The Cross River State branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has expressed worry over the extremely bad state of the Calabar-Itu road as well as the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja highway.
The situation of the roads has become nightmarish to motorists as commuters spend not less than five hours to travel from Calabar to Uyo, a distance of less than 130 kilometres.
The State Chairman of IPMAN, Mr. Lawrence Agim, who stated this in Calabar, after the just concluded union election into various offices on Friday, said the deplorable state of the roads had hampered the movement of petroleum products from the Calabar depot to other areas.
This came just as thousands of road users plying the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja highway have abandoned the route due to the deplorable state of the road.
Agim, who lauded the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the National President of IPMAN, Chief Obasi Lawson, for intervening in the union crisis, called on the Federal Government to urgently carry out remedial works on the failed roads.
“IPMAN is calling on the Federal Government to urgently consider the deplorable states of the roads, which are not only retrogressive, but also putting the state in an economically disadvantaged position.
“The association has also noted with satisfaction that the hitherto problems associated with litigation and confusion have now become a thing of the past due to the efforts of Chief Obasi Lawson and Dr. Ibe Kachikwu,” he said.
Meanwhile, a road user, Mr. Anthony Uzezi, who decried the hurdle motorists usually go through while plying Ikom or Ogoja, said low vehicles could no longer pass through the road because of the deep potholes.
He also blamed the government and security operatives in the state for the crisis that had almost turned the affected communities to ghost towns.
Uzezi said, “I set out to return to Calabar this Saturday morning, but when we got close to the feuding communities, we were advised to go back because the situation is very bad.
“So, I had to return all the way to Ikom and took the Abakaliki road to get to Ugep before coming to Calabar. The road has been very bad over the years but the present state is not passable. Low vehicles can no longer ply the road,” he said.