Drivers plying the Nelson Mandela road, popularly known as SARS road, Rupokwu in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State have raised concern about the devastating condition of the road and how it affects their daily activities.
Some of the drivers who spoke with our correspondent mentioned that efforts have been made to revitalize the road but attempt to reach the government led to a dead end, adding that the road becomes impassable whenever it rains.
A commercial tricycle rider, David Dimpa while stating his grievances said the situation on the road often makes bike riders in the community spend more money on their bikes.
“Only Keke can use this road, cars can’t pass after heavy downpours no matter how short the journey is, we do spend a lot to fix it because the road is so bad, making things difficult for us. Sometimes, we go to the mechanic three times a week.” He said.
Another motorist, Ebuka John, said that he has lost count of how many times he had repaired his vehicle and that the situation on the road has affected both him and his colleagues.
He said, “Since this road got damaged, we have been having many difficulties. We had to repair so many things in our car including the tire rod, bottom plate, bolt joint, steering rack, I can count on…
“If it rains here now, we can not pass there. You know some of these Keke buses can not be used in a flood, so we have to park and wait for the water to reduce before we move. We only have one street that we use to get to the other side and that one is also bad, sometimes the residents will lock the street and we’ll have to use the major road. We’ve complained so much but nothing has been done, we just pray for the government to remember us”
“On a good day, by this time, I would have made #5000 but now I don’t make up to that in a day because passengers are not using this road as they used to”
He added that many of the passengers have diverted from using the road which had consequently affected his income.
A road transport union worker in the community, Mr. Okoro while reacting also noted, “We do fall out of the tricycles, a lot of women have fallen and had to be rushed to the nearby health center for urgent treatment. So we want the government to help us look into this road and solve our dilemma.”
Upon a visit to the Local Government Secretariat of the area, the officials refuse to speak about the roads.