By Ike Uchechukwu
IDUDUN- THE people of Idundun, Ayangbe and Etay Ayip in Akpabuyo and Calabar Municipality Local Government Areas, Cross River are grumbling about alleged neglect of the two-kilometer Oban-Ikang link road six years after a contractor dug out the tar.
Residents told NDV that the scraping of the tar and eventual removal of the asphalt had caused huge potholes on the road, which in turn plunged the people into avoidable adversity.
The two-km road which was scraped from Etab Ayip Roundabout, by Jonathan Airport bypass in 2013, has also made the road impassable, thereby increasing transport fare and reducing vehicular activities on the route.
However, motorcycle operators, popularly called Alalok or okada were reportedly making brisk business because cars hardly ply the route anymore.
We’re in pain – HRH Ayito, clan head
Speaking with NDV, the head of Kasuk II Qua clan, Calabar Municipality, HRH Ededem Ayito, said: “Since 2013 when the road was scraped by CCECC under the purview of the Federal Government, nothing else has been done, many of the villages and communities on the other side of the bridge have suddenly been plunged into economic hardship.
“It has caused serious hardship to those communities. There are some businesses like relaxation spots, restaurants and even a slaughter that used to be along that road, they have all folded up.
“We want to use this medium to appeal to both Federal and Cross River state governments to come to the aid of the people because the hardship has gotten out of hands,” he said. .
…could have been worse – Asuquo, community leader
A community leader, Chief Festus Asuquo, disclosed that had it not been for the proactive nature of the youths, it would have been worse because they had to stop the contractor from further bulldozing the road.
He said: “When the contractor started bulldozing the road, they wanted to take the head bridge, but the youths refused and asked them to finish the part already scraped before continuing as if they knew the project would be abandoned.
“Six years after, nothing has been done on that road; in fact, the road has been taken over by potholes, and has become so deplorable to the point that we can hardly drive our cars through that road.
Soaring transport fare
“Before now, from Calabar to Idundun, Ayangbe was about N100 – N150, but today, it is between N400 and N600 from the roundabout by Jonathan By-pass. Motorcyclists collect as high as N500 to Idundun, before now, it used to be just N50 in the day and N100 at night,” he bemoaned.
Brisk business by motorcyclists
A motorcyclist, Andrew Umoren, said: “I know our people are suffering, but I must confess that my business has expanded since the road was bulldozed by the contractor, I have bought three more motorcycles.
“I do not pray it continues, but the hardship on the road is much, a lot of people have been injured on that road. We pray that the Federal Government will do something urgent about it,” he added.