Three bridges abandoned by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Uquo and Ikpa communities in Esit Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom State are posing grave danger to natives of the areas.
The bridges are part of an 8 kilometres Uquo-Ikot Ubo and Ikpa-Ikot Ubo road project awarded by the NDDC in 2013 to Osmoserve, an indigenous construction company but abandoned midway.
Other abandoned NDDC projects in the area include the Stadium road and the Stadium complex sited in Uquo, the headquarters of Esit Eket.
Our correspondent, who visited the community over the weekend following diatressed calls from natives, observed that the bridges have collapsed thereby denying natives free human and vehicular movements.
It was learnt that so many indigenes of the community particularly the young and aged have sustained life-threatening injuries while trying to cross the ramshackle bridges to their farms and schools.
A middle aged woman is said to have fallen from one of the bridges while trying to cross over and sustained very serious injuries which affected her private part.
Speaking, the clan head of Ekid Affiong in Esit Eket , Eteidung Eteudo Ikot lamented the plight of his people, adding that NDDC projects rather than bring succour to the community have exarbeted their sufferings.
Eteidung Ikot said findings revealed that the construction company abandoned the project because the NDDC refused to fund the project.
“Before I go into the issue of abandoned NDDC projects which are numerous in Esit Eket here, I want to register my reservations on the commission and it’s so-called intervention projects and programmes.
“The NDDC has denied the communities here of what should tightly be theirs. Most of roads in this local government, especially the road from Ikot Usekong to Etebi was constructed by Mobil.
“The NDDC is cheating us so I am of the strong opinion that such as agency should not exist and that oil companies should impact directly on the communities instead of making remittances to the NDDC.
“On the abandoned bridges, by the grace of God I am the village head of the community where the bridges are sited, the NDDC came and destroyed the bridges that people were passing by under the pretext of building a new one.
“Now every year as the rainy season sets in people can no longer use the bridge because it’s a death trap. We had to make a wooden bridge for natives to pass to their farms and schools”, he said.
Also speaking, the political leader of Ward 5 in Uquo, Dr. Okon. D. Umoh condemned the the NDDC for littering Esit Eket with so many abandoned projects.