Eteidung Imo Okon Essien, village head of Ifa Ikot Abia Mkpo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
By Uwana Edighienyong
The village head of Ifa Ikot Obio Mkpo, in Uyo local government area, Eteidung Imo Okon Essien, has appealed to Governor Udom Emmanuel to direct the contractor handling the expansion of Oron road to straighten the sharp bend between Government Primary school, Ifa Atai and small junction in Ifa Ikot Abia Mkpo.
The village head who made the appeal in a chat with journalists after a police van veered off the road at the sharp bend and ramped on to electric poles close to the Ifa small junction, said students and children have faced serious risk crossing the road at the sharp bend.
A police van attached to the Quick Response Squad veered off the road in the early hours of February 9, 2022 while chasing a car suspected to be used for the smuggling of rice, members of the community said.
Our reporter who visited the scene of the incident before the police van was towed away reported that the bonnet, windshield and bucket of the van were damaged as the car collided head-on to electric poles.
A police van involved in an accident at the sharp bend.(Credit : Abasifreke Effiong)
Eye witnesses said a police officer died in the accident while three others sustained different degrees of injury.
Eteidung Essien said to prevent the loss of more lives, threat to property situated along the road, the State government should use the opportunity of the Oron road expansion to straighten the bend.
“The problem here is that since I was born there has been so many cases of accident because of the sharp bend on the road. The bend is a long one stretching from Government Primary school, Ifa Atai to small junction in Ifa Ikot Abia Mkpo. This corner is sharp, a lot of women going to Issiet market and commuters have died in road crashes because of this corner.
“Two weeks ago, a police van somersaulted here. When we ran out and met the victims, they said it was because of the corner. The van was on a high speed, but unfortunately it could not beat the corner, so the van veered off the road, somersaulted and ramped on to electric poles. One of the police officers who was involved in the accident was said to have died in that incident.”
“Cars have been veering off the sharp bend and ramping into shops and buildings by the road.
“The village has been very worried by these incident, so now that the government is expanding this road, i am using this opportunity to appeal to the Government to align the road in such a way that will remove the corner and straighten the road because more people will die in future.”
The village head said the latest accident in involving a police hand had destroyed three electricity poles and high tension electricity installations throwing the community into darkness.
“We no longer have electricity since that incident.”
Eteidung Essien said part of Ifa Ikot Abia Mkpo is also under serious threat of erosion due to erosion channelled into an area in the community called Enang Awong.
“There is a place called Enang Awong, beside The Apostolic Church, where erosion was channelled to. The erosion has affected many houses along the road, I am appealing to government to provide an underground drainage to channel the water properly to the nearby stream.”
The village head lauded the state government and Governor Udom Emmanuel for the tremendous job done in the area of road construction, which he noted will further open up the state capital for development.