The Ikot Eneobong Neighbourhood Community located off Abattoir Road, Ikot Ene-obong, 8 Miles, Calabar have accused the Managing Director (MD) of Cross River Basin Development Authority (CRBDA) of deliberately excavating a pathway of 12 feet deep to form an artificial Erosion gully calculated to cause havoc, heavy flooding and destruction of valuable properties as well as put their lives in grave danger.
The people made this known via a Save Our Soul (SOS) letter to the Commissioner for Environment, Cross River State and the general public dated 16th July, 2020 and made available to our correspondents in Calabar Metropolis.
The letter reads in path: “we are humbly sending this SOS to your good office for your urgent attention and intervention, to stop further destruction of our properties and save our lives from man-created environmental problem leading to a gully erosion and flooding.”
The letter also narrated how CRBDA deliberately created a serious erosion problem by excavating a pathway of 12 feet deep around a disputed boundary area sometime in April,2020 out of anger and malice just to cut them off and expose them to grave danger.
Our correspondents visited the area and interviewed the Chairman of the Neighbourhood, Mr. Simon Sunny Ejue, a retired Director with the Cross River State Government. Mr. Ejue on behalf of the community members narrated the ordeals they were undergoing as a result of the unauthorised excavations by CRBDA leading to the deep gully erosion; a situation that was never experienced in their over 17 years of habitation in the area.
The Chairman in his words pointed out that “on 27th December,2020 the present MD of CRBDA swore in a meeting with us to demolish our over seventy (70) modern houses claiming they were buit on the Basin’s land.” He further stated that despite being caution by the Cross River State House of Assembly and the Ministry of Lands that he has no such rights as MD of CRBDA to demolish our properties and further advice for the maintenance of status quo, the MD went ahead to order for the vindictive excavations of some parts of the land leading to the creation of a big erosion gully in the area.
Mr. Ejue upon conducting our correspondents round and showing the affected areas, lamented that “several homes are being flooded with some fences broken down, properties and farms being swept away leaving most of us in a precarious condition” he added.
The good and law abiding people of Ikot Ene-obong Neighborhood community are therefore calling on the government especially the Cross River State Ministry of Environment,Cross River Coordinator of Nigeria Erosion/Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) and the Cross River State Environmental Protection Agency to come to their rescue and stopped CRBDA’s impunity and inhuman treatments on them as well as provide lasting solution to the flooding and erosion gully ravaging the neighborhood.