Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday commissioned the 3.5km Afaha Iman access road to the Leprosy hospital in Etinan local government area with a 0.715m outfall drain.
Speaking just before the commissioning of the road, Governor Emmanuel said his concentration on rural roads was to fulfill his second-term electioneering promise of rural development to the people.
Emmanuel stated that the Afaha Iman road was significant as it is where the first major hospital within the locality, outside Anua Hospital in Uyo was situated.
He regretted the sad report that the road to the Leprosy hospital had been in a terrible state for over 20 years, especially during the rainy season as flood water had cut off the hospital from some parts of the community.
The Governor mentioned that the Leprosy Hospital was under renovation and after the renovation work is completed, the name of the hospital would be changed.
In his words “This road is extremely significant and important because the first major hospital within this locality, outside Anua was the Leprosy hospital down here. I remember in those days, this road used to be terrible, you couldn’t just enter here.
“And if you go to the hospital, you see a lot of renovation work that we have done there. We are still trying to change the face of that hospital. When we finish everything we are trying to do in that hospital, we will change the name. It will not be called Leprosy Hospital again, we will look for a better name and give it.
“The reason we are concentrating on commissioning community, rural roads within this period is to make two category statements: one, to show the world that we have kept our promise. In our second term, we promised the whole world that our concentration would be lot on rural development, and today, this is one of those outcomes.
“Two is to come back to the community through project commissioning, to tell the community, thank you. Communities, thank you; Etinan, thank you; Ikot Ekpene, thank you; Eket, thank you for all your support.
“When they say Akwa Ibom is PDP, PDP is not the leaves or the trees but the human beings. Thank you for standing firm by your colours, standing firm to support the party that has brought development into Akwa Ibom, that party is only PDP.
“Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for not allowing us beg you for votes. All the votes of all the other political parties put together is not equal to the vote of the PDP. It shows how much you have supported us,” he stated.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof. Eno Ibanga said the road meets all international and national standards, and would stand the test of time.
Ibanga commended the Governor for fulfilling his promise to construct the road which he said was executed in less than a year, saying he has achieved a feat for the state.
“The specifications for this road meets all national standard. During excavation, we have about 150mm laterite sub-base, 150mm cross stone base course plus 5mm of wearing cost. This road has full drains from start to finish. The special feature of this road is the 0.715 outfall drain.
“For those outside this location, no man could cross this area to the other area when it rains for over twenty years. This is what this road has done, it has provided the easiest access to the leprosy hospital and this is one of the legacies you will leave for the people of this state.
“I want to thank you your Excellency because you always listen to the yearnings of the people. You came here for a burial and you promised, this is less than one year and this road has come to stay.
“This is a feat that I don’t think any government has been able to do. I want to assure us that this project has met all international specifications and would stand the test of time,”
On his part, Chairman of Etinan, Hon. Cletus Ekpo commended the governor for the road infrastructure and human capital development in the area.
He said, “I want to thank God for a day like this. Our 5-star General has been able to give us a befitting road like this and we are very proud to be assorted with him.
” Thank you for all the road infrastructure and human capital development that you have brought to the people of Etinan. We say thank you”