Abuja, by a modest standard, has the nomenclature of a modern city. The bridges, interjections, tunnels, high rise buildings and other aesthetics, present a picture of a city that was well planned. For first timers, Abuja represents the assertion that Nigeria can function well if it has sincere leaders.
However, beyond the alluring aesthetics, residents believe that Abuja is fast becoming a replica of Lagos. The peripheries of the city, particularly Kubwa-Dutse Alhaji axis, Lokogoma, Nyanya-Maraba, among others, are becoming nightmares to road users and residents.
The near comatose and non-functionality of street lights at odd hours, further compounded the woes of road users. Road traffic officers and other officers of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), who should have provided their services when necessary to ease off traffic jam, are seldom available during peak hours.
In the morning and evening, driving from Nyanya-Maraba to the city is a tedious exercise to the residents of the outskirt. Beside the permanent military roadblock mounted along that axis, the tiny, yet dilapidated roads, coupled with reckless commercial drivers, make driving on that axis during peak hours an unavoidable nightmare.
For residents of various estates in Apo-Lokogoma area of Abuja, the story is the same. The non-dualisation of the major road is a huge problem. The area, during odd hours, wears the look of a dark enclave. There are no street lights and road traffic controllers are rarely on ground to help the situation. It gets worst whenever there is any broken down vehicle, as road users spend hours.
In Kubwa-Dutse Alhaji axis, it is a long walk to freedom. Beside the tiny road, reckless drivers and roadside traders have made the area a terrible nightmare. The absence of a designated taxi rank, is also a major contributing factor to the traffic situation there.
The Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello, constituted a special task force recently to evacuate the road sellers along the road corridors to ensure free flow of traffic in the areas. The chairman of the team on Traffic Management, Attah Ikharo, said the minister ordered that the committee must ensure that Abuja residents, beginning from the day of its inauguration, experience free flow of traffic.
“The Minister of FCT, Mallam Mohammed Bello, gave a matching order that the traffic along Abuja-Keffi Road precisely along Nyanya and Karu interchange be immediately tackled.
“The minister doesn’t want to see any traffic along that road spanning about one and half kilometers from Kugbo cleveite through Karu bridge, down to Nyanya bridge.
“We will ensure that those selling along the road corridors and commercial taxi drivers carrying passengers as well as those plying trade that contravenes the traffic rules and laws of the city are not allowed to operate within the framework of that disturbing area,” he said.
While lamenting the plight of residents who spend not less than five hours on roads after the day’s job, Ikharo said the team, comprising of Police, Road Safety officials, VIO and officials of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), has already swung into action.
On his part, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, warned that offenders will definitely be tried.
“There should be no reason for the traffic. People are abdicating their responsibilities. We will go there, look at it and share tasks. FRSC is a critical partner and we can use them to try offenders instantly,” he noted, urging the FCT Administration to ensure that the potholes along the roads are fixed.