It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. If you have ever been hurt physically or emotionally or you have survived something traumatic in form of a natural disaster, a fire, an armed robbery, Or have just come out of a trying situation, even though you know youll eventually recover, you still feel pain that seems unbearable The people of Etara / Ekuri in Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State have been abandoned for a very long time by the government at the State & Federal levels. Even though the development of the state's tourism potential remains the core of the state government strategy for development & despite my various call on the government to help research & exploit the untapped natural resources present in these communities that will help boost the Gross Domestic Product of Cross River State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, nothing seems to have been done. The problems encountered by the people of Etara / Ekuri communities, in the present Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State are numerous. The major ones confronting them is the absence of the Federal Government, as well as the State Government presence. Other problems include: Absence of schools Absence of markets for transactions of economic activities. Lack of job employment for the youths of these communities. Lack of industries. Lack of vocational centres. Lack of tourist development attraction sites. Low per capita income as a result of extreme poverty. Lack of financial empowerment in the form of scholarship and grants to indigent students from these communities. Lack of electricity to boost socio- economic lives of the people. Absence of medical facilities. Absence of infrastructural facilities. The people of these communities were happy when for the first time in history, their son Comrade Asu Okang was appointed Commissioner for Youths & Sports. We had thought it was a sign of good things to come to our communities. I write with tears because I don't know where the present government is relocating my communities to. Our only natural inheritance from God, our forest measuring over 100,000 hectares or more is going to be lost to the superhighway, part of it has already been inherited by Senator John Enoh Owan Enoh, Senator representing Cross River Central. Our Bakkassi brothers & sisters have since not recovered from their shock. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitter agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. God help us.
Thomas Mbeh Ifere is a Crusader of Change & writes from Delta State, Nigeria.