Teachers Flee Cross River Community School

Teachers posted by the Ministry of Education, Calabar, Cross River State to the only primary school at Ekpri Ibami community, Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state,     have deserted the school because of the dilapidated road to the village, lack of health facility, electricity and water.  

The community used to be viable commercial hub decades ago and served as a connecting route to Calabar-Itu road. However, due to development, a new route came into existence and the area neglected.


Clan head of Ekpri Ibami community, HRH Michael Ako, who lamented the plight of the people, told Niger Delta Voice that government has totally abandoned the village. He said, “There is no hospital in Ekpri Ibami, but there is a school.

However, people in this area have to go urban areas or move to Uyanga and Netim to get education because there are no teachers to teach the pupils. I have made a lot of sacrifice on my own, all to no avail.”

I pay teachers from my pocket

“I have had to pay teachers from my pocket to come and teach in the school, which I constructed with my money just for the children to get little education but it still did not work,” he bemoaned.

HRH Ako said he had tried to reach out to the Ministry of Education, Calabar, on the posting of teachers to the school, but once a teacher comes to the community and stays about one week, you will not see him anymore.”

The dejected clan head asserted, “I do not blame the teachers, our inaccessible  road makes the place too remote, even something as pivotal  as water  is still like a dream.” Over 100-year-old Ako said,

“Back in early 40s and 50s, this place (Ekpri Ibami) used to be a major route to what is currently known as Akwa Ibom state before the Calabar –Itu road was created, but I am surprised at the way we were totally forgotten. There are no more roads, if not for what the NDDC has done; I do not think anyone can even enter the place anymore.”

Govt has failed us

He grumbled, “Despite our plight, only few of our representatives have been able to do something for us, yet we vote, which is the only time that government remembers that there are human beings in existence in this area.

This is quite unfair.” “Only the NDDC too has been able to bring one or two things here but we are pleading with the govern-ment to assist them with funds so that they can finish our hospital.

“At my age, I still have to travel for between one hour to one and a half hours to get medical attention. It would have been a different story if NDDC has completed the hospital it initiated, but because of lack of funds, we still have to go to General Hospital in Akamkpa or Calabar.

“It is the pregnant women that suffer the most, we will be indeed grateful if that hospital can be completed and our road at least graded to the end,” Ako stated.

Villagers migrate too

Besides, he said many people have migrated from the community in search of greener pastures due to lack of basic amenities in the area, adding, “This is not good for our roots and origin as a people.” HRH Ako asserted, “I call on President Muhammadu Buhari whom I know is there to make a name because he has a reputation to protect to come to our aid.

I am also calling on His Excellency, Prof Ben Ayade, to see that our sufferings are alleviated as soon as possible, we have been neglected for too long.”

We still live in Stone Age

An indigene of community, Efiok Ekpeyong, also told Niger Delta Voice, “We still live in the dark ages, as you can see,   NDDC has started something on our road but we do   not   have a school here and the hospital project has been halted due to lack of funds as we were told.”

“This is the reason why most people have left to Netim, Uyanga, Calabar and other urban areas, nobody wants his or her child to be an illiterate so we need government intervention,” he asserted.

He said that the clan head, Chief Ako has really tried for the community, pointing out, “But he is just one man, if others or government can assist him, a lot of things will change for the better .As law abiding citizens, we deserve better because we carry out all our civic responsibilities.”

Ekpeyong added, “A lot of individuals like Hon Dan Asuquo have brought in some development into the area to see how young people in the area can be gainfully employed, we wish other Cross-Riverians will borrow a leaf from him and do more for the society.”

Former commissioner representing Cross River State on the NDDC board, Hon Paul Adah, in a recent interview with Niger Delta Voice, appealed to the Federal government for increased funding for the commission to enable it complete projects it initiated in the Niger Delta region. Ekpri Ibami is one of the communities affected by the financial challenge.

We’ll find out what happened- SUBEB official

When Niger Delta Voice contacted the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, a management official, who preferred anonymity, disclosed that it was unthinkable that the board would post a teacher to the school and he or she abandons his/her duty post.

According to the official, “It is likely that the school was not properly handed over to us because if it was, we will surely have it on our master list or probably the documentation was not completed. I can assure you that we will take a cursory  look into the matter.

“We know we have a school at Akwa Ibami but we do not know if we have Ekpri Ibami in our records, if need be, you can still check with the local government officials to confirm the information,” he added. (Vanguard)

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