Rev Richard Peters
The people of Uyo Local Government are ecstatic and in high spirit as the Maintain Peace train arrives the Local Government today.
Their joy which is buttressed by the fact that the progenitor of the MPM Train, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has amassed enough goodwill through the inauguration of life-touching projects with far-reaching impacts on people of the area.
The Governor, who has so tended for Uyo, has treated the Local Government like the Apple of his eye, by virtue of being the State Capital; and has as well made it a cynosure of all eyes by making her the centre of attraction for all and sundry.
His conscious commitment to making the Local Government a pride of the State is seen in the reconstitution of the Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency (AKSEPWMA) Board which has ensured the sanitation and physical upkeep of Uyo specifically, and other areas of the State.
Unlike other Local Government Areas, Uyo has been made a model city with neatly ironed roads network, linking communities and aiding transportation.
More than 200 main and connecting roads have had a feel of the Governor’s Midas touch, including the 6.1km Atan offot road, 2.1km road around the State Secretariat Annex and Believers Academy at Mbiabong, 1.5km road at Nsikak Eduok- Tropicana outfall drain, 20.0km Uyo-Etinan road, as well as remedial repairs of damaged roads in the capital, through the road and other Infrastructure maintenance agency, AKROIMA.
Some of these constructions which are ongoing are already reducing the distances between people, markets, services and knowledge, one of which is the 25.0km Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road.
Strategically located in the heart of Uyo and Ikot Ekpene, the road has its linking ability with the host communities of Uyo, Ibiono Ibom, Ikono, Abak, Essien Udim and Ikot Ekpene as well as neighbouring Abia state, Rivers and Cross River states.
So far, the road has/is enhancing intertrade and inter-social activities among the three states and as well boosting the physical aesthetics of the state.
Another cardinal project initiated by Governor Emmanuel in Uyo is the Ikot Oku Ikono flyover. It would be recalled that the Ikot Oku Ikono junction was significant for causing accidents in times past due to its narrowness and steep nature. But today, the former junction is wearing a new look of modernism, style and convenience.
The former challenges of incessant accidents hitherto experienced by commuters as well as the logjam of traffic resulting from the road congestion have all been absorbed. As such, there are free vehicular movements of goods and humans to and fro Abak, Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin, Port Harcourt, Etinan, Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubium, Eket, Onna, Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Odukpani and Calabar.
There is also the ongoing construction of 9.5km ring road phase II linking Aka, Oron and Nwaniba roads, by University of Uyo permanent campus.
Notably, this particular project will dissolve the girdlock often experienced along Oron Road as alternative routes will be provided to diversify traffic through Edet Akpan Avenue to get to Abak road, IBB way, Atiku Abubakar way and Idoro road, without having to get stuck in the Oron Road traffic.
Similarly, farmers and fishermen from Idu Uruan, Ifiayong and other coastal areas will be able to quickly access the Akpan Andem, Ishiet, Ifa, Nung Udoe and Afaha Markets without fear of delay at the Oron Road jam, and this is enhanced by the nearly completed Anua-Mbak – Ishiet Road.
Other roads in the metropolis, of very significant values are the Information Drive, the roads off Wellington Bassey Way and Udoh street that link the Uyo village, the new network of roads in Ewet Housing Estate, Osong Ama, Mechanic Village, Shelter Afrique and off Udotung Uboh street. Time wouldn’t afford any reasonable writer the privilege of listing all these projects one after the other.
More than ever, Governor Emmanuel’s 21-storey smart building erected conspicuously in the heart of town for the major multinational companies and agencies has been completed. The building which has added aesthetics to the landscape of the state capital, contains all necessary facilities and equipment of an intelligent building.
The tower has an access control with components like card reader, biometric control keypads, central stand-alone server workstation, electric lock hardware cabling for doors, boom barrier for cars, automated cards, automated turnstiles, fire protected doors and time attendance reader.
Before now, the only industries the people of Uyo could boast of were hotels, fuel stations and supermarkets which were even not owned majorly by indigenes. But even the blind today can see the myriad of SMEs and LSEs which have sprang up within the span of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s leadership in the state.
For these and more, the people of Uyo are ready to sail with the Governor in his peace-keeping mission even beyond the lifespan of his administration in 2023.