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The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Owen Aken­zua, As­aba

…Mo­torists Flay FG Al­leged Ne­glect, Call For Ur­gent Steps

ABYSMAL mul­ti­ple pot­holes on the Benin-as­aba Ex­press­way have con­tin­ued to wreak havoc on mo­torists, es­pe­cially truck driv­ers as 127 per­sons have lost their lives ply­ing the death-trap. In­ves­ti­ga­tions show that the pitiable state of the Ben­inAs­aba/ughelli/ebu/abuja/ag bor/abraka fed­eral roads por­tends sor­row, as it records al­most daily ca­su­alty of mo­torists and pas­sen­gers.

Sev­eral mo­torists who spoke to The­guardian, flayed fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s ne­glect, call­ing for ur­gent so­lu­tions, adding that fail­ure to do so might re­sult in more fa­tal­i­ties.

The Delta State Com­man­der of the Fed­eral Road Safety Com­mis­sion (FRSC), Ran­dom Kul­ven con­firmed that 253 cases of ac­ci­dents were recorded in the last one year while 46 cars were razed in the pe­riod re­viewed. Not­ing that most of the ac­ci­dents oc­cur due to over speed­ing, Kul­ven warned against the use of tokunbo tyres as they are not durable. Ex­pect­edly, heav­ily loaded trucks con­vey­ing goods to the South-south/south East re­gions have wors­ened the de­plorable con­di­tion of the roads even more.

For in­stance, the As­aba por­tion of the Benin/as­aba High­way is a death trap for mo­torists and has con­tin­ued to at­tract con­dem­na­tions.

Pa­trick Ukah, the State Com­mis­sioner for In­for­ma­tion told jour­nal­ists that it would be dif­fi­cult for the state gov­ern­ment to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent re­ces­sion in the coun­try, ex­plain­ing that the in­abil­ity of FERMA to ef­fec­tively han­dle its statu­tory works to spec­i­fi­ca­tion and time had re­mained the pri­mary chal­lenges star­ing the state gov­ern­ment in­clud­ing mo­torists ply­ing the road.

Ok­panam T-junc­tion is at present, a deadly ac­ci­dent­prone spot, but FERMA of­fi­cials who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity said, “paucity of funds is why the pot­holes have not been fixed, and we have writ­ten sev­eral memos to no avail”.

Dur­ing night­fall, un­sus­pect­ing mo­torists of­ten drive into the pot­holes, caus­ing their ve­hi­cles to som­er­sault, leav­ing the driver or pas­sen­gers dead on the spot.

Mem­bers of La­gos chap­ter of Nige­rian Union of Jour­nal­ists (NUJ) in their large turnout to elect new ex­ec­u­tives, at La­gos Tele­vi­sion, Ikeja in La­gos…yes­ter­day

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