Presidential convoy defies traffic rules, endangers road users in Abuja

A presidential convoy, believed to be carrying Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who was on his way from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, drove against traffic and caused serious confusion to road users along the Musa Yar’Adua Expressway on Wednesday.

Mr. Sambo, our sources said, was returning to the city after seeing off President Goodluck Jonathan, who left for Belgium after the Federal Executive Council’s meeting on Wednesday.

Two vehicles had a head-on collision on the side of the road the convoy should rightly have passed, resulting in a minor traffic build-up.

The vice-president and his convoy then decided to hit the wrong side of the road, driving in erratic speed and causing the road users who had the right of way to swerve into surrounding bushes and trenches.

The incident was rather unpleasant for some road users especially as it was raining heavily at the time.

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Some affected motorists and commuters, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES last night, complained about the insensitivity and callousness of the occupants of the presidential convoy.

“We were heading to the airport” a road user, who did not want to be named, said. “We were very vulnerable, and were expected to climb the culvert and run into the bush,” he said, adding that the action of the presidential team could not be rationalized.

Paul Ibe, a journalist, who was caught in the confusion, described the experience as harrowing.

An apparently angry Mr. Ibe said on his Facebook page moments after the incident, “I just witnessed madness playing itself out on the Musa Yar’Adua Airport Expressway in Abuja. Siren-blazing vehicles of ostensibly what Fela will call vagabonds in power (VIP) having succeeded in blocking and causing chaos on the side of the highway coming into town, another very long convoy faces us and is dangerously plying against traffic in difficult and rainy situation. May God save us!”

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Mr. Ibe later updated his post saying he had confirmed Mr. Sambo was on the convoy.

Responding to Mr. Ibe’s lamentation, another motorist, Chijioke Igolo, said, “That’s my route and this is what we face everyday. When will this madness end.”

Aso Rock’s Spokesperson, Reuben Abati, could not be reached to comment for this story.

He did not answer or return calls. And so also is the vice-president’s spokesperson, Sani Umar.







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