Akwa Ibom: Eket Community Decries Poor And Fraudulent Execution Of Drainage Contract.
By Assam Abia.
The people of Idung Iniang Community comprising Idua, Ofriyo, Adoro-Enen and Afia Nsit in Eket Local Government Area have raised the alarm over a shoddy and fraudulent way a government contractor is handling a drainage contract along Idua Road.
Speaking with newsmen in his office, in Eket on Wednesday, a community leader, who is also a flood victim, Akwaoku Dr. Itauma Edoho Itauma of Ofriyo said the Akwa Ibom State Governor, deacon Udom Emmanuel was doing everything possible to eradicate flooding in Eket by awarding contracts to indigenous companies to that effect but that the contractor handling the drainage system along Idua Road was merely painting an already existing shallow gutter built many years ago by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited instead of doing the proper thing as stipulated by the scope of work.
Akwaoku Itauma lamented that the existing gutter was so shallow that it could not contain the volume of water coming from other streets in the area which has been the major cause of flooding.
“We never had flooding in this area until the construction of some roads around Idung Iniang by some local contractors, the gutters were badly constructed, causing water to flow into people’s houses”, he said.
“A number of school children have been swept away by flood during heavy downpour and we wish to thank governor Udom Emmanuel for awarding contracts for renovation of the shallow gutters but unfortunately look at what the contractor is doing. He is merely painting the existing gutter. We will not accept this kind of fraud”, Akwaoku Itauma said with annoyance.
He said further that the contractor was an economic saboteur who is out to defraud the government and shortchanged the community and should be arrested for fraudulent activity.
When our correspondent visited the construction site around the palace of late paramount ruler of Eket, late Edidem Enodien, workers where seen plastering an existing shallow gutter to make it look newly constructed.
When contacted, a worker on site who gave his name as Monday Akpan said he was working under the direct supervision of the State commissioner for works, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen.
Our investigation reveals that the existing gutter was to undergo renovation for easy flow of water from the environs into a major evacuator in a ravine under construction.
Findings reveal that the contractor whose name is shrouded under top secrecy has instructed the community liaison officer (CLO) of the project, an indigene of Idung Iniang, to keep a sealed lips over the fraud.
Another community leader, Apostle F. O. Abidua condemned in strong terms the fraudulent activity of the contractor and has called on the State Governor to investigate the allegation and sanction the contractor accordingly.
A youth activist and PRO of Afigh Iwaad Ekid, Iwaad Joe Etukudo, himself an indigene of Afia-Nsit has called on the State Governor to ensure that some unpatriotic persons, no matter how highly placed they are, did not muddle up his administrative policies.
The commissioner for works Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen could not be reached for comments as he refused picking calls put across to him and even responding to text messages sent regarding the issue.
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