Ayade’s kinsmen, tired of age-long neglect-no roads, no schools, no amenities- cry out to the governor to help them out of hell, before the end of his tenure.
CHIEMEKA ADINDU, Calabar
Kutiang 1 and 2, Begiaba, and Omale are some of the villages in Obudu, the home local government area of the Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade. It is true that the communities are yet to have or produce reasonable representation in the government, probably not because of their lack of interest but as a result of not having the political power and strategy to be in power but they can boldly scream to the world that their local government has produced a governor in the person of Prof. Ben Ayade.
For ages, the roads between Begiaba, the neighbouring village of Kutiang 1 and between Omale, the neighbouring village of Kutiang 2 have not been constructed by any government. Reports indicate that the last time a road project was awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, which covered Kutiang 1, excluding Kutiang 2 was during the era of the late Paul Adah but there was no single bulldozer seen around the community of Kutiang 1 to the fill potholes let alone pouring gravel on the road.
TNN learnt that the Comprehensive High School, Kutiang which was single handedly built by Kutiang 1 to provide education for their children, is in a very sorry state. The school buildings, access road and tap water, not forgetting that the school has over the years been understaffed.
A concerned son of Kutiang, Richard Ugbe lamented that “there is no secondary school in Kutiang 2 and their children have to trek a distance to attend secondary school in Obanliku Local Government or Boki Local Government. Some of them have been killed by cars loading from Obudu to Boki, Ikom and Calabar, etc.
“Kutiang 1 and 2 is situated in riverine areas and all the bridges are abandoned. The people have to construct wooden bridges and these bridges are dead traps during the rainy season. And it was only in 2005 or so that an NGO constructed a bridge in Kutiang 1. I am approaching 40 and I have not seen the presence of the Government in my village, apart from NEPA that dropped a transformer which took the government over a decade to give us light. They rather came during the era of Lady Cecilia Ally, the then Chairperson of Obudu local government area to remove the transformer and give it to another community but the community has to resist the attempt.
“The road between Begiaba village and Kutiang 1 to be constructed, the road between Omale in Obanliku and Kutiang 2 to be constructed, for some modern buildings to be raised in Kutiang 1 secondary school (Comprehensive High School, Kutiang), a secondary school should be built in Kutiang 2, bridges in the two communities should be constructed and the road linking Kutiang 1 and 2 through Akorshi 1 and 2 and Kakwalaka in Obanliku Local Government should also be constructed”.
Also in his letter and cry to the governor, another concerned son of the community, Atah Moses Unim bemoaned how the communities of Kutiang 1 and 2, whom according to him nature has bestowed the power as kings maker in Obudu has been forgotten and neglected. “We have no road. Our secondary school is in a very sorry state with dilapidated buildings, limited staff and there is not even a borehole around the school premises to provide water for students and staff.
“His Excellency Sir, attached are pictures of Comprehensive High School, Kutiang; the oldest Secondary School in Begiading-Likwu, established in 1994 and later handed over to the government of Cross River State in 1997. The structures you are seeing were singlehandedly built by the communities when the school was still Community Secondary School, Kutiang. However in 1997, the government of Cross River State took over the school and it was named Comprehensive High School, Kutiang. Since then, the situation of the school has not changed. Some of the buildings are still exactly the way they were built 27 years ago without being plastered and there has not been any building to settle the growing students’ population in the school.
“It may interest you to note that the school at the beginning had good and quality teachers like Ochui Moses Orim, Innocent Ogar, Paul Udie, Paul Johnson, Fidelis Abang, Ukeh Ikem and Akeh Akpo (late) etc, some of whom are now lecturers at the Federal College of Education, Obudu and University of Calabar. But today, the school is lacking staff. The school is still lacking a good access road and there is still no support by the government to sustain the community’s effort. His Excellency Sir, you will agree with us that in this 21st Century, the above pictures are a total disgrace to our digital state and educational sector.
“In view of this, with tears in our eyes and sorrows in our hearts, we call on you His Excellency, the governor of Cross River State and all the stakeholders to kindly come to the aid of our beloved communities, so that our innocent children can have better education for the transformation of their lives and the society in general”.