Motorists plying the newly constructed 148km Mfum-Okpoma-Bekwara-Obudu-Obaliku dual carriage highway in northern Cross River, say their socio- economic situation has immensely improved following the construction of the road by Governor Ben Ayade.
The road cuts across the five local government areas of Cross River North senatorial district.
Described as the most ambitious road project undertaken by any state government in the history of Nigeria given its length, about 120 kilometres have been completely asphalted with work ongoing on the remaining portions of the road.
Some of the motorists disclosed that they were among cynics who doubted the ability of Ayade to deliver the road project.
One of them, Ogar Simon, an Okada rider, is now full of apologies for the governor.
“We doubted the initial intentions of the governor for the road. We were among those that termed the road ‘Ayade dust’ but right now we know better because the governor has delivered road, he has fulfilled his promise. He has brought a lot of smiles to our faces, we no longer have to buy tyres every now and then due to bad roads.
“I would like to apologise to our dear Governor for doubting his noble intentions for this road. He has done very well”, Simon said.
Also speaking, a farmer, Mr. Emmanuel Amuchi noted that the road has added value to farm produce as movement of the produce from the farms to the markets is now very easy.
“We are very excited and happy about this road construction here and we thank God for giving us a Governor like Ayade, who listened to the cries of the common man and gave us this road.
“Before now we found it very difficult to move our goods from the farms to the markets, but now we do so with relative ease,” Mr Amuchi enthused.
For Nyaya Sunday Andor, a bus driver, only apologies to Ayade would suffice.
“You cannot make an omelet without breaking an egg, every good thing needs patience and we are enjoying the result of that patience today.
“I therefore, hereby tender my unreserved apology to our hardworking governor for my initial misgivings about this road construction.”
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Information, Comrade Asu Okang has explained that the 148- kilometre road will make the iconic Obudu Mountain Resort Ranch resort more viable as it provides shorter and motorable access to the facility.
“The importance of the road to the ranch cannot be over emphasized as the ranch is the core tourism component of our state.
“The challenge of driving on bad road for several hours to get to the ranch discourages a lot of fun seekers and with the advent of this road which shortens the journey. Now we expect a whole lot more patronage for the ranch”, Okang said.