Motorists were on Saturday stranded at the Ekori/Obubra end of the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja highway in Cross River State following the blockage of traffic by a fallen trailer.
Southern City News gathered on Sunday that among those stranded was the State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, who was on his way to his hometown, Obudu, for a thanksgiving service.
It was learnt that after attempts to clear the way failed, the governor and his entourage, had to make a detour through another route to get to his destination.
No fewer than 20 trailers and 60 other vehicles were trapped in the ensuing gridlock as they could not leave the vicinity until the road was cleared in the early hours of Sunday.
A stranded commuter, Benjamin Uche, described the bad state of the road as an apology to a state that prides itself as a tourist destination.
Uche said despite an allegation that the trailer driver did not observe caution when passing through the bad spot, the road had become a threat to road users.
“We got to this spot as early as 8am on Saturday and blocked the only good portion of the road. We became stranded as more vehicles and trailers came. The scene became rowdy when the governor and his entourage also joined us for a while.
“The security men tried to clear the way but it was obvious that they could not. They had to reverse to take another route. I do not know where they took but it was obvious they knew it was not a security matter.
“This road had remained like this in the last eight years. They will only just patch some portions during the dry season and when the rain comes it goes back to this bad state.
“The government is aware of the deplorable state of this federal road and nothing is being done to rebuild the road that was constructed nearly 40 years ago. It is a disgrace to Cross River State because we are known to pride ourselves as tourist destination. Is bad road part of what tourism is all about? Cross River State should answer that question for us,” he said.
It took the intervention of the Itigidi Unit of the Federal Road Safety Corps, following an order from the State Sector Commander, Mr. Ikechukwu Igwe, to clear the road, 18 hours after.
Confirming the development, Igwe told Southern City News the intervention of his men saved the situation, even as he lamented that the trailer that blocked the road was not road worthy as the tyres were incomplete.
Igwe urged motorists to be patient when they get to bad spots on the road, hinting that the trailer driver was probably impatient when he got to the bad spot.
“Road users should please, exercise patience when they get to bad spots. They should equally ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy before they pass through this type of road. The road got blocked completely because of the impatience of other road users.
“That was why vehicles got stranded and the road became impassable. This thing happened on Friday night and the road was eventually cleared on Sunday morning. I had to come from Calabar to ensure that the road was cleared,” Igwe said. Agency report