RICHARD NDOMA, CALABAR
A Cross River community, Mpot village in Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State, has called on the Federal Government to assist it in a road project that will link it with adjoining communities in the area.
Blaming the government of Cross River State for failing to construct access road that can connect it with adjoining communities in the area, and that the community has neither access to portable drinking water, electricity nor any medical health care delivery facility in the area, as well.
Chairman for the project committee for the road project, Dr. Lawrence Oba Mgbanson made these disclosures while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the community- organized, second phase of the launching program of a N300 million development fund held in the community during the week.
Dr. Mgbanson also accused the federal and state government of marginalizing the community when it comes to distribution of the basic amenities, even though the residents of the community had never failed in their responsibility of paying taxes to the coffers of governments.
The committee chairman also decried the alleged marginalization, stressing that he and his kinsmen had been disappointed, with the way in which the community had been badly treated and neglected by federal and state government.
His words; “How could our people be neglected like this by a government whom we trusted so much. Is it that we don’t pay taxes or what?.
” As a people, we have never failed in our responsibilities of paying taxes to the governments. This is outright cheating and gross marginalization by both governments”.
Lawrence, who was a former diplomat, and staff of the United Nations Commission for Refugee, stressed that even when the community surrendered the vast expanse of their rainforest to the federal government to run its National park, but nothing had been done on its part(FG)’sto bring succor to the people.
Mgbansom maintained that despite the fact that Mpot community is endowed with so many tourist attractions like the Iyang water fall, Obong hill, unusually tall Iroko trees, black wood and many rare Fiona and flora found in the vicinity, the community still suffers neglect.
”We are shocked that a community like Mpot still don’t have access to good and portable drinking water, good medical health care delivery facilities and motor-able bridges to link the community with others in the state.
”It is appalling to learn that the country still have a community like ours, where people die on a daily basis especially, when they fall sick of ailments which could have been treated by primary health care givers, should there have been health care facilities in the area”.
Residents of the community, who also spoke at the occasion, lamented that in spite of the numerous letters written by the community to previous administrations of Mr. Donald Duke, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gov.Liyel Imoke and the present administration of Prof. Ben Ayade, to seek for help, nothing had come out of their efforts.
The community called on both the federal and state government to do all that was needful, to enable the community complete the road to link it with other local government areas in the state.
The chairman stated that in 1988,the community made a bold step to construct an access road for its people with meager financial support available and that about three kilometers was then constructed .
He said, ”In 1992, that initiative was thwarted by the authority of the National Park, who wanted to relocate the community to an alternative place .
He said that in 1996, the relocation plan was suspended indefinitely citing lack of funds.