John Adams, Minna
Government and commercial activities were brought to a halt in Minna, the Niger State capital, on Tuesday following a highway gridlock caused by articulated trucks and tankers plying major roads in the city.
The situation forced public and private schools to temporarily shut down as a result of the traffic back up, with the only link road within the state capital having been cut off due to its deplorable condition.
Worst hit was the three kilometre Chanchaga-Shango entrance route to Minna, which had been blocked completely following an accident involving a fuel tanker on Monday night.
This is coming barely a week after a similar incident involving another fuel tanker which capsized right at the gate of the state owned college of education.
It took the joint efforts of the state fire service, state Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and other security units to ensure that the situation was brought under control.
Articulated vehicles traveling between Northern and Southern Nigeria have continued to re-route their journeys through Bida-Minna-Suleja road as an alternative route following the collapse of the Mokwa-Tegina-Brinin Gwari and the Bida-Agaie-Lambata-Sukeja highways.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, who was at the scene of Tuesday’s gridlock, expressed disappointment over the activities of these articulated vehicles on state roads.
The Governor reminded trailer, tanker and truck divers that the law restricting the movement of the vehicles in the state was still in force, stressing that “they are only allowed to move between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am to allow the ongoing maintenance works on the failed portions of the highways.”
He appealed to the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, come to the rescue of the state government to fix the federal roads in order ease pressure on township roads.