Port Harcourt -Motorists plying the Imo section of Port Harcourt-Owerri expressway, have decried the deplorable state of the road, describing it as “death trap.’’
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored the road, reports that the section at Imo is dilapidated and not motor able.
Due to its deplorable state, motorists are now compelled to drive through a narrow road at Umuapu village to bypass the expressway.
Mr Okon Eden, a commercial bus driver, said that the poor state of the road had made travelling difficult than it should ordinarily be.
“We now take a very narrow road inside Unuapu village to cut-off the expressway; this makes the journey longer.
“Our vehicles sometimes get damage because the road in the village we take to bypass the expressway is also in a bad state;
“A journey that should take one hour now takes more than four hours,’’ Edet said.
Mr Fabian Udoh, another commercial driver plying the expressway, told NAN that its deplorable state had made travelling and transport business across the area dangerous.
He said that road users were robbed daily, especially when they get to the bad portion of the expressway at odd hours.
The dilapidated portion of the expressway had become a source of revenue for jobless youths in Umuapu village, who collect tolls from motorists before allowing them to pass through the only access road in their community.
The youths, who collect between N50 and N200 from motorists, said they were unhappy that the access road in their community had become the only access road for motorists.
Mr Kelechi Maduako, a youth in Umuapu community told NAN that the high number of vehicles plying the road in their community was having its toll on the road.
“That is why we have decided to collect money from motorists; we repair the road through community efforts; motorists have to pay to use it since the express road is completely bad.
“Where will they (motorists) have taken if the community did not keep its access road use-able through community efforts,’’ he asked.
Maduako called on the federal government to come to the aid of the public by ensuring that the contractor handling the rehabilitation of the highway is mobilised to site.
“People have really suffered during this rainy season; the government needs to do something now so that this does not continue,’’ he said. (NAN)