May 18, 2021

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Calabar-Itu Road Now A Death Trap Rep Members Stranded

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Motorists in Calabar, Cross River State, have expressed concern over the deplorable state of the Calabar-Itu road. Some of them who spoke with TNN described the road as death trap, saying that the state government ought to have considered it a priority to fix the bad portions of the road.
Clement Etim, a commercial driver said in an interview that “we are suffering and the condition of my vehicle because of this bad road right now is something to make a man cry, since there is no day I don’t go to the mechanic to fix either my tyre, bolt joints or shock and most times, I just avoid driving to Calabar completely.
“Odukpani Calabar road does not look like the main entrance to a state capital at all. Do you know that most times I just sit and wonder if the government of this state thinks about the affairs of it’s citizens because unlike us, they drive in bigger vehicles that can jump and survive this road why we, with our smaller cars, are left to suffer it and all of these are happening within this recent government.
“When the road was okay, we used at most 45 minutes from here to Akpet, but with the present condition of the road road, we spend close to 80 minutes to get to Akpet, while to get to Ugep, we use two hours because we are trying to manage the road and save our cars from getting damaged; yet passengers will be shouting on you to move fast without thinking of the harm the bad road is causing your car.
Another driver, Mr Edet Warrant said: “I don’t know what the government is doing but they need to help us. If you check from Odukpani to Calabar close to 8th miles, the road is not good and today alone I have stopped by the mechanic close to 10 times, yet the vehicle is still not good because of bad road.
Meanwhile Mr. Kenneth Ben, a businessman has expressed worry over the high cost of transportation caused by the road. He said “this road is nothing to write home about and it has been like this over the years, though we have been managing it patiently, hoping that the government will do something positive about it.
“These days, we don’t need much from the government but those things that are basic that they are supposed to do for us to enjoy while doing our personal businesses such as road water and electricity, we are not even seeing them.
“If we can manage without others because we can at least do some of those things for ourselves, then how about the road that an individual cannot fix? The road is the only thing we expect the government to focus more on.
“Right now, no business is working here and for those who travel to do their businesses outside this environment for journeys that one is expected to spend a few hours on the road, you see them spend the whole day and that too is affecting the cost of transportation.”
Meanwhile, some members of the House of Representatives have expressed concern over the state of the road. Yusuf Buba Yakub, Chairman of the House ad hoc committee on ports decongestion who spoke at Ikot Nkpara in Odukpani Local Government Area of the state expressed disappointment that the only major road that leads into and out of Calabar was allowed to deteriorate to a point where commuters sleep in traffic gridlock and were left at the mercy of hoodlums for days.
The committee chairman and his members were stranded on the rod for hours, on their way to Calabar from Port Harcourt, as part of their oversight assignment. They are investigating the causes for the lull in activities at the various ports.
“This is totally unacceptable to all Nigerians and we cannot allow things to continue this way. We have been on this road for over three hours with full escorts consisting of different paramilitary personnel. Many people here have been in this traffic gridlock for three to four days and this is neither good for our economy nor for the lives of the people.
“I am aware that this stretch of road has been in the federal budget since 2017. Something urgent must be done to redeem man hours lost here and the sabotage it constitutes to our economy. This is not to talk of the criminal activities perpetrated by hoodlums who take advantage of our failure as leaders to rob and exploit the people.
“Of course, we all can see why there are serious challenges for businessmen to choose to patronise the port here. We, therefore, call on the federal government to take urgent steps to redress this condition”.
Other road users who fielded questions to our reporter at the scene of the over 10- kilometre traffic gridlock lamented what they termed gross negligence of failing infrastructure across the area by successive Administrations and called on the ministry of works and housing to step up activities in order to offer the people the governance dividends they voted for.

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