Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
People of Eniong Abatim Community in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River state have lamented the lack of development and unemployment affecting the community. They said the time has come for the youths of the community to change the narrative by venturing into entrepreneurial and developmental concerns.
They made the call during an appreciation dinner and interactive session convened by the Director General of Greater Calabar Capital City Development Authority, Comrade Kingsley Ikpeme.
Addressing the good people of Eniong Abatim, Ikpeme said the community have long been neglected by previous administrations in the state and due to the long neglect of the Eniong Creek and lack of government presence, this has caused mass urban migration. He said if things continue with the present situation then, Eniong would be a shadow of itself.
“There should be a deliberate and conscious effort to build the capacity of the youths to enable them compete favourably with their counterparts for the youths are prime movers of events in any society, whether positively or negatively they could become agents of destruction when neglected”.
Ikpeme futher lamented that the youths of the community have not been gainfully engaged inspite of the high profile personalities in positions of authority from the community across the country. He commend some of the Elders of Eniong extraction who are showing positive disposition to youth development. He however charged the younger generation who are well placed to contribute in building the capacity of the youth and the Eniong Abatim of our dream.
He said: “This is an interactive session, I have called you for us to discuss together as a people on the problems of Eniong Abatim community with a view to solving them. We have problems which ranges from insecurity, poverty, under development, lack of capacity development to mention but a few. The elders of Eniong Abatim community have done their bid; the joy of every good father is the presence of a worthy successor, so we the younger generation needs to complement their efforts in developing Eniong Abatim community”.
He then inaugurated a 4 man committee to come up with names of indigent students across the various villages whom he promised to offer scholarships from primary to the secondary levels to complement the efforts of Governor Ben Ayade in developing education in the state and promised to partner with the Offiong lkpeme’s foundation in training and retraining the youth on entrepreneurship. He added that in so doing, others will be encouraged to do more.
He challenged every member of the community to do the needful, lest more crisis will erupt in the community. He called for communal living and unity which is the only way to attract development to the community.
Ikpeme who doubles as the chairman of Odukpani Leadership Academy called on the government to come to the rescue of Ntan-Obu Ukpe, Ikot Offiong Ebiti and Uyi Ikot Etcheri villages in the community who have been sacked from their homes by Ikpanyang village in Ibiono Local Government Area of Akwa state during a communal clash sometime ago by providing them with building materials to enable them build their houses that were destroyed and resettle in their ancestral homes.
He decried that past government neglected these villages. He said if they don’t rise to their feet that more villages are likely to be sacked in the Eniong Creek. He therefore called on the government and elders to build the capacity of the youths of the community.
He also used the medium to encourage the youths to sustain the prevalence of peace and hospitality they are known for despite the challenges facing them. He said peace is priceless and terror is senseless.
Present at the meeting were Ben Nkebem councillor representing Eniong Ward and Chairman Finance and Appropriation of the Odukpani Legislature, Mr. Patrick Nyong: Special Adviser to the paramont Ruler of the Odukpani LGA, Prince Clement Asanye: CRS Leader Buhari Youth Organization, Members of Eniong Women Association, Youth, Religious Leaders, Press, Etc.