Travellers decry menace of security checkpoints on parlous Enugu/Anambra roads
Various security checkpoints mounted by the army and police on the dilapidated old Enugu/Onitsha expressway are compounding the woes of travellers who spend several hours on the Ugwuoba/Enugu axis and Amansea/Anambra borders to other parts of the country.
According to The Guardian checks, commuters now spend two to three hours on the Oji River/Ugwuoba and Amansea/Anambra borders, which ordinarily should not take less than 20 minutes.
Since major parts of the highways collapsed, travellers to Enugu from Lagos, Benin, Asaba and Onitsha found the old Enugu/Onitsha road as an alternative.
Although the Ugwuoba/Enugu boundary axis was given a face-lift last year by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, it collapsed almost immediately due to heavy traffic and substandard delivery.
Articulated vehicles that also use it as alternative compounded the situation.
The parlous state of the road trapped a deputy governor from the South East, who was returning to his state last Friday, despite his siren-blaring convoy.
Efforts by his security details to clear the road failed and he had to spend over two hours with other travellers around the Oji River-Ugwuoba axis.
George Obi, a lawyer, who was returning to Enugu last Saturday from Lagos, told The Guardian yesterday: “I spent more than one hour at Asaba, but that was expected because of the usual traffic jam at the Niger Bridge in Onitsha.
“But getting to Ugwuoba, it was like a war scene with so much confusion, as different vehicles struggled for passage on the narrow road. The security checkpoints compounded the situation. The security officials narrowed a part of the road with only one vehicle allowed to cross at a time.”
He called the authorities to do something urgently to salvage the road before yuletide.
Deputy national publicity secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chuks Ibegbu, in a statement over the weekend urged the Federal Government to repair major highways in the zone to ease vehicular traffic.
He noted the pains the people were made to pass through due to bad roads, stressing that good roads in the zone would help the country’s economy.