Passengers held up on Abuja-Lokoja road as FRSC blames drivers’ recklessness

FILE PHOTO: Gridlock used to illustrate the story

A frequent user of the road called it a regular occurrence during this period.

The North to South bound passengers, travelling for the Easter break on the Abuja-Lokoja road, were on Friday stranded for hours because of heavy gridlock on the expressway.

Some passengers who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria expressed frustration for waiting for many hours on the same spot.

Okon John, one of the passengers coming from Ondo State, said he left home at 6.a.m., only to be trapped at Koton Karfe for three hours.

“Imagine, I left home very early thinking that I will beat this traffic, only to be held up here for three hours.”

Mr. John appealed to the Federal Government to see to the completion of the road project to avoid future occurrence of the gridlock.

Grace Darby, described the traffic situation as horrible, alleging that government saw it coming but did nothing to avert the situation.

“I am appealing to the Federal Government to consider the plight of Nigerians plying this road,” she said.

Mrs. Darby said that the Abuja-Lokoja road project was long overdue for completion.

Okocha Nwafor, a driver, said the situation was not strange to him because he experiences the gridlock every year.

“This is not new to me. In fact, this is even better compared to what we suffered the previous year. It is a regular occurrence and we drivers are accustomed to it,” he said.

He advised drivers who plied the Abuja-Lokoja road to exercise patience and respect traffic rules and road signals, including driving against traffic and complicating the traffic situation.

Security operatives were at the scene trying to salvage the situation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has blamed motorists for the heavy traffic jam on the Koton- Karfe – Abaji Road. The Sector Commander of the FRSC in Nasarawa State, Francis Udoma, told newsmen on Friday that motorists had turned the two-lane road into six lanes, thereby making it difficult for vehicles coming from both ends to move easily.

Mr. Udoma said the situation had considerably slowed down traffic flow into and out of the Federal Capital Territory but said FRSC officials had been deployed to free the road of the gridlock.

Mr. Udoma, who was deployed to Kogi State for the Easter special operation, said his men had also been able to open the River Niger Bridge to traffic after several hours of disruption caused by an accident involving a trailer on Thursday night. He said that the trailer loaded with 700 bags of beniseeds fell on its side at the middle of the bridge thereby making it difficult for vehicles from Abuja to pass through.

Mr. Udoma, however, said that his men with the assistance of “some good Samaritans” had removed the bags of beniseeds and the vehicle and successfully re-opened the road to traffic.

He said the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene and Lokoja-Ajaokuta-Ayangba-Ankpa roads had been witnessing heavy traffic since Thursday afternoon. He said officials had been deployed to ensure free flow of traffic during and after the holidays.


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