The ancient city of Calabar is known for its cleanliness, greenness, freshness, warmth and a tourist delight. These are some of the qualities that have earned the city as one of the cleanest in Nigeria.
Due to this, the influx of tourists into the State is gradually increasing, either for leisure or business.
In the last two years, the city had witnessed massive vehicular movement, especially, along major routes like Marian, Calabar road, Parliamentary and others.
In view of this, the State is in dire need of two mini flyovers to ease drivers’ hours on major routes in the State. The places are Efio-Ete junction and Watts Market roundabout.
Calabar now witness massive traffic around Efio-Ete junction, stretching to Marian, MCC and Parliamentary. This traffic usually occurs at night and mostly when it is raining due to the incessant flooding in the area. Credit is given to former Governor Liyel Imoke for initiating the President Goodluck Jonathan bye-pass that now ease traffic along that route, else the Efio-Ete junction would have been worst.
Sadly, the Efio-Ete junction is playing host to too many shops around the junction. During Imoke’s second term, he demolished major shops around Rabbana roundabout to ease vehicular movement in that area while compensation was paid to the owners of the affected shops and today, the Rabanna roundabout is very much free to vehicular movement.
Last month, I witnessed a terrible incident along the hold-up in Efio-Ete. A cab man behind me was carrying a woman in labour to the hospital. It took the grace of God to create a route for the cab to convey her to the hospital after hearing her screaming in pains.
Secondly, Watts Market roundabout: This is another area in Calabar where a driver can be on the hold-up for almost 40 minutes before passing bye. The traffic jam in this area is worsening by the day. Petty traders in that area are almost entering the road in display of their goods. The stretch of hold-up in that area usually starts from Total filling station down to NIPOST, Atakpa Police station and the market area.
Recently, the Department of Public Transportation (DOPT) had commenced the disengagement of all the traders along that route, but the hold-up still linger on.
Gov. Ben Ayade should intensify effort within his second term to ease drivers’ plight along the Efio-Ete junction and Watts market roundabout to make the city vehicular free. This project can be completed within his four-year second term in office.
These mini flyovers will also serve as a way of expanding development in the city. Calabar is not known for ‘rush hour’, Calabar is a gentleman city; where Mr. Okon want to leave his house by 7.40 a.m and get to his office by 8 a.m. This is the Calabar we live in.
Dear Governor Ayade, please look into this direction as you continue visiting other project sites across the State.
George Odok is a Correspondent for News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and writes from Calabar.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, George Odok, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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