Published on 23 August,2020
The protesters under the auspices of the “Niger Delta Activists Forum”, in their numbers, with banners, blocked the only entry point into Calàbar, the state capital, preventing vehicles from moving in and out of the Odukpani Junction axis of the highway.
Leaders of the protesters, Success Jack and Paul Ajie said the protest will not stop until the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, ensures the reconstruction of the highway to prevent fatalities due to vehicular accidents.
A frequent user of the highway, Bassey Anso, described the situation as worrisome and expressed his displeasure with all the political leaders at various levels over the poor condition of the highway.
The group said the protest is its way of expressing displeasure on the state of the mother road linking the two states and has vowed to keep on protesting till they are heard.
In a statement issued in Calabar, Cross River State capital, Comrade Chris Edadi, Director of mobilization NDAF, Cross River asked the Governor to demand a repair of the road from the federal government to appease his people.
“If the Governor really loves Cross Riverians, now is the time to show it. Let him lend a voice to the struggle. We don’t want a super high way, just fix the Calabar-Odukpani-Itu Road.
These roads must be fixed permanently, we don’t want palliative”.
The group called for the support of residents of the two states in tasking the government to do the needful.“Please passionately join us by supporting this peaceful protest for the construction of Odukpani-Itu Road as we selflessly and collectively appeal to the federal government for quicker intervention to alleviate the plights and suffering of our region.
Come one, Come all for the betterment of our society” they begged.
Also speaking, a member representing Bakassi State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon Ekpo Ekpo Bassey said “I sincerely commend the efforts of our youths especially the Niger Delta Activist Forum for all their activities aimed at prevailing on the Federal government or their Agencies to immediately fix or commence reconstruction work at Calabar Itu highway.
“This action is truly in a positive direction and is a push for an action to be done. I believe that their efforts will not be in vain. Recently, all criminalities have been attributed to the youths, from cultism, armed robbery, kidnappings, banditry, cannibalism, drug abuse, rape, serial killings, murders etc.“One would begin to wonder the kind society we would have when these categories of youths take over leadership positions in this country.
“It gives me a little hope that still amongst the youths, we have those who believe in building and not destroying, who believe in developing and improving infrastructures to enhance economic growth and development.