By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR— MOTORISTS in Calabar, Cross River State, have expressed concern over the worsening condition of Calabar-Odukpani Road occasioned by the rainy season.
Some motorists, who spoke to NDV, described the road as a deathtrap, adding that they have never had it this bad, even during the administrations of former governors, Donald Duke, and Senator Liyel Imoke.
Commercial bus driver, Mr. Michael Asuquo, said: “The road is terrible, especially now that the rainy season is intensifying. Incidentally, the contractors are hardly there these days. Even before the rains where were they?
“The road had damaged my car on several occasions. If not for my business, I would have stopped plying the road. One takes a lot of unnecessary risks because the government has neglected its responsibilities.”
Another driver, Mr. Egbelo Ubi, said: “All my shock absorbers have gone bad because of this road. Also, my bearings and other parts have gone bad. I repair them each time I pass through the road.
“To make matters worse, one cannot say exactly what the contractor handling the road is doing. Today you see them here, tomorrow they are nowhere to be found.”
A resident of the area, Johnson Ita, asserted that “the other day, a tanker fell and caused an explosion that killed many of our people. After that, we have witnessed more fatal accidents because of the bad condition of the road.”
A commercial motorcycle (Alalok) rider, Ikot Ekpo, said: “The Skanoble Petrol Station side used to be cut off during heavy rain; this is very dangerous. The state government awarded a contract for the rehabilitation of about 10 kilometres of the road for over a year now.”
Contacted, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ayade, Mr Christian Ita, said: “The contractor handling the job is Semartech and we know their record.
“They are doing the right thing because there are so many hills and valleys on the path that needs to be filled and graded properly. We know people need to use the roads, but a quality job must be done.
“We are not relenting in making sure that the project is completed. The road is being expanded, not just mere rehabilitation, so the people must understand the enormity of work going on.”