For indigenes and residents of Ikot Abasi, host community of the Ibom Power Company, the past four years has been the worst times in the past few decades.
This is so because economic and social activities have been shut down following total power outage in the past three years and three months.
It could be recalled that Ikot Abasi, in the 90s was referred to as the industrial hub of the state and the aluminium city, being the host community of both the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) and the Ibom Power Company, which generates the electricity that feeds the state and beyond.
However, a visit to the one time commercial centre presents a skeleton of what was once a lively city. The ALSCON plant is now occupied by lizards and snakes. The facilities have turned into scrap and the Ibom Power is now feeding the other parts of the state, while the host community gropes in the dark.
A staff of the operation and maintenance department of the company who pleaded anonymity hinted our correspondent that the state government is using the company to compensate political associates.
According to him, the board of directors of the company was made up of politicians and none of them had any idea of what a power plant was all about. He stated further that the company was not properly funded to be able to run the turbines and that the facilities were obsolete.
Speaking also, a youth leader from Ikpa Ibekwe, where the plant is located, Mr. Ignatius Udoete, accused the state government of playing politics with development. “The state government is talking about industrialization when there is no sincere effort to provide power supply. We have lived without electricity right from the inception of this present state government. The governor has always promised develop the area, but he has not lived up to expectation. He promised to build the Ikot Abasi jetty, to revive ALSCON, to ensure steady power supply and to create jobs for our youths, but till now, he has not been able to fulfil even one of his 2015 electioneering promises.
The same thing he promised us four years ago is the same thing he has come to promise again. And unfortunately, with the help of our hungry political leaders, he has come back and taken our mandate for another four miserable years. We are not happy with Gov. Udom Emmanuel and especially our so-called political leaders'' he stated.