Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Spaghetti flyover: We won't allow Ayade use this road again, Odukpani youths speak out

One of the ditches dug by the contractors 

Ukorebi Esien | 23 July, 2020 

CALABAR: Youths from Odukpani Local Government Area have said that they are ready to mount a road block preventing the Governor of the state, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade from using the Odukpani- Akpamkpa road which has since become a death trap, especially the Odukpani junction axis where the governor intends to build a flyover to help decongest traffic. 

Speaking to newsmen under the umbrella of Online Media Association of Nigeria, Cross River State Chapter, who went to investigate the level of damage on the road and the untold hardship the road has caused motorist and other users, a young man who simply identified himself as Great from the community said they are greatly pained that the governor came to destroy their road in the pretext of building a spaghetti flyover. 

He further noted that the demolition of the shopping complex and motor park located along that axis without an alternative is an inhuman act from the government which as caused many persons to loss their legal means of livelihood to a project that may never materialize.

Speaking further Great said if it wasn't a PDP government that was in power in the state, youths from the area would have mounted a road block preventing the governor from passing through that road in order to send home their displeasure.

Also speaking, several motorist who gave newsmen audience begged on the governor to speed up work on the road or better still provide an emergency alternative road to divert traffic long around the Odukpani Junction while he takes his time to do a thorough work on the road. According to them the intracity bad roads within the state and potholes in Calabar have had a toll on their vehicles causing them to visit mechanic workshops frequently 


Since 2015 Cross Riverians began a journey of lamentation over what they describe as "Calabar Potholes". Calabar metropolis that once used to be the pride of Nigeria due to its clean, green and fresh nature has since become a shadow of itself.

There had been complains springing up from different quarters over neglects of roads and lack of maintenance but all seems to fall into deaf ears has little or nothing has been done. 

In 2017, the Ben Ayade led Cross River State Government came up with the idea of constructing a spaghetti flyover to reduce traffic along the Odukpani Junction axis of the Ikom-Calabar-Itu road. Immediately they swung into action and started work.

One of the first thing they did was to bulldoze an already existing motor park with a chain of stalls, which served as a shopping complex for motorist, travelers, and villagers around the community, the complex also brought in economic boom to the people because it engaged indigenes who started selling and carrying out profitable legal businesses.

Furthermore, the construction company dug ditches to the left and right sides of the road narrow road thus further narrowing the road. Those ditches were supposed to sit the pillars that will hold the flyover. 

Three years after destroying the shopping complex and motor park, and also destroying an existing lone road (the Odukpani Junction road is the only access road into Calabar). The project seems to have been abandoned and nothing is happening there except the sufferings and pains motorist and commuters go through on daily basis while using the road.

Recently as rainfall begins to gain momentum, there has been outcries from commuters and residents calling on the state government to come to their aide as the road is said to have reached it worst state leaving commuters and motorist stuck for days. 

Some Members of Cross River State Chapter of Online Media Association of Nigeria had to pay an assessment visit to the spot to see things for themselves and have a first-hand information of the situation on ground. 

Indeed the road is in a bad state, it in dire need of serious and urgent intervention, possibly a make shift road should be provided while work begins on the road. 
Some motorist we talked to, are calling on the Cross River State Government to come to their aide as it's affecting their businesses, travelers with goods are often stuck in the spot for days, most times their goods gets damaged.

As the rains continue to fall and big vehicles also continually ply the road, this further expands the ditch making the road more narrow and weak to carry vehicles. Last week, a truck loaded with chicken feed fell into one of the ditches losing all it's goods to the stagnant water that filled the ditch. 

Its no longer time to fold hands while we watch citizens risk, lost life and properties over governments delinquencies. Its time relevant government agencies woke up and take responsibility of the poor roads in Cross River State as this is the primary responsibility of Government.