Commuters using the Atimbo/Akpabuyo road in Calabar, Cross River State, are appealing that the state government should come to their aid and repair large parts of the road that are currently impassable. Additionally, there is also resentment that several persons operating as Federal Road Safety officers, the Police, Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIOs and others, have become a nuisance on the road as they mount road blocks that continue to make using this road a painful experience. “I use this road four to six times a day, it is pathetic and then FRSC, Police (even with DPO sef), VIO … are waiting, 200 metres apart to collect toll from cars with all types of silly reasons …” Remi Eta, who uses the road, wrote on Facebook.
When www.calitown.com made an on-the-spot assessment of the road, it was discovered that one particular spot, between the end of the Navy barracks and the beginning of the Atimbo bush meat market, had several deep ditches which have clearly taken the road apart. Last Tuesday’s rain in Calabar, left a massive pool of water that Calabar residents quickly christened “Atimbo Deep Sea Port”, after one of state governor, Ben Ayade’s signature project.
Sources inside cement manufacturer, Lafarge, who mainly use this road to transact business, informed www.calitown.com that, “every truck that leaves Lafarge pays N12, 800 (twelve thousand, eight hundred naira only) to the state government. We are talking about a minimum of 200 trucks per day which adds up to a lot of money and if your state government cannot fix this road with the little contribution we are making then this unfortunate situation will continue to rub off on all of us.”
Rising to government’s defence, Christian Ita, Chief Press Secretary to state governor, Ben Ayade, maintained that “the road levy paid by these trucks cannot be for the Atimbo road alone. I mean, don’t these trucks use the Jonathan bye-pass or several other roads in the state? We seem to be playing politics with everything; let me say this clearly, if you look around you will see that government has begun the rehabilitation of roads in the state and even though the Atimbo road is a federal road, the state government which fixed it last year, will still fix it again this year. It is so unfortunate that the rains this year have been something else but government will respond please”
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