Sixteen communities in Ikono local government area of Akwa Ibom State have been cut off as a result of the collapse of two bridges, which linked them to other parts of the council area.
The bridges are Nkwot Ikot Nseyen – Nung Ukim bridge and Iton Ikot Ito – Iton Mmong bridge.
Worried by economic and social damage caused by the collapse, the lawmaker representing Ikono State Constituency in House of Assembly, Mr. Asuquo Udo, appealed for urgent intervention of the State Government.
Udo raised the concerns on the floor of the House by way of motion titled: Collapsed Bridges In Ikono State Constituency: Urgent Call For Government Intervention”.
In a two-prayer motion presented during the plenary session, Udo prayed the House to “urge Akwa Ibom State Government to direct relevant agencies to intervene by taking steps to inspect the broken down bridges.”
He also urged government to ensure that remedial measures are immediately taken to enable pedestrians access between communities and “to avert any loss of life”.
The lawmaker said the people of Ikono are predominantly traders and farmers who rely on access roads linked by bridges to transport their goods and services to neighboring villages and markets in order to earn a living.
The affected 16 villages, according to Udo, are Nkwot Ikot Akpa Isiak, Ikot Ette, Ikot Umoessien, Nkwot Nko, Ikot Enie, Ikot Okpo, Ikot Nseyen, Nung Imo, Ikot Idomo, Ikot Obio Ata, Ikot Udo, Obio Ediene, Etip Ediene, Iton Ikot Ito, Iton Mmong and Nnung Ukim.
The lawmaker sympathised with residents of the two communities of Itong Mmong and Iton Ikot Ito who traverse Ini Local Government Area to access other communities in the locality due to the collapsed bridges in Ikono State Constituency.
He expressed worry that if urgent steps were not taken by relevant authorities, it may result in countless accidents leading to loss of lives and our students may be unable to attend schools in nearby villages on resumption.
Speaker Aniekan Bassey committed the motion to House Committee on Works and Transport for assessment of the affected bridges and present possible recommendations to the House.