Social and economic activities were paralyzed in Old Netim Community, Akamkpa Local Government Area, Cross River State, when traditional rulers, youths and women of the area staged a peaceful protest decrying the poor state of the access road into the community.
With placards and protest songs, the entire community turned out en masse and blocked the deplorable access road stopping trucks conveying granite from entering or exiting the area. Some of the placards read, “We want good roads, stop exploiting our natural resources without commensurable development”, “Enough is enough”.
Speaking while the protest lasted, the village Head of Old Netim, Ntufam Augustine Nyong Orok, explained that the protest was a spontaneous reaction by his people, who have become restless after many failed promises by the local, state and Federal Governments to address and fix the only access road to the granite rich community. Hear him; “it is ironical that a community that contributes so much to the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state and federal governments cannot boost of a mere access road. We are law abiding people and long suffering, but the situation is so pathetic that we feel, we must use this public protest to attract the attention of relevant authorities to the state of this road.”
A woman leader in the area, Agnes Itagbon, said economic activities in the area have been at an all time low as farm produce could no longer be conveyed to neighbouring markets by regular commercial vehicles or motor bikes. “Except the heavy trucks used for the lifting of granite which have contributed to worsening the situation. The least we require is a good road in acknowledgement of the exploitation of our natural resources by the government,” she stated bitterly.
When Crushed Rocks Industry, one of the companies operating in the area was contacted to comment on the situation, especially the community’s position that the companies have neglected Corporate Social Responsibility in their operations, a spokesman, Lawrence Oyu, explained that the companies have paid all levies to relevant government agencies which should have facilitated road maintenance in the area. According to him, even the companies are suffering a lot of losses as a result of the bad road.
Administrative Manager of Prodeco Ltd, another granite Ccmpany, Eton Ekanem, corroborated Oyu’s position and called for immediate repair of the road for the benefit all. According to him, a good access road would lead to an increase in economic activities and revenue generation to government.
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