The City of Portholes, Its King and The Dangers Calling for Solutions

By Richard Inoyo

The water from Cross River State Water Board Corporation has gained unprecedented indictment in spreading particulates across and along residential and commercial pipelines running through homes and offices in cities and urban centres. Nobody in government can drink that water because it is unfit for goats and dogs. How they send such water for us to drink epileptically still beats my morality and humanity. “Is it that the government is planning to have people killed through badly produced public water?” An old lady threw that question at me during a tour.

Look at the high tables of State events and functions, see the water on the table which they drink_ eva, ragolis, and co, you can’t talk about anybody bringing or drinking waterboard water there. It is even troubling when parents realise that kids below the age of two rarely know which water is safe for drinking, they simply drink whatever they see come out from their pipes and taps. Hence what happens in the absence of their parents? Your guess is as good as mine_ rise in hospitalisation rate.

Nobody in government dares drink such particulated and colour ridden water, why send unfit liquid to homes without due diligence? At Calabar Municipality where their office is located, quality assurance checks are nowhere to be seen, not even the Commissioner of Health can certify that the water quality is fit for animals to drink or use for cooking.

But today, that is not where my frustrations settle on, it only appear to be just one of those stations where they take off from. Actually, my focus at the moment is on the new identity the capital city and elsewhere in the State have actively assumed_the city of potholes_ for car owners, it is horrible seeing potholes in diverse networks of towns, streets and market routes. Hence one says, “the government is a government of pothole margin expansion and upscaling”.

Recently, one of the potholes in Yellow Duke-Mount Zion axis, a gigantic one was loaded with stones without asphalting after long public outcry on social media, and the one in Ikot Ansa by the Naval Facility is eating new ground and expanding in length and deepening in depth, I was lucky not to have jumped into it the other night, trust me this isn’t funny. Along different streets, if you are driving and you ain’t used to the routes, you are likely going to have your tires trapped in one of those potholes, and this notwithstanding the fact that the vehicular cost of maintenance of vehicles in Cross River State is already skyrocketing with automobile parts being more expensive here than elsewhere, a dangerous implication for transportation and trade cost when interlocked with pothole-spread across towns. Where is the Ministry of works? What is the function of government? What sort of government can we say we have, reckless or people centric? Or one that derives sadistic pleasure seeing deepening pothole-spread everywhere? A friend said he believes these potholes are up increasing by the day.

Mr. Victor Ekpo, Managing Director, CRS Water Board Ltd.

Just two months ago, I got information that some Operation Apakwu operatives who gallantly pursued some set of kidnappers almost lost their lives along Bayside due to bad road as they dedicatedly went after that group of kidnappers in speed to destroy the devices of the said criminal elements and have same arrested, fortunately enough they survived after their patrol vehicle summersaulted. So, it is clear, bad roads put the lives of our committed security men at risk. How appalling can this get?

As it is, putting a statement across to the government of the day to act and fix these potholes across the state is now imperative, and it is no longer safe overlooking these artificial disasters that have already taken some lives in Yellow Duke-Mount Zion Road before the approach of filing that pothole portion with truck of stones.

It is not enough to just talk about digital industralisation without decent road network and safe environ, hence, it is extremely important we as citizens rally around along with users of these road in government to ask that the government declares emergency on potholes and have them addressed. The time to act is now, especially as the yelutide season brings visitors from far and near to the state for one reason or the other. The last memory the government would want to give them to go away with is a City of Portholes, where the king of the said city presides over potholes’ widening and deepening for unexplainable reasons.

Richard Inoyo is the Country Director,
Citizens’ Solution Network. He writes from Calabar.

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