Bad state of East-West road leaves hundreds stranded, traumatised

The deplorable state of the East-West road in South South geo-political zone of Nigeria is beginning to take a toll on commuters plying the strategic highway .

Hundreds of citizens were left stranded from the weekend till late Monday on the Kolokuma/Opokuma and Mbiama sections in Bayelsa State. The road links the 11 states in South South and South East regions.

The Guardian learnt that for over 24 hours, vehicles coming from Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital as well as Delta and Rivers states, were held up in a most horrible traffic gridlock ever witnessed since construction of the Bayelsa section of the road was halted.

The traffic jam stretched from Opokuma junction through Zarama and Kaiama Bridge, leaving commuters to walk distances with the aid of torchlight and illumination from handsets. While that of Mbiama junction stretched over three kilometers, Kolokuma / Opokuma section’s was even farther, with users recounting their ordeals.

When The Guardian visited the spot, commuters were seen trekking long distances after waiting endlessly for their vehicles to meander through the highway where heavy trucks had already stuck.

Those conveying goods had to remain in their vehicles, while those in possession of perishable goods have begun counting their losses.

The infuriated users flayed the federal and state government for their disposition towards the completion of the road.

According to them, the Opokuma axis of the highway has now become a death trap. They, therefore, called on the relevant agencies to do the needful.

A user, John Otulo, said: “The Kolokuma/Opokuma axis is worrisome and this is another call on the federal and state governments to do all they can to complete the project in good time.

He said the importance of the highway to the economic development of the state and the nation at large cannot be over-emphasised.

However, repairs works on the failed portion began yesterday morning, as construction workers were seen mobilising for the exercise.

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