By Emmanuel Ufot
It was not only a memorable day on Friday, July 16, 2021 for the people of Ikot Oku Ikono and the adjoining communities but a big relief as the 1kilometre flyover built by the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel was finally commissioned.
Their relief emanated from the fact that for the two years the project went on, it had not only disrupted free movement in the area, but had worsened the interior roads of the communities following the diversion of motorist through the communities. While commissioning the project, former President Olusegun Obasanjo who doubled as the special guest and performed the commissioning, applauded Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State for not letting him down and not disappointing the people of Akwa Ibom state. He stressed that being one of those who campaigned for Governor Emmanuel’s re-election in 2019, he was proud that he has brought to bear his professional background as manager of economy to attract development to the state, even in a period of scarce resources. Instructively, the former President who is known to be very economical in singing praises of public office holders tagged Governor Emmanuel a performing governor
. “My performing Governor, my active Governor. I have been here on a number of occasions. When you were asking the people to give you a second term, you told me what you have done and what you had in mind to do. I am very happy that you have not let me down and you have not disappointed the good people of Akwa Ibom state. What you have here is worth celebrating anywhere in the world. This road (Former Abak Road) named after me now has a flyover”. He cautioned Governor Emmanuel to ensure a suitable successor as no success could be firmly established without a successor. Governor Emmanuel in his remark declared the occasion a celebration of God’s wisdom, creativity, idea and what God could use human mind to achieve in a period of economic recession and Covid-19. He was full of praise for the host communities and other arms of government for their support and livened the spirit of the people of the bypass communities that the entire designs of all the road diversions will be completed for construction of their roads by ending of August. Not only that, Governor Emmanuel also promised the communities three new transformers on or before end of August also but warned against vandalization of the transformers and any other government projects in their area. Giving an overview of the project, the State Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof Eno Ibanga expressed satisfaction that the contract which was awarded on July 15, 2019 to be delivered in two years was commissioned on July 16, 2021 exactly two years despite the Covid-19 interruption. Ibanga stated that the 1 kilometre flyover has a 15 metre dual carriage way, 2.4 kilometre sleek lane, 1.5 metre walk way and a 2.2 kilometre drain to take water to the outfall drain. “This project was initiated two years ago, and if you remove the COVID-19 year you will see that this work has been done within just a year. “What we are doing is to commission the flyover to allow for free flow of traffic. We are giving Akwa Ibom people a quality flyover ” Ibanga assured
Speaking on behalf of the construction company, the Regional Manager of Julius Berger, Mr Juergen Fischer, who said the flyover was the longest in Uyo, applauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for delivering on what he promised.He said the management of the company was grateful for the confidence reposted in them and commended the people of the state for their patience and cooperation during the period of the construction. Speaking on behalf of the host community earlier, Chief Imo Udom, Chairman village council who expressed joy at the completion of the flyover project which he maintained will curb the regular accidents and attendant loss of lives and man-hour often caused by traffic logjam previously associated with the area, will come to an end, reiterated the communities appealed to Governor Udom Emmanuel to assist in repairing the community roads where heavy traffic was diverted to, and other facilities of the community destroyed during such influx. Others that also bared their mind in the well-attended occasion included the Chairman of Uyo Local Government Uwemedimo Udoh, and member Representing Uyo Federal Constituency. Awarded in 2019 to Julius Berger, the flyover which is at the major gateway into the state was designed to eliminate traffic and accidents hitherto recorded within the area. Prior to the commissioning of the flyover which is one of the signature project of Governor Emmanuel, the first by him and the fifth in the state, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy Ini Ememobong had carried out an intensive sensitization of the public on the intending commissioning while reiterating government commitment to rebuild the community roads devastated by the diversion of traffic while the project lasted. It could be recalled that two days before the commissioning, roads leading to the project site were cordoned off to allow the contractors put final touches and prepare the flyover for eventual commissioning. In few weeks ahead, the Governor is expected to commissioned more projects which include the Uyo- Ikot Ekpene Road.