Calabar/Itu Road Threatens Calabar Festival

It is becoming clear by the day that attempts by the Cross River State government to woo tourists to the state especially for the annual Calabar Christmas Festival, may be headed for the woods. The reason is that, unless it takes decisive action and effects much needed repairs on the Cross River section of the Calabar/Itu highway, not many people will brave the dangerous odds and make it to the state.

One commuter with verifiable claims that he was recently stuck at several bad portions of the road for seven hours yesterday, one the line from Port Harcourt, South-South Nigeria, told that, “If this is what one has to go through to go in and out of Calabar then there is clearly no reason why anybody should want to come to Calabar”.

A long line of cars at the Odukpani Junction
A long line of cars at the Odukpani Junction

It is a feeling shared by another commuter who went on to say that, “for several months now, no one, not even government has had answers to the problem commuters making their way to or out of Calabar have been experiencing. Long and endless queues of vehicles trapped for hours on end, make travelling to Calabar, a painful exercise”, further wondering “what all the budgetary allocations for solving this problem have achieved?”.

To understand why commuters are becoming agitated, cali will recall that as recent as some months ago, the Federal Executive Council in a widely publicised announcement stated that a huge amount of money has been approved for the reconstruction of the road. Unfortunately however, nothing on the ground demonstra tes that something is about to be done.

A commuter who doesn’t want his name in print was of the opinion that “the Cross River State government which seems partially committed to embarking on serious remedial work on the road is demonstrating that it does not understand the importance of this road to her tourism drive. I mean, this particular road, connects her to other parts of the South-South region, the Eastern flank of the country as well as the South-West region, where tourists’ traffic is guaranteed. Why ignore the problem and wait for meaningless manna from Abuja when something can atleast be done especially now that lots of people have set their sights on coming to Calabar”.

It does not look likely that something is about to happen soon as a competent source in the Ministry of Works office in Ekorinim, Calabar told that, “hmm, we don’t know what to do-o”.

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