On Thursday, October 24th, 2019, The Cross River State House of Assembly resolved for the State Government to provide Okwa community with Access Road, Primary and Secondary School Blocs and a Health Center to ameliorate the living conditions of the twin communities of Okwa.
The sponsor of the Motion, Rt. Hon. Dr. Itam Abang who is representing Boki 1 constituency in the CRSHA decried the absolute lack of these amenities in these rural communities. She expressed worries about the rate of avoidable deaths in the communities as a result of dead trap roads, lack of primary Healthcare facility and services, and devastating state of Okwa primary and secondary schools. She called on the House to step into the situation which she believes has reduced the chances of survival of the people of Okwa.
The Assembly Members present while contributing to the Motion gave overwhelming support to the prayers in a practically emotional way. Some of the members threw in inferences of similar despicable rural conditions of most other communities across the State, calling on the government to urgently provide for these communities. They were full of praise for their colleague, Rt. Hon. Itam Abang for laying the Motion at this material time.
Responding, the Speaker of CRSHA, Rt. Hon. Eteng, Jonah Williams expressed delight and commended the sponsor of the Motion for bringing the needs of her rural communities to government. The speaker said “the act was representation at its best”.
The House resolved thus:
- The State Government should build at least, one Primary and Secondary School in Okwa Community.
- The State Government through Primary Healthcare Agency should establish a Primary Healthcare Center in Okwa Community to prevent further infant and mother mortality.
- The State Government should provide an Access Road to Okwa communities.
Rt. Hon. Itam Abang while addressing some journalists on the Motion explained that she would do her best for the resolutions of the Motion to be implemented by government. She thanked her colleagues for the support and maintained that as representatives of the people, it is their responsibility to advance the needs of their Constituencies to government and push for their implementation.
It can be recalled that some social media actors in the State especially, contingents of Boki descent carried out a media advocacy for the state of Okwa and Okwangwo Primary school Blocs calling on concerned authorities to give attention to the communities. Pictures on the despicable state of the school Blocs made the headlines on social media some two to three months ago.
Subsequently, a team of development Advocates under an organization called Rural Impact Initiative embarked on a fact finding expedition to Okwa where they came back with even worse details of how the people of Okwa are managing with survival.
This act of patriotism and adequate representation by Rt. Hon. Itam Abang is loudly applauded by Rural Impact Initiative who can best relate to the urgency that these needs are begging for attention. Okwa requires the joint effort of government, NGOs and philanthropists for a face lift and the Cross River State House of Assembly have shown the way to go.