Ogar is from Cross River state.
He works in the Cross River state civil service in Calabar.
Evelyn is from Akwa Ibom State.
She works in a multinational company in Uyo.
They were both in love and had started a long term relationship.
Due to the distance between them, the only time they could meet each other was during weekends.
Some weekends Ogar would visit Evelyn in Uyo.
Some weekends Evelyn would visit Ogar in Calabar.
It was necessary for bonding and planning their future together.
One Saturday morning by 7 am, Evelyn got an emergency call from her lover.
He sounded weak and could barely speak.
“Baby, please come over. I am dying, I can’t move, I can’t eat, I am having acute malaria and typhoid. Please I need you now!” He appealed.
Evelyn grabbed her purse and bag and rushed out of the house.
She headed to Aktc Motor park at Itam.
She boarded a vehicle going to Calabar.
It was 9am when the bus got filled and drove out.
They hit the Calabar-Itu highway.
A federal road built in 1977.
The road was in a dilapidated state.
Big potholes and long muddy stretches.
It was almost impassable.
The road was packed with heavy duty vehicles, private and commercial vehicles.
The vehicles lined up behind each other in a long queue.
There was no movement on the road.
It was a cul de sac.
Word came out that three trailers in front had fallen due to the bad road.
Evelyn was restless. She just had to be in Calabar.
A journey of two hours was taking forever.
Her phone battery was running low.
In her haste to leave the house she had forgotten to pick her power bank and charger.
Ogar was not picking her calls.
She feared that the worst had happened to him.
Hawkers besieged the vehicles with their wares.
The rain suddenly fell in droves.
Three long hours of heavy rainfall.
The commuters were stuck in one position.
It was approaching 5pm and the journey was not even halfway completed.
The passengers bemoaned their fate.
“We go sleep for this road this night?”
There was nothing they could do.
There was not even space to turn and head back to Uyo.
Nightfall came with uncertainty.
Evelyn was hungry, exasperated, frustrated and drained.
Her phone had gone off.
There was no option but to spend the night in the bus on the Calabar-Itu highway.
Slow movement began by dawn.
It was about 12 noon the next day when Evelyn finally got to Etta agbor park in Calabar.
She took a cab to Ogar’s home at State housing estate.
Alas, she was too late.
Ogar was lying on the bed.
Evelyn screamed in anguish.
Her voice could be heard from miles away.
The Calabar Itu highway remains in its dilapidated state.
The people of the Cross River and Akwa Ibom states have been abandoned to their fate.
16 years of the Pdp.
6 years of the Apc.
Yet the Calabar-Itu highway remains in its dilapidated state.
A sad story of deprivation.
Evelyn sunk into depression.
I visited her but she could barely recognize my presence.
“The Calabar-Itu highway took away my love” she mumbled incoherently to herself.
Tears ran down my cheeks.