usani uguru
Hon. Minister, I trust God this open letter meets you well?                                     

Please, recall that I had once written you an open letter here sometimes in December 2015, trying to let you know about the plight of the Etara / Ekuri communities in Etung  Local Government Area of Cross River State that have for a long time  now been abandoned by government in all levels and best consigned to the rubbish bin of history in Nigeria.

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We all know that even people who excel in taking personal responsibility have at least one story to tell, though some of us have suffered more serious situations, you really cant quantify or compare them with emotional pain . 

What is the purpose of our living if not to be happy? Whatever the country or society people live in, they all have the same deep desire, to become happy.  Yet, there are few ideals as difficult to grasp as that of happiness.   
In our daily lives, we constantly experience happiness and unhappiness, but we are still quite ignorant as to what happiness really is.   
Further to a publication on the National Dailies in June 2016, as regards proposed projects for the construction & reconstruction of roads, classroom buildings & other projects across rural communities in the Niger Delta Region, I call on you the Hon. Minister to please include the reconstruction of the 20 kilometers road from Ochon Village to Etara / Ekuri villages.

The people of Etara / Ekuri Eyeyeng communities are in the present day Abidjang ward of Etung Local Government area of Cross River State.                                                                                     
Sequel to 1994, the people of these communities had always trekked by foot, a distance of 20 kilometers from Ochon village, in Obubra Local Government area.                                                                                                                                                                                              Through their communal effort,  they had a road on the 11th day of March, 1994. 22 years after, this road remains dead trap and still impassable.                                                                                                                                                                                   
Hon. Minister Sir, if It is true that in Cross River State, the development of the states tourism potential remains the core of the state government strategy for development, then the government may have made a mistake of abandoning these communities.                                                                                                               
This is because, despite the presence of some established tourist sites in the State,there are also more tourist sites and natural resources in Cross River State, which has remained untapped in these communities that need to be explored.      

Some of the human and natural  resources they are blessed with include: Cocoa, Kola nuts, Bush mango, Yams, Cassava, oranges, Timber, Limestone, Quartz, Crude Oil, Wild life animals, Onughi hills, the ettai agangan tourist site ,the egaranim tourist site ,the lotuni falls tourist site, Rattles, Fishes and other reptiles , Salt ,Monoliths  etc.                                                                                                                                                        
These communities also fall within the support zone areas of the Cross River National Park with potentials for tourism, as well as preservation of engendered species of plants and animals are found in the zone, offering a wide range of investment opportunities for private, as well as corporate investors.                                                                                               
They have among other natural resources, a virgin forest which could be explored for developing of industrial raw materials, oil, timber, brick and ceramic papers and raffia palm etc, which are essential necessities in the making of chairs and trays.  
Most of these untapped natural resources  if  harnessed will help boost the Gross Domestic Product of Cross River State, the Niger Delta Region  and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.                                                                                                    
Hon. Minister Sir, the problems facing these communities are numerous.          
The major one  is the absence of the Federal Government, as well as the State Government presence.                                          
Others  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.
Hon. Minister sir, your name would be written on gold in the history of these communities if you can help facilitate such a project for us.
God bless you in the discharge of your duties.

Long Live Etara / Ekuri Communities,
Long Live Etung L.G.A,
Long Live Cross River State,
Long Live Niger Delta Affairs Ministry,
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thomas Mbeh Ifere is an Agent of Change & writes from Etara , Etung L.G.A,
Cross River State

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