S’South youths kickstart spiritual protest over deplorable Calabar -Itu road
By Theresa Ukpong, Uyo
Youths under the umbrella of South South Youth Crusaders for Change (SSYCC) have threatened to stage a mass spiritual warfare/protest to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari led government to the deplorable condition of the Calabar-Itu highway.
Leading the prayer session, which held at Oku Iboku, along the Calabar-Itu highway, Apostle Idoreyin Godwin, said they resorted to prayers because they believed that God would eventually heel the land.
Godwin said they would not relent in their prayers until the Buhari-led administration redeemed its promise on the road.
“Many lives have been lost on this road, and we are here to seek God’s intervention because, we believe that God will heel our land,” Apostle Godwin said.
Throughout the session prayer which lasted for about two hours, the youths displayed placards bearing various inscriptions, some of which read: “We are not protesting, we are praying,” “Buhari help us on this road,” “We are cut-off from other parts of the Nigeria,” “Why neglect Niger Delta, South South?” etc.
In his remarks after the prayer session, president of the group, Mr. Iniobong Edem, called on Buhari government not to play politics with the road, as many lives have been lost already.
He wondered why work was yet to commence on road project, claiming that the president, in a national broadcast in 2016, announced that work had commenced already on the road.
“President Mohammadu Buhari, Minister of Works and Housing, Niger Delta Affairs Minister, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, we will not rest until our prayers are heard concerning the completion of abandoned Calabar-Itu road.
“We call on them to do away with all excuses and mobilise the construction company, Julius Berger, which they earlier awarded the contract, for peace to reign at Aso Rock”.
The president of the Association of Ibom Contractors, Engr. Lawrence Bassey, who claimed he impressed on the youths to shelve their protest, recounted the frustration on the road and called on the federal government to fix the road before it would be too late.
He lamented that the road whose contract was awarded the same time with other majors roads in the country, was still suffering neglect, while thousands of lives were being lost daily on the road.
Earlier, the secretary, Association of Ibom Contractors, Mr. Victor Matthew, said it is worrisome to watch on television and newspapers the progress made by the federal government on other projects, while Calabar-Itu road continued to suffer neglect.