Ahead of Christmas, an avalanche of outcry is coming from the people of the South-East, particularly motorists on the deplorable state of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway.
For over a decade , the Enugu-Onitsha expressway has been under construction.
The road is only used during the general elections by politicians to woo the people of the South-East and soon forgotten after the elections.
For example, during the last presidential election, Dame Patience Jonathan claimed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium where her husband, Dr Goodluck Jonathan had come to campaign that the former president had done the Enugu-Onitsha expressway for the people of the zone.
But the people of the zone tired of the politics played with the road have resorted to using the old road done by former Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State that cuts through his native Udi town through Awka in Anambra State.
Motorists and commuters who still use the Enugu-Onitsha expressway are only taking great risks over their lives as the road has become a death trap.
The Enugu-Onitsha expressway has been under construction for over a decade with no section of it completed, thereby leaving some sections with deep potholes that make passage for passersby, private and commercial vehicles highly perilous.
Consequently, the road has witnessed several accidents that resulted into loss of lives.
The expressway from the 9th Mile Corner in Enugu State to Awka in Anambra States has become a source of nightmare to motorists and other road users with some of them veering off to use the once abandon old road in a longer route.
A journey on the expressway showed that after Awka, the capital city of Anambra to Enugu, the trip becomes tortuous, especially when there was rainfall as coming from Enugu Agidi junction through Nteje through Odumodu to Umunya sections are hellish and need urgent attention.
A commercial driver, Mr John Nwede lamenting told Oriental News that the road which should have been one of the best roads in the South-East as it connected all the five states of the region and a gateway to South-South and South-West has been left in ruins.
He, therefore, pleaded with the Federal Government to urgently rehabilitate the road to reduce road accidents on it, saying that the Anambra State government has done a lot to ensure that the road was motorable by building flyovers and reconstruction of some parts of the road, leaving the Federal Government to do what is expected of it.
Another motorist and civil servant who goes to work from Onitsha , Mrs Rose Onyema narrated her ordeal on how her car was trapped on the deep pothole at the Umunya section of the road on a rainy day which made her to abandon the vehicle there for days.
Oriental News also observed that along Awka road, gully erosion is about to cut the road into two around the Nkpor New Auto Spare Part Market/Nkpor Main Market axis in Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The erosion site which is located precisely beside the flyover after the Mgbuka Market road, Nkpor has already eaten a sizable part of the road.
Oriental News gathered that a similar gully had eaten up the same road few years ago, and motorists said if urgent steps are not taken to prevent the fast encroaching gully erosion by the appropriate quarters, the road would be cut off soon.
Investigations revealed that commercial bus drivers who are the major users of that particular side of the road are at a high risk of sinking into the deep hole which the erosion has created in the area.
The Chairman of Idemili North, Chief Emma Idemobi when contacted said that he has written to the Ministry of Works with a view to drawing its attention for immediate action on the erosion site, adding that he was still waiting for their response.
Idemobi warned the commercial bus drivers to henceforth stop plying on the side of the road affected by the erosion, advising them to instead use the fly over “because prevention they said is better than cure.”
Also, a pressure group under the aegis of Igboezue International Association of Nigeria has vehemently decried the poor condition of the Onitsha-Enugu expressway ahead of the Christmas season, saying that the road under its present bad condition cannot guarantee safe movement of the people of the South-East during the yelitude.
The group, therefore, called on the Federal Ministry of Works as matter of urgency to start work on the road with a view to reducing loss of lives and property on it during Christmas.
Successive governments in Anambra State have done and still doing a lot to ensure that lives and property was saved along the expressway by the construction of flyover and construction of some section of the road despite the fact the road is federal.