John ODHE, Yenagoa
In Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, motorists, tricyclists, commuters as well as pedestrians are passing through agonizing moments trying to use the internal roads to link the two major roads, the Melford Okilo and lsaac Borrow Expressways due to the deplorable state of the internal roads.
Over 13 years ago, the then government of Chief Timipre Sylva as governor constructed about 52 internal roads in the state capital to ease vehicular movements in the city of Yenagoa. Since then, nothing much has been done to maintain or rehabilitate the roads, most of which, according to road experts, were shabbily constructed.
Consequently, the conditions of almost all the roads have degenerated to the point of assuming the position of death traps to road users thereby putting more pressures on the two major roads in the city.
A few days ago, the state governor, Senator Douye Diri announced the planned expansion of the Etegwe-Tombia Roundabout to ease traffic in the state capital. Though Bayelsans received the government announcement with gladness, many road users are calling on the state governor to also consider the reconstruction of the internal roads which are posing serious threats to motorists.
Some of the internal roads that are currently in pitiable conditions include: Old PDP road, Erepa road, Otiotio road, Capt. Ayeni road, Sanfino road, Dimrose road, Saptex road, Ebis road and Customs raod among others.
The deplorable condition of the roads has been worsened by the torrential rain falls. Many of the roads have been washed away, making it difficult for the roads to be passable.
At old PDP, half of the road has been cut off. A tricycle (Keke) rider who gave his name as Uche Ogochukwu said their experience has been a bitter one as commuters no longer prefer to pass through that route thereby making life difficult for drivers following low patronage. “This road has been cut off from the lsaac Borrow axis. Passengers prefer to trek rather than boarding Keke because so many of them have fallen into the water and got soaked several times. We don’t know why the state government is not doing anything about this road,” he said.
At Capt. Ayeni, the story is the same. Half of the road has been chopped off by golly erosion and covered by water. Mr. Peter Oghenekaro, a Keke rider, told TNN that accidents occur on the road on daily basis. “We are suffering here. Any day there is rain fall, half of the Keke will be submerged and sometime the Keke would tumble and passengers would get injured and loss their valuable items. We want the state government to come to our help,” Oghenekaro lamented.
When TNN metro visited Erepa road, tricyclists were seen grumbling in disappointment over the dilapidated nature of the road which has adversely affected their daily incomes. One of them, Mr. Sylvester Okafor said “this road has become a death trap not only for Keke riders but also passengers. Many Keke riders have been seriously injured on this road. We pass the road with fear because water has covered everywhere and any slight mistake, your bike will fall. That is why we are crying to the state government to come and fix the road for us.”