Youths, women pledge support for Super Highway project

Eme Offiong, Calabar

Young Nigerians under the aegis of the National Youth Council, NYC, have pledge support for the proposed 260 kilometre super highway project of the Cross River State Government in southern Nigeria.

The youths, led by the State Chairman, Mr. Ndiyo Ndiyo, took their solidarity campaign for the projects and protest against persons described as detractors to the streets of the capital city, Calabar.

Ndiyo described the proposed super highway project of Governor Ben Ayade as a positive development for the large population of agrarians across the eighteen local government areas of Cross River State.

“In Cross River, we only have one federal highway in and out of the State. We have lost many people on that road due to its deplorable state. In the last three days, people have been unable to move from the southern to the central senatorial districts due to a gridlock on the Calabar-Ikom highway around Biase Local government area”, stated Ndiyo.

According to him, “building the super highway will create jobs for the teeming unemployed and enable farmers in the rural areas take their produce to the outside world. There has never been any form of development without some depletion to the forests”.

Tree planting

The youth leader said that the green carnival initiative of Governor Ayade and the commitment of young people to tackling the challenges of climate change was an encouragement to plant trees at every opportunity.

We still have virgin forest in Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Akamkpa and other area, which no one has ever touched. Also, we have a tree planting programme that has been captured even in our tourism calendar. So, what will it cost us to plant more trees to replace those that would be cleared in the course of construction?” queried Ndiyo.

In a related development, market women and other similar groups pledged solidarity to Governor Ayade and urged the Federal Ministry of Environment to give approval for the construction of the road project.

Mrs. Adiaha Bassey, who spoke for the market women, said “our women who travel to buy food and other items using the current road die as a result of accidents on Calabar- Itu and Calabar _ Ikom road. The super highway will mean that our women, our mothers would not suffer loss”.

The groups appealed to the Nigerian Government to support every effort of the State to achieve positive development rather than encourage those described as “detractors” to derail the much needed growth.

On assumption of office a little over a year ago, the Governor of Cross River State promised to kick-start the construction of a 260 kilometre road that would cut across 12 Local Government Areas and which will serve as an evacuation corridor for its proposed deep seaport to be located in Bakassi Local Government Area.