By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—SUCCOUR came the way of commuters and residents of Calabar, Cross River State capital, plying the Calabar-Odukpani expressway, as the Federal Government has finally intervened by commencing emergency repairs on the collapsed portion at the PAMOL axis.
NDV gathered at the spot that before the commencement of repair works,the shrunken portion caused gridlock, while drivers were forced to precariously use one lane of the road that was also eroded. Commuters had expressed fears that with the rains and heavy traffic, including heavy-duty cement and petroleum trucks, plying the road, a tragedy was imminent if nothing was done urgently.
We’re working on a diversion—Contractor
However, the federal government came to the rescue of motorists when it ordered emergency repairs. The contractor, Sermatech Nigeria Limited, was on site when NDV visited, weekend, and site agent, Engr Desmond Ewa, said: ”Right now, we are working on a diversion to divert traffic from the failed portion so that we can concentrate on the construction of the road.” He said though the company has not been mobilized, it had to move to a site trusting that the Federal Government would keep to their side of the bargain.
Minister ordered emergency repairs—Nsentip
Assistant Director of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing supervising the project, Engr. Bassey Nsentip, said the minister approved emergency repairs and they had to swing into action immediately to avert imminent danger.
Driver, traveller express joy
A driver, Mr Akanimo Udofia, said the urgent intervention had saved a lot of lives, adding: “We are so grateful to the Federal Government and Sermatech for the repairs on the road. If they had treated it with the usual delay or levity, a lot of people would have died here and businesses would have suffered in Calabar.”
A traveller, Miss Juliet Iroegbu, said it was really relieving to know that someone heard the cries of the masses for once and decided to do something urgently too.
Her words: “We know that they responded because there was a lot of media buzz and the matter went viral on social media but we thank God they did, it was quite disturbing because the situation should have been handled a lot earlier than this time. But I am glad no life was lost because of this bad spot.”