Deplorable. Decrepit. Disgusting. Dangerous. These words describe the ugly state of the Ikwuano road in Abia, leading to Akwa Ibom. The road is so bad that motorists resort to navigating through bush paths in Isiama Oboro and Ndoro villages. And the village ‘roads’ hardly fare better even as urchins collect toll from drivers driving through their fathers’ land, as they often claim. This is just one of the several bad roads in Abia that may pose danger to indigenes who will want to visit their villages this Christmas.
Indeed, driving on the Ikwuano road is like a journey through the valley of the shadow of death. Or better still, a suicide mission. It constitutes a grave danger to man and machine. You cannot pass through the route without developing body aches or pains and no vehicle passes their without visiting the mechanic.
The craters are so deep that they can swallow a vehicle. And when it rains, it turns into a muddy river. Broken down vehicles litter the road even as residents and users of the road lament the trauma they go through daily.
Mr John Kennedy Chika, who uses the road, described it as a death trap. “I am an indigene of Abia but resident in Calabar, Cross River State. Any time I have cause to travel home, my heart will be pounding in anxiety because of the state of the road, particularly in Ikwuano area. That road is a death trap. Accidents occur there all the time. Ordinarily, it is a journey of about four hours from Owerri to Calabar but because of the disgusting state of the road it lasts up to eight hours. If a vehicle breaks down in some areas, you may sleep on the road because it will cause traffic gridlock. I have experienced that before and it was not funny at all. I don’t go to my village anymore with my car because I spend so much repairing it after any trip with it.”
A driver in a transport company, Mr Steve Dibia corroborated this, saying: “You cannot get used to that road. You cannot tell what will happen on the road and you cannot estimate the time frame going to Uyo from Umuahia because of the state of the road. In my organisation, drivers can be sent on any route but any time I’m billed to ply the road my mood changes for obvious reasons. Using the Ikwuano road is torture, pure and simple. The state government claims that it is a federal road but why is the Abia portion impassable? Something is wrong somewhere.” -SunNews