June 23, 2024

Group decries neglect of oil-producing community in A’Ibom

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Group decries neglect of oil-producing community in A'Ibom

A socio-political organisation, Mkpat Enin Unity Network has expressed displeasure over the long neglect of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Mkpat Enin is an oil-producing community in Akwa Ibom State.

This was contained in a statement that the group’s National Co-coordinator jointly signed, Mr Akpabio Ufot-Akpabio; the National Secretary, Mr Ebeute Ebeute; the Chapter Co-coordinator, Mr Joe Akpan; the Director of Public Affairs and Media, and Mr Mbal Udoinyang and made available to newsmen in Uyo on Sunday.

The group in the statement called on President Bola Tinubu and the Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio to intervene in the neglect of Mkpat Enin by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The statement noted with dismay that even though oil was discovered in the community in 1952, Mkpat Enin remains a “shadow of itself” with no infrastructure signature by the NDDC.

The group noted that the Mkpat Enin community had been deliberately neglected and abandoned by successive administrations of the commission, in terms of road and other infrastructural development.

It noted this development is regrettable and painful to all Mkpat Enin indigenes, especially when considering the devasting impact of oil drilling on their farmland and the corrosive effects on homes and loss of aquatic life.

“It is more pathetic and regrettable that Mkpat Enin Local Government Area has never benefited from the Ecological Fund in whatever guise, since the inception of the commission, 24 years ago.

“We are fully aware that the law establishing NDDC as contained in Part 2, 7 (1)b ‘Functions and Powers’ place upon the commission.

“The responsibility to (i) beam its searchlight on its coverage areas to discover the basic social infrastructure/amenities lacking in such places. (ii) To plan and ensure proper execution of such projects to completion and ensure their timely inauguration.

“Whether the management of the NDDC has ever sent its team to Mkpat Enin Local Government Area for need assessment or not, is a question for another day. 

“The fact remains that Mkpat Enin LGA is alien to NDDC road project to date.

“It should be noted that Mkpat Enin LGA has contributed immensely to the social-economic prosperity of Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State in particular over the years.

“Yet, we remain sidelined by the NDDC interventionist agency that was established to intervene and fast-track infrastructure development for the good of the citizenry,” the statement noted.

The group which pleaded with FG’s intervention, mentioned that NDDC should start construction of inter-and-intra-city roads/bridges in Mkpat Enin LGA, and complete the teaching hospital project, which was awarded by the commission but abandoned by the contractor.

They noted that despite the obvious anomalies on the part of the Commission, the community has remained peaceful and supportive of the commission’s programmes and activities but threatened to embark on mass protest if nothing was done about their concerns raised.

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