Musings: Who Has This Road? BY CHRISTIANA UKUNG ALAWA

In Breaking News, Columnists, National News, Opinion, Politics, Reports
Christiana Ukung Alawa and a portion of the bad road
Christiana Ukung Alawa and a portion of the bad road

I obviously do not know who owns the road but it is a total disaster. I’ll tell you why.

I set out on a journey to Obudu, Yes, my dear local government. Through the only means of transportation visible to the northern part of the state.

I wasn’t frightened by the thought of passing through almost all the local governments to a far away Obudu which was almost the last local government in the world, and shared a boundary with the people of Benue. My fear was birthed when the thought of my previous trips to and from Obudu came flashing.

Like the traveler that I am, I prepared my bag not forgetting to include Bitter Kola which had become a norm. Oh yes! Bitter kola has gained a lot of popularity lately, from the myth that it cures Ebola to the believed that it protects you against the side effects of traveling through a bad road.

Departing from Calabar at 6:15am, all I could think of was home..

Then my journey started through Calabar municipality, then came the ever mighty Odukpani road (who hasn’t heard of that road????

The trucks carrying their heavy goods and crawling through the dust, I shook my head and bothered less because the journey was still fresh.

Then passed Akpabuyo, Biase, Yakurr yes Ugep…

Ugep found me squeezing my face and almost regretting the journey, obviously the bitter kola wasn’t working.

Obubra was where I was forced to scream for help, as no matter how slowly and carefully the driver went, I could feel the ground with my hands because I sat by the window side.

This wasn’t over.

Tiny thoughts of regret kept crawling in, but by this time I consoled myself the end point will be good as I was going to see home.

We just jumped in and out around the vehicle composing a new dance in the process as our uniformed movements showed everybody was affected by the bad road. Literally I saw night mares during the day.

At some point an old lady sitting beside me held her head, brought out her well beaded rosary and started calling for the help of God.

gods of Obubra only smiled at us as they bid us fare well and led us into Ikom.

When we stopped, I went for a pepperish meal of snail and sauce, at least to ease the stress….(you know),
while hoping the journey gets better I looked at my watch, only then did I realize we had spent 4 hours on the road already.

Etung had us this time, even their cocoa farms couldn’t save us from the road, I told myself, This is phase two and of course the final phase”

We were ushered into Boki with the rich and thick forest, tall tress and plantains.

I took delight in creating imageries of what could happen under those thick trees, the lush vegetation laid bare to the sunny day as cover crops grew stylishly portraying the richness of Northern Cross River. The best of Nollywood scary movies could be shot in this area, but again I lost concentration as I jumped the 704th pothole in one day. (The ones dodged not inclusive).

I began to feel for the pregnant women who would have miscarriages courtesy of this road.

I even began to imagine the number of accidents recorded on the road. This Boki road had really sharp bends. The road though tiny was lonely with the forest holding dear to it.

Finally, Boki wasn’t too good, I shoke my head as I saw a sign post that told me I was in Obanliku, by this time, my beloved bitter kola and peppery snail meat had started a route in my stomach.

We danced for a while, my belly aching, I couldn’t dare stop the driver because just like me, every other person was tired and only wished for one thing… To get to the final destination.

My thoughts were clouded, thinking of nothing in particular, I was furious and of course angry at who
ever had this road. I had to smile when I was reminded I was home already.

But my smile was short lived because I know that in a week or two I’ll be using this very road again and I’ll spend roughly 7hours on a very bad road…..And the owner of the road doesn’t want to either own up to his responsibility or give us another means of transportation.

So again I scream, WHO HAS THIS ROAD!!!!

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