By James Lukpata
There is no doubt that electricity is life. But as significant as it is to virtually every aspect of human life, Ukelle the Yala II constituency, in Cross River State, is still struggling to have access to affordable and steady power supply across its many communities since the first ever phase that was powered around 2002.
With a power caption that blossomed hopes, the billboard had read “Rural Electrification Project of Wanikake with a step-down at Ebo, Ezekwe, Wanokom etc”.
Years after, however, the supposed hope of the people only appear in face value as they struggle with epileptic power supply on daily basis and complete absent in about 90% of the communities spread across the constituency.
For example, Wanikade ward only have few communities along the major road having access to light while several other communities remain without access to electricity and other basic social amenities like portable water, hospital, school and even road.These communities include Lemma Wanogana-Akwulega-Abalike-Iteem- Iteem a Lekoot, Osaam Enne-Uzeenyim-Oddaleko-Ndeeosaale-Iyango Eyinfele-Iyango Ossim Odey-Iyango Okpalagada-Wan Elee-wanokpayi-wanogana-Oleleng-wanajina-Oyooba-Ngbeege-Ogbaala 1,2,3 among others.
The worsening condition of living standard is not only peculiar to Wanikade ward as cited in this report but cut across other wards like wanokom, Waniseem, Igede/Okpodom, Mfuma/Ntrigom and Ijiraga respectively.
As prove of evidence for this exposition those who keep in touch with their relatives back home through telephone can attest to the claims above that several phone lines are usually not active because of either lack of electricity or its eratic supply in the region as it takes several kilometres and even miles to access communities that have access to electricity.
Constant electricity supply remains relevant to the socio-economic development of any nation and UKelle cannot be an exception. The Cross River State Government can make effort to electrify other communities across Yala II constituency that currently lack electricity as well as repairing and stepping up those that are in disorder with a view to giving the constituency a new lease of life that can further boost their socio-economic activities especially SMEs that requires constant power supply to thrive.
Now that we have the minister of power for state, Prince Goddy Jedy Agba, who is from Cross River, it is hoped that the state government would work with him with a view to drawing the attention of the Federal Government to various constituencies across the State that need electrification project.