the House of Representatives, Mr Aniekan Umanah; Member representing Abak in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Udeme Otong and several others.