Independence Day: Motorists, passengers groan in Abuja gridlocks

Abuja trafficMotorists and commuters suffered long hours in gridlocks on roads leading into Abuja city centre from satellite communities as a result of security checks mounted by the military along the road.

Among the roads affected are Abuja-keffi highway, Abuja-Suleja Road and Airport Road.

Commuters stayed in the traffic for upwards of three to four hours on the Abuja-Keffi Road, which is characteristically a heavy traffic route.

Scores of vehicles struggled to pass the military check-points on Karu Bridge before joining the expressway, where they had to join traffic from Mararaba and Nyanya and pass through another check at Kugbo.

Similarly, those coming from Mararaba in Nasarawa State and Nyanya in the FCT, struggled through as tempers flared among drivers, who tried to manoeuvre through.

Mr Jide Taiwo, a resident of Kurudu in the Federal Capital Territory, said he spent three and a half hours to get into the city, which is about 22km to his home.

Taiwo said the toughest point was in Karu, a community that is 6km from the town, where he spent two and a half hours before entering the expressway.

He accused the authorities of only striving to protect the powerful in the society to the detriment of the ordinary people.

“Now, the town is free for them, what happens around here does not bother them,’’ he said.

A driver, Musa Danladi, expressed frustration that the situation had made business expensive.

Musa said it was sad that parents would not encourage to take their family members for recreation if the security checks continued.

“Why is it that they mount these checks on holidays?’’ he asked.

Also on the Abuja-Suleja route, security check-points, especially in Zuba, Kagini and Katampe Hill, caused serious traffic jam.

Motorists and commuters spent more than two hours from Suleja to get to the FCT, resulting in commercial motorists transferring their passengers to other vehicles and returning back.

An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said some of the motorists were stopped at Kubwa pedestrian bridges by military personnel for check.

“I don’t think I will make another trip from Berger to Suleja again today if I will have to experience this development again; the check is stricter,’’ a motorist complained.

Similarly on the Lugbe axis, motorists found it difficult to pass through Abuja City Gate and one witness said he had to call off his journey to Jos because of the situation.