24 YEARS AFTER: NDDC Provides Relief to Cross River Flood Victims

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On Wednesday, Otuekong Orok Duke, the NDDC Commissioner representing Cross River state, visited Bakoko community in Calabar to deliver essential relief materials to flood victims of Ikot Offiong indigenization. The intervention, part of NDDC’s ongoing support to affected communities, included items such as shovels, wheelbarrows, mosquito nets, fishing nets, and food supplies like indomie, rice, and beans etc NEGROIDHAVEN can say.

Duke emphasized the significance of the aid, noting, “This was part of our intervention in 2022 for those who were affected by flood and all. And when I discovered that Cross River was not even given its due, I insisted. Now it has arrived, more things will come but, in the interim, the few items we have…is an interim intervention method that we have employed to ease the stress of the people.”

Highlighting the community-driven approach, Duke stated, “We are targeting few communities that are really stressed. Like yesterday we went to Esiere Ebom, we’ll deliver at Esiere Ebom later today. This is Ikot Offiong… they have a leadership that can make everything watered down to the grassroots.” He praised the local organization for its effective distribution strategies, ensuring that relief reaches those most in need.

Duke also addressed the longstanding issues in Ikot Offiong, a community facing neglect for over two decades. “We want to establish certain areas that we cannot overlook again, and Ikot Offiong community is going to be one of them. All the mishaps since 2000, this is 24 years without Ikot Offiong being settled. This present government, I must confess, intends to add value to whatever the present government is doing,” he affirmed.

The Commissioner underscored NDDC’s commitment to addressing the needs of neglected communities, adding, “This little bit we are doing is something that is in the past, it is like an appetizer, when more things start coming in terms of relief materials and palliatives. I am here to assure you that Ikot Offiong will take its place among those who are really asking for attention who ought to be given attention.”

Etubom Nya Asuquo, the clan head of Mbiabo Ikot Offiong, expressed gratitude on behalf of the community. “First of all, I want to use this opportunity to thank our son Otuekong Orok Otu Duke… On behalf of all of us, I want to thank you and through you, the NDDC for remembering us,” Asuquo said.

Reflecting on the community’s prolonged hardships, Asuquo noted, “We have been suffering for 24 years. The past governments totally refused to assist us. They left us on our own, our people have suffered enough. We are happy now that the present governor, when he came on campaign, told us both in the traditional rulers council and in the open campaign that the Ikot Offiong problem will be a thing of the past.”

Asuquo also acknowledged previous support from the governor’s wife, who provided palliatives, and expressed hope for continued assistance. “We are so happy that you too as our son, you have remembered us. God will bless you and more and more will be added to where it was sourced,” he concluded.

This relief effort marks a significant step towards addressing the pressing needs of flood victims and neglected communities in Cross River State, promising a brighter and more supported future for the residents.