Drivers and passengers plying the Aba section of the Enugu-Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway have pleaded with both the Federal government and the Abia State government to save more road users from avoidable deaths.
They made the plea barely a few hours after a container entering into Aba fell on an 18-seater Bus heading to Port Harcourt, killing a passenger on the spot and leaving the rest of the passengers critically injured.
Our correspondent who witnessed the incident that took place on Friday at the popular Flyover-Bus Stop near Alaoji Spare Parts Market reports that the condition of the road has gone from bad to worst leading to the breaking down of vehicles at different spots.
It was gathered from drivers and passengers that the Friday incident came barely a few weeks after a similar incident led to the death of eight persons along the Ugwunagbo Local Government axis of the same Aba-Port Harcourt Highway.
A driver, Eze Onyebuchi said, “The accident that killed that young man and got many people injured was avoidable if the only government did a palliative work life using just stones to fill the holes.
“Do you know how many containers that leave Onneh into Aba regularly? The trailers are many so, if the road is not put into proper shape more people will die and more people will be rendered crippled because big vehicles will keep falling on the smaller ones.”
Another driver, Cletus Uzondu said that it worries him to see how such an important road will not be given serious attention by the state government especially on palliative measures just because it’s called a federal road.
“Do you know that all customers from Rivers State especially Port Harcourt and others from Bayelsa must make use of this road?
“Even if the Federal Government work is not going on now because I know they stopped at Osisioma, why can’t the Abia Government who knows the importance of making Aba accessible to customers from Rivers and Bayelsa states do something about the Ariaria Junction and Flyover Junction portions of this road?
“Most more people die before they know that this place is a death trap. Have they not noticed that businesses don’t flow as usual because of this road? Just a few weeks ago, eight lives were lost on the same road and many others were injured.
“From Ariaria Junction to Alaoji is not up to five minutes but it can take someone one hour nowadays because the road has become more dangerous than even some dreaded diseases in the world.
“That road has killed many persons recently and has rendered many drivers jobless and immobile and injuries we’re sustaining here on daily basis are life-threatening.
“From Iheh Town in Ugwunagbo to Ngwaihiekwe axis you’ll see drivers shifting from one part of the road to another falling recklessly because of the nature of this road.
“It’s only when you get to Obiga-Asaa heading to Obehie that you may see a motorable part which ceases immediately you get close to Asa-Military base.”
Mrs Hellen Moses, a customer who comes to Ariaria International Market to buy goods said that the only alternative to the dangerous Federal road they had was destroyed a few months ago when the Federal Ministry of Transport pulled out the railway tracks linking Port Harcourt and Aba.
“If the trains were still running, no reasonable human being going on the road to Port Harcourt from Aba especially when all internal roads like Port Harcourt road and Obohia roads have all become natural habitats for frogs toads.
“Let the government of Abia State realize that this road is making it difficult or will soon make it impossible for customers like me to come to Aba. I used to come to Aba as a small girl with my mother back in the late 1980s and early 1990s until I started coming on my own. It has never been this terrible,” Mrs Moses said.