A land of abundance, overlooked

The Mbiabong Mbat community, in Ini Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom, is a place of most intriguing paradox.

It has one of the richly blessed vast arable lands in the state, suitable for the production of various kinds of food and cash crops, but left in an 18th century state of living, for the agrarian local folks.

Following the establishment of the Mbiabong Mbat – Ekoi Government Model Rice Farm, in the 1960s, the community had become familiar with big scale farming activities of a Fadama type, for many decades.
From rice, maize, yam, okro, pepper, spring onions, fishery, palm wine and cucumber, the vast wetland that stretches from the Nkari Federal Government dam site, through the paddy fields of Akpeng-Ntan, the farm site, down to the farming community of the Ikpe Group of villages, the people make a dogged living through difficult terrain.

They toil and crop with no access roads, no supporting farm tools, electricity nor health facilities.

For Mbiabong Mbat, particularly, it is the Udom Emmanuel administration that made history there, three years ago, when it wired, installed and connected the village to the public grid.

And even today, the people have never forgotten that feat.
The village head, Eteidung Jonah Udo, who spoke to The Evangelist recently, said the Udom administration was going to repeat the record-making strides in 2018, when the state government attempted to open up the area for real development.


A road project, put under the supervision of Dr. Godwin Ntukude, was to begin at the age-old Fiong-Etok community market, traverse Mbiabong Ikot Udo, Mbiabong Mbat, through the Akpeng-Ntan wetland, down to Ekoi Ikpe Atan-Ubom.

Had the road been done to completion, the project would have open up a huge corridor for intensified agric production and produce evacuation, thus providing the much needed employment for the large number of youth in the area, aside enhancing the income and the food needs of the local households.
That dream failed.
To make a real practical sense of that critical project, the soil needed to have been scarified and tarred.

But against all counsel, its execution was bogged down by the clayey nature of the terrain.

And it was apparent that this aspect may not have been included in the execution plan. The perennial difficulties of access to the area, which is only possible during the dry season, have remained.


According to Eteidung Jonah Udo, it had become clearer to his community that it is Gov. Udom Emmanuel who has been the first, to bring development to the area, and therefore, appealed to him to kindly do all he can, to bless them with the execution and completion of that all-important rural project.

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