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47 years after Civil War:Govt begins construction of link roads to isolated A’Ibom communities

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By Emmanuel Ikora

IKOT UKANA — IKOT Ukana and other communities in Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State erupted in joy as Governor Udom Emmanuel commenced the construction of link roads. The communities have been isolated since Federal soldiers blew up the only bridge linking their villages with neighbouring Abia State during the Nigeria/Biafra war, which ended 47 years ago.

Collapsed bridge at Abiakpo Ikot Abasieduo.

Bridge blown up by 3rd Marine Commando: The major bridge linking Obot Akara in Akwa Ibom State with Umuahia in Abia State was blown up by the then Third Marine Commando of the Nigerian Army led by the then commander and leader of the Nigerian troops, former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

The pains of the communities under the control of defunct Biafra started when the 3rd Marine Commando captured the area after blowing away the only bridge linking the communities with the rest of the country. Niger Delta Voice gathered that the bridge was blown up to prevent the advancing Biafra from accessing the communities.

The communities complained of outright neglect by successive military and civilian administrations even though they pay taxes and partake in all states and national elections.

Still haunted by war

A community leader, simply identified as Ettedung, lamented that “we are not treated like Nigerians. After the war, we are supposed to be treated as one Nigeria, but here, we are still haunted by the war that ended over 40 years ago.

“The federal military government, headed by General Yakubu Gowon (retd.) had assured massive reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation, necessitating in the establishment of NYSC, but our community is left without any form of consideration.”

The Akpan Otoro of the community and former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom, Obong Chris Ekpenyong, also bemoaned that the people have remained without link roads and any form of development for years.

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