Commuting in and out of Calabar through the Odukpani Junction has gradually become a nightmare, calitown.com can authoritatively report. The situation is so bad that in the last couple of days, some commuters have had to abandon their journey or endure waiting in line for long hours as the traffic situation at the junction continues to defy remedial actions in place to solve the problem.
One policeman on condition of anonymity revealed that, “the problem is caused by the heavy duty trucks conveying stones from Akamkpa to places like Uyo, Port Harcourt, Aba and several other places, passing through here”. He added that because of the volume of trucks, the road has become impassable in a lot of places with even attempts to repair the road proving inadequate.
Most commuters spoken to agree that because of the strategic importance of the Calabar/Itu federal road to the people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states, the government oof the two states should work towards fixing the road since the Federal Government has not deemed it fit to fix the road.
The situation has become so bad that a journey from Calabar to Uyo which can ordinarily be taken in an hour, now takes close to four hours or more, depending on the intensity of the hold up. On Fridays when lots of people travel in and out of Calabar, multiple car queues are often visible over a long stretch. Some commuters have spent nights at the hold up while others abandon their vehicles there and hop on motorcycles who are making brisk business at the junction.
One commuter was emphatic in saying that, “we cannot say Cross River State is driving tourism when it cannot make the only access road to the capital accessible. So everybody who is coming to Calabar must come by air or water? If government is serious, it will look for a way out of this situation now before it gets completely out of hand”. He went on to sat that, “they had better expand this road which was constructed more that 30 years ago or even the governor will discover that he too will not be able to pass through here”, he concluded.
While attempts by calitown.com to speak with officials of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, on the state of the road proved unsuccessful, sources in the state Ministry of Works say modalities are in motion to tackle the problem once and for all.
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