by crossriverwatch admin
On Saturday, 9th November, 2013, a twenty one year old girl, Miss Patience Alu crashed down the Marian Market walk over bridge after one of the metal sheets gave way while she was walking on the bridge on her way home from the market.
Luckily, traffic was light that afternoon and she was not run over by a speeding vehicle but she sustained a fracture on her right leg and severe bruises on her head. “I felt excruciating pain on my leg and could not stand up so I had to roll over to the side of the road to avoid being crushed by a car which was coming fast towards me”. Patience, a student of Unical told CrossRiverWatch on her hospital bed at 8 Miles.
The next day, the rickety metals sheet and the one that gave way were all welded back to position by God knows who!
That is for just one spot as there are still quite a number of such deadly spots, especially on roads in which accidents that claim lives occur daily.
One of such spots is the failed culvert along Ephraim Street, Calabar South. The culvert recently erected on the road which is still under construction under the urban renewal program, has caved in completely leaving a wide gaping hole on the middle of the road into which vehicles crash in almost daily.
“We have been placing objects like car tires and pieces of clothes on stakes right on the failed spot to warn motorists but at night because of poor visibility particularly when it is raining, vehicles do plunge in there and we have recorded quite a number of casualties” Ubong, a resident of 68, Ephraim Street which is close to the failed spot said.
Another point is the Ebito culvert constructed by SERMATECH, a gaping hole on the culvert has been left open for the past six months into which cars have been having a field day crashing into.
At Ikoteneobong, 8 Miles, at the Junction leading to the 8 Miles Market, there are two yawning gaps on the middle of the road occasioned by collapsed concrete slabs.
“These slabs caved in shortly after the road was completed and since then, nobody has come to fix them and accidents do occur here frequently”. Glory, a student of the University of Calabar told our reporter.
At Bogorbiri, in front of the Access bank is another open spot on the road, which has been left open and daily pedestrians and cars fall in there.
“We have seen so many people break their legs inside that place,” Mallam Umaru, a trader opposite Access Bank said.
At IBB Way, by the traffic light, a slab on the pavement by the roadside has remained open for over one year and has claimed lives. “Some four months ago, a staff of the Department of Works, University of Calabar fell inside there and was swept away by water and has not been found since then.” Barrister James Ibor of Basic Rights Counsel whose office is right in front of the failed spot said.
According to Ibor, the family of the man has resorted to herbalists to seek for the whereabouts of their father.
“They come here every so often with herbalists who blow powdery substances here because they assume their father was swept away by witches but have not called on the authorities to address the cause, which is the negligence of the contractor”. Ibor said.
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