Towards achieving the ARISE Agenda in Etinan:The Hon Uko Umoh’s Strategy
By Otobong Nsekpong
The success of ARISE Agenda economic blueprint of Pastor Umo Eno’s administration centers around rural development.
The aim of the economic blueprint is to make rural communities not only attractive but conducive to live and do business thereby reducing the rural urban migration.
ARISE Agenda therefore focuses on Agricultural Development, Rural Development, Infrastructural Expansion and Maintenace, Security Management and Education development.
These are the five critical pillars upon which the administration of Governor Umo Eno intends to bring development to the door steps of Akwa Ibom people including those in Etinan local government area.
Upon his swearing in as chairman of Etinan local government area, Hon. Uko Umoh resumed at his new position fully aware of the desire of the governor to develop rural communities.
Within a very short time in office, he has put machieneries on ground for the full actualisation of the ARISE Agenda in Etinan local government area.
For instance, through the office of the Supervisor of Works, the long stretch of Uyo – Etinan- Ndon Eyo dualized road has been cleared in reminece of the good old days when work officers used to clear government roads in the 80s.
On January 12, he went a step further in the interpretation of the ARISE Agenda of governor Umo Eno by inaugurating a special Committee known as Etinan Local Government Area Project Implementation Committee.
The six man Committee is out in the field to collate and create a data bank of government projects executed in the 64 villages in Etinan local government area.
By their term of reference, the Committee is to identify the number of projects executed in a community, take stock of those that are functional, those that were not completed but very critical to such communities.
From Etinan Urban Ward 5 to Urban Ward 4 to Southern Iman Ward 4, Southern Iman Ward 1, Southern Iman Ward 2 and Urban 2, the committee has gotten its hand full already with inputs from the people who are eagerly looking up to government for help.
The cry everywhere is that government should come to their aid in either restoring electricity by replacing vandalised electric transformer or replacement of either stolen water pump or damaged pipes.
At Nkana Iman in Southern Iman Ward 1, the village head who is also the Paramount Ruler of Etinan, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Aniefiok Monday Akpanobong commended the Hon Uko Umoh’s approach to grassroots development especially by being very responsive as a leader.
Edidem Akpanobong however lamented the long absence of electricity in his community for over two years, a situation he said has affected the socio economic life of his people.
The story of lack of electricity is common in all the villages so far visited. In Mbioto, Southern Iman Ward 4, out of the three electric transformers only one is functioning at the moment and this has left a greater part of the village in darkness.
Road and electricity drive development in any community and these are lacking in almost all the communities visited.
From the bumpy roads in southern Iman Ward 2 to the plains of Oniong Iman in Southern Iman Ward 1, from the gullies of Urban Ward 2 to the Swamps of Ndon Eyo in Northern Iman Ward 4, the committee discovered that rural roads need massive grading while the demand for portable water is insatiable.
As noted by Edidem Akpanobong, will the administration of Hon Uko Umoh have the war chest to bring succor to these communities?
Even if money is available, will the six month tenure be enough to light up our communities again or fix the broken down water projects and get the pipes gushing with portable clean water?
One thing however stands out, the Etinan chief executive has put the right foot forward by seeking to identify these valuable projects in our communities. He has demonstrated passion for community development both in speech and action. Whatever happens tomorrow, there will be a report that will guide the government at all tiers in providing basic amenities for the people.