ABA-Motorists plying the Aba- Azumini highway in Abia state have cries out the federal government to commence rehabilitation works on the dilapidated Aba- Azumini highway.
Besides the equally dilapidated Aba-Ikot Ekpene which has been abandoned, the Aba –Azumini highway links Abia to Akwa Ibom state, is now the only gateway for commuters going to Uyo, Calabar, Ikom and Cameroun.
The first sign that all is not well with the Aba –Azumini highway are the large pot holes which confront motorists as soon as they pass the Obingwa section to the Akirika – Azumini end.
The worst section of the highway is the section between Akirika community in Ukwa East local government area in Abia and Ika local government area in Akwa Ibom state where motorists meander through gullies and bush parts. The road has become a death trap with deep craters capable of burying trucks.
One of the deep gullies at Aba-Azumini Highway
In an interview with South East Voice, a bus driver who gave his name as Ndifreke who conveys dealers on crayfish from Oron in Akwa Ibom State to Aba, narrated their ordeal on the road during the rainy season, stressing that if rehabilitation works are not done; the road will no longer be passable when the next rainy season sets in.
He said, “I have been a driver on this route for over 15 years; it has never been dilapidated to this extent. The federal government should commence rehabilitation works on the bad portions, if nothing is done before the next rainy season, the road will no longer be passable.
During the last rainy season, many transport companies including Peace Mass Transit, Akwa Ibom Transport Company and their passengers had to sleep on this road due to the deep gullies because many heavy duty trucks got stuck and could not pass through.”
A trader, identified as Clifford narrated the ordeal of motorists and traders from the Akwa Ibom areas who travelled to Aba to buy goods and was stuck in thegullies as some of them spent a day or two before their vehicles could be offloaded and rescued from the gullies.
A resident of Akirika -Nta community, Chief Godwin Mejuru lamented that they have been cut off from their neighbours, and appealed to the state and federal governments to rehabilitate the road and save the people from reliving their ugly experience during the past rainy season.
South East Voice reports that the Aba-Azumini highway which criss-connects Abia and Akwa Ibom states serve as the major link to the Enugu –Port Harcourt expressway at Obehie.