Asuquo Cletus Felix
All is not well with many communities in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State. Most of the communities are still living in a stone age, not exposed to anything good.
Citizens in some of the communities are in the dark, real darkness. They lack anything that looks like social amenities. They are in a sorry living condition. Communities like Usumutong, Ebom, Ebijakara, Afafanyi, among others, have experienced the worst of living conditions.
A visit to Afafanyi shows that the Cross River State government still has so much to do for its people. Afafanyi is surrounded by a river, which links the state capital Calabar with Itu, some communities in Abia State, Obubra et cetera. The people here are predominantly farmers, and fishermen. The community is blessed with an array of resources such as oil palm, sea-sand, cassava.
Getting to Afafanyi is difficult. The roads are irritating and with with gullies, causing untold hardship to motorists and commuters. You dare not try to access this community during the rainy season. And, even if you want to risk it during the dry season, you have got to be ready for the dust. It can be so bad that you will not be able to see the vehicle in front of you, when you are trying to navigate through the thick bushes in a hurry.
According to inhabitants of the area, the community has been unable to access good roads for transportation and other domestic use.
Mrs Nancy Bassey David, a native of the community, lamented the frustration members of the community face in accessing good roads. She said the sorry state of the roads, the value of their goods keeps depreciating leading to incurable losses.
She said: “The road no dey accessible. We don’t have anything to do here because we don’t have a road. Even if we get things to sell like garri which we produce by ourselves, we don’t have people that will come here because there is no road. Even if we struggle to buy those things we have oil we produce oil we will not have customers Because there is no road our oil will be down. If others sell like twenty thousand we sell at fifteen thousand because there is no customer, no motor, no road to transport anybody.
“We struggle by ourselves. Sometimes we carry our palm oil from the river here down to Ebiba to sell it, which is very bad for us. The life we live here is very bad. We cannot compare it to others we live here just like that we use our own hands to work and we do it by ourselves.
Even the small small roads that you see in this village, it is from the contributions we make through launching. We get people in the state government but they don’t do anything for us, they don’t give us attention, they don’t care.
“Sometimes during rainy season, we will pass through the river that time the river is big if you have accident n body will help you.”
The people of the Afafanyi community have overtime sought government’s intervention and support with no hope of change in sight. They claim that the government has not sent any representatives to examine the state of the road. They call on the government to live up to its constitutional responsibilities of providing adequate roads and improving the livelihood of its people.
Also reacting to the situation, a fisherman, Mr Osim Samuel Osim condemned the level of government’s negligence. He noted that with the level of resources in the community, survival without adequate electricity and roads would be difficult. He called on the government to rescue the community from its suffering.