Ikot Oku Ikono Flyover Inaugurated

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Ikot Oku Ikono Flyover Inaugurated

…Former President Extols Governor on Service Delivery

Imaobong Alexander

The long awaited dual carriage way flyover at Ikot Oku Ikono, which was initiated to ease traffic flow for public users, has been inaugurated. The  event took  place  yesterday, 16th July, 2021 by the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic(GCFR), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who described Governor Udom Emmanuel as one that has successfully utilize the opportunity given to him by the people in the provision of projects of immense benefits.

The Ikot Oku Ikono Flyover was initiated by the Governor Udom administration to ease traffic challenge and wanton destruction of lives and property which was a regular happening at the former roundabout.

The former president explained that from all indications, Governor Emmanuel has justified the reason he requested Akwa Ibom people to give him a second opportunity to serve them, with a view to moving the State forward.

“My performing Governor, my acting Governor, I remember an occasion in the past,  about two and a half years ago, when I came here , you were asking the good people of Akwa Ibom State to give you a second opportunity to continue to move the State forward,” Obasanjo said.

Obasanjo urged Akwa Ibom people to continue to sustain the support and encouragement they have given to the Udom’s administration, stressing that from what he saw two years ago, when he last visited the State, and what he has seen now, the Governor means well for the State and the opportunity of service should be well appreciated to enable him complete his agenda.

Cutting of the tape

“When I came here about two years ago and you told me what you have done and what you have in mind to do, I did not hesitate to say to the good people of Akwa Ibom state that they have a horse that is running races for them. You don’t throw it away. Infact, you will continue to nurture it, so that it will continue to win races for you,” Obasanjo remarked.

He told the Governor that he was very happy that he has  not let him down, neither has he disappointed the good people of Akwa Ibom State in the construction of the 1 kilometer flyover, which he, Obasanjo, said was worth celebrating.

The former President lauded the Women for always turning up massively in any commissioning ceremony: “In front of every successful man, there is a woman,” He noted.

Governor Udom Emmanuel and Former President Obasanjo acknowledging cheers form the crowd

The Governor in his speech said that God is the One worth celebrating as He is the One who gave him wisdom, creativity and ideas in the face of scarce resources and adversity. He further said that the flyover was a unique facility adorned with the best of street lighting system in Akwa Ibom State at a time like this.

Emmanuel thanked Akwa Ibomites for their support and patience throughout the period the project lasted. He applauded the community and youths for standing by his governments, adding that the flyover is their asset and as such, must be jealously protected. 

For communities that were diverted, the State Chief Executive said that they do not need to worry, saying that by next month, the contractor  would have finished the entire design of all those roads so that government could award and start constructing them.

Regional Manager, Julius Berger PLC, Ritcher Fischer with the Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof. Eno Ibanga

Emmanuel assured Akwa Ibom people that, by September this year, his administration will commence the commissioning of dual carriage-ways, such as the Uyo/Ikot Ekpene Road, Etinan / Ndon Eyo Road and the Eket remodeling dual carriage-ways.

He observed that there is no Local Government Area in the State that does not have a commissioned project or an ongoing one.

The Governor also made it clear that the reason government has not gone to some Local Governments to commission roads before now, is because when government awards roads to contractors, some youths do not protect the job but connive to cause trouble.

Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof. Eno Ibanga speaking at the event

 “If you disrupt work, it means you don’t want us to continue. So, we will pull out the project from such Local Government Areas and go to another Local Government Area because we do not have time to waste,” He said.

The Governor said that a State where every Local Government Area is a construction site offers employment opportunities and is alive economically, and assured that the three transformers requested by the people of Ikot Oku Ikono would be delivered to them.

He appealed to the youths to check vandals, saying that the reason transformers were blown up was due to  the fact that when government installs brand-new transformer, people will vandalize them. He urged the youths not to allow anybody go near the transformer.

The Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Professor Eno Ibanga, said the project was awarded to Julius Berger on the 16th July, 2019, and coincidentally, the same flyover has been inaugurated on 16th of July 2021.

The Works and Fire Service helmsman said that this project has been delivered before the two years duration, even with the outbreak of Covid – 19. He said the project has 2.4km of field lane which takes one into the town with 5m wide lane and 1.5 meter walk way.

Ibanga said that there were also wide drains throughout the speed lanes that takes water out of all the areas into the 2.2km outflood drain. Professor Ibanga noted that the number of accidents recorded on the road before now was alarming and when complaints reached His Excellency, he deemed it necessary that lives should be saved, hence, constructing a flyover to protect and safeguard the lives of people. With this, the accidents on the road will be reduced to almost zero.

The Regional Manager, Julius Berger PLC, Ritcher Fischer, thanked His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel for keeping to his words. “This is the longest flyover in Uyo Local Government Area. Today, your Excellency, you have delivered what you promised, so we have every reason to be proud today,” he said.

Fischer also was thankful to the Management of Ministry of Works and Fire Service.

“Our Board and executive management is indeed very grateful, once again, for trusting Julius Berger PLC, for realization of this project.” He noted.

Others who presented their goodwill messages at the inauguration  event were, Member, representing Uyo State Constituency, Hon. Anietie Eka; Chairman, Uyo Capital City Development Authority, Prince Enobong Uwah; Chairman, Uyo Local Government Area, Dr. Uwemedimo Udo and Chairman of Ukot Oku Ikono Village Council, Mr. Imo Udom, who spoke on behalf of the Village Heads.

The occasion was also graced by Ikot Oku Ikono born gospel musician, Pastor Nathaniel Bassey, who led in a brief session of worship to God for the vision actualized.