Youths in Ikom community, Cross River State have resolved not to allow any election to take place in their community in 2023, since according to them, no political office-holder means well for them.
The people said that after 55 years when former Nigeria Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, passed through the Nta-Nsele-Edor road in Ikom to access Ogoja, the road has remained in a terribly deplorable state.
They said that despite the fact that Cross River State is among the oil producing states in the Niger Delta region, it still suffers gross road infrastructure deficits across the 18 local government areas.
Explaining the situation of roads in his community to the Nigerian Tribune, a traditional leader, Chief Livinus Mfono Nto, the village head of Ngoh Etingta in Nta-West Autonomous community said: “The road links our community from Edor to Obubra. That was the road that is supposed to lead to Ogoja. The Ikom-Ogoja road was originally supposed to follow here, but because we don’t have people in government to speak for us, that is why we are suffering.
“This road existed before the Nigeria-Biara Civil War. When General Yakubu Gowon came to Ogoja in 1967-1968, he passed through this road. The Ikom-Ogoja road had been abandoned for over 50 years. Sometime when Senator Liyel imoke was in government, the road was awarded from Edor to Ofun (the Ikom Riverside), then the contract was awarded 15 kilometers, but only three kilometres were constructed out of 15.”
“They constructed some small bridges on the road and the work was abandoned. Since that time we have been going on bad road manually to do some patches on the road. Now, if you want to access to our community, you will find it difficult to come in. Government has not been paying attention to our plights. They only took photographs and showed it to the world that the road had been constructed.”
When contacted, the youths leader, Comrade Kingsley Mfah Nsing, said: “We as community youths have resolved that as regards the forthcoming elections nobody will come out to vote. The political office holders have marginalised us. We have agreed that if we cannot find anyone who means well for our community, we won’t vote during elections. Elections will not be conducted in our community because we have been marginalised. How can a community survive without basic infrastructure like road? They had been telling us lies and deceiving us. We are tired of the lies.”