Governor Udom Emmanuel has sought Federal Government’s speedy intervention to arrest a landslide threatening to severe Calabar-Itu Highway at Enen Atai Itam Village in Itu Local Government Area.
The highway constructed by the erstwhile military administration in the 70s is almost severed by the landslide threatening the road on both sides.
Emmanuel, who was conducted round the scene of the landslide by the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Work, Dr. Ifreke Ekpa lamented the threat posed by the menace to human and economic life between Akwa Ibom and Cross River States as vehicles ferrying goods and services daily ply the road.
The governor, who was accompanied by the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, Secretary to the State Government, Sir Etekamba Umoren and some permanent secretaries however advocated the need for the Federal Government to extend a hand of fellowship by entering into Public-Private Partnership (PPP) modality to construct and maintain the road serving as economic nerve centre of the area of the South-South Region.
“This is the busiest road in this part of the region witnessing huge commercial activities. This is a federal road. Where the resources of Akwa Ibom Government could not afford the construction of the road, Federal Government has to do something urgently to aid us. The ecological funds are not coming”, Emmanuel stated.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Dr. Ekpa who said the ministry has embarked on speedy remedial work on the road hinted that the landslide was 25 metres from the median road surface.
The Chief Technical Officer, Federal Ministry of Works, Uyo, Mr. Christopher Ita said he has sent a proposal on the menace to Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja for immediate action.
Engr. Nkwa Henshaw, a civil engineer with Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) lamented the threat posed by the menace, and noted that the agency has started to intervene on the road to curb the landslide.
Earlier, the Village Head, Professor Effanga James Usua had described the situation as terrible and the governor’s visit to the scene of the incident as a statesmanly approach, commending the governor for his intervention in remedying the situation.