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Anambra commuters complain of traffic jams on highways

Commuters plying numerous highways and roads in Anambra State, notably the Onitsha-Owerri expressway, have been complaining of heavy site visitors congestion brought on by the quite a few roadblocks erected by safety operatives at numerous factors.

Areas the place the checkpoints are inflicting site visitors congestion embody the Obosi-Idemili Bypass below the not too long ago accomplished Second Niger Bridge flyover, the First Gate Bus Cease, the Enamel Bus Cease, the Ozubulu Police Space Command Headquarters, the Ekwusigo Native Authorities Space Headquarters in Ozubulu and the Okija Junction alongside the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway.

Different areas embody Borremeo bus cease, Ogbo-Ogwu junction, Amawbia By-pass, Awkuzu junction and all areas alongside the Awka-Onitsha expressway.

Findings by our correspondent on Wednesday revealed that the checkpoints have been arrange shut to one another by safety brokers, together with police, navy officers and the army. The checkpoints have been used to extort numerous sums of cash from motorists.

At Enamel Junction for instance, the naval officers manning the checkpoints engaged with youths to gather quantities starting from N1,000, N500 and N100 from truck drivers, shuttle bus drivers and tricycle drivers.

In separate interviews with our correspondent on this ugly improvement, a involved citizen and Chairman of the Importers Affiliation of Nigeria Governing Council, Chief Gilbert Obi, referred to as on safety businesses throughout the Anambra State Command to urgently monitor the actions of their subordinates at these roadblocks.

Obi, a resident of Onitsha, lamented that the unfavourable impression of the commando-style operations of the safety operatives on the checkpoints had turn out to be so incomprehensible that law-abiding commuters not felt comfy on the highways.

He careworn that the way wherein the safety guards block either side of the highways with condemned tyres and drums, leaving solely a small area the place they’ll publish a guard and flag down any oncoming car, leaves loads to be desired.

He mentioned: ‘By doing this, with the cops demanding one thing from each driver who drove by the roadblock, the site visitors jam within the metropolis centre would construct as much as two miles or extra.

“We suggest that if the police suspect a car, they need to order the driving force to tug off the street for investigation whereas others proceed their journey, as an alternative of losing the time of commuters and on the similar time shamelessly and unnecessarily tarnishing the picture and status of the police power that the hierarchy has laboriously constructed through the years.

“Individuals are not towards checkpoints or roadblocks on our highways due to the security problems with our time, however we’re towards the inaction of cops and naval officers who normally trigger site visitors jams and put law-abiding commuters below pointless stress on the roads.”

Some skilled drivers additionally lamented that the naval officers on the Enamel Bus Cease on the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway intentionally left a “small part” for street customers in order that they might simply extort cash from them.

One of many drivers, who recognized himself because the welfare officer of the Anambra Drivers Union, John Uzor, lamented the hardships precipitated to travellers by the “extortions” on the Onitsha-Owerri Street.

Uzor mentioned: “We spend a number of hours on a 30-minute journey, particularly at night time due to the cash the naval officers acquire from industrial drivers and tricycle operators. The worrying side is that they rent youngsters to do the extortions for them whereas they supervise.”

One other driver, Johnson Ibe, mentioned: “That is how the navy individuals harass us day by day. They make life very uncomfortable for us and the passengers. Right here we pay N500 to move by the checkpoints each time. On the finish of the day, we pay virtually N5,000 or much more per car per day.

“It relies on the kind of car you are driving. I drive a shuttle bus, so the cash I pay might be completely different than what all these large vehicles pay. They’ve set these guys as much as acquire cash for them as a result of they do not need individuals to see them amassing cash in uniform.”

A tricycle driver, Joshua Ugo, mentioned: “This isn’t new. It’s one thing they’ve been doing. Even when new officers are deployed, they nonetheless do the identical factor. It has turn out to be a recurring decimal. The federal government ought to please assist us cease this, it’s destroying us as a result of they’re consuming our day by day earnings and that isn’t truthful.”

Reacting to the event, the state police public relations officer, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, mentioned he would contact the command to accentuate efforts to treatment the state of affairs.

All makes an attempt to get a response from the Anambra State Navy Commander have been unsuccessful. His telephone rang a number of instances and messages despatched had not been responded to on the time of submitting this report.

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