Emma Amaize and Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR- FLOOD has submerged bridges and cut off a section of the East-West Road at Ekenkpon community in Cross River State five years after a similar disaster in 2015.
Many commuters traveling, weekend, on the Calabar-Itu section of the road, a major artery in the Niger Delta region could not continue with their trips because of the natural disaster.
Vanguard gathered that hundreds of motorists and their passengers, particularly those going from Calabar to Uyo and other parts of the Niger Delta region had to return to their homes, while some slept on the road.
A bereaved commuter, Mr. Ekere Williams, who was conveying the corpse of his wife to Etinam community for interment was among those stranded at the scene on Friday evening.
He said, “I have already called a local mortician to be on standby because with what I am witnessing here, it will take other three hours before we get to our destination, I have been on this road since 7. 30 am, we lost a tire earlier, which we had to fix just before the power plant, but on getting to the power plant, I was shocked at the hold up here.”
“I had no choice but to call my people at home, it is really pathetic,” he added.
Mr. Princewil Onoriode, who was transporting the corpse of his mother to Ughelli in Delta state, said if he had another option, he would have asked the ambulance driver to take an alternative route, but there was none.
Onoriede, who planned to be at Ughelli at 5.00 pm, but still stuck on the highway, late Friday, said, “I am perplexed and deeply disturbed because of my mother’s corpse. She is a Catholic, the funeral and every other arrangement had been made and we left Calabar very early to be able to meet up, yet we have been held here for hours.”
“He added exasperatedly, “I do not really know where to start from, I cannot think straight anymore because of this, the Federal government really needs to do something about this
Head of Operations, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, (Cars) Cross River State, Kabir Nadabor, told one of our reporters that natural disaster, which no man has control over, caused the gridlock.
Nadabor , who spoke on phone, said the governor of the state had been alerted about the sad development, while the State Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry of Works were trying to ensure that people did not take the laws into their hands before the disorderly situation at the scene.
His words, “As you saw, we have been on ground to make sure that we ease the pain of the people, we and other law enforcement agencies are there to control the situation because the cause is natural, but we will ensure that the situation is brought under absolute control.”