Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Police asked to remove checkpoints causing gridlocks in South-East

The calls come as vehicular traffic into the South-East surge as a result of people returning home for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

• December 26, 2021
Gridlock
Gridlock used to illustrate the story [Photo: PUNCH Newspaper]

Police and other security agencies have been urged to withdraw checkpoints at the Onitsha end of the River Niger Bridge to ease the gridlock caused to the motoring public.

Chima Christian, a Public Affairs Analyst, made the call in Awka on Sunday while reacting to the numerous complaints of traffic congestion at the bridge.

Mr Christian said this has become imperative, given the increase in vehicular traffic into the South-East as a result of people returning home for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The Good Governance Advocate called on the governments of Anambra and Delta States to prevail on the security agencies to temporarily withdraw the services of their operatives deployed on “stop and search” operations at both ends of the Niger Bridge.

According to him, “complaints of the traffic situation at the Niger Bridge are so deafening. Somebody said he spent six hours driving from Lagos to Delta State, and then five hours from Asaba to Onitsha.”

Mr Christian said the already messy traffic situation was compounded by the presence of security operatives deployed on “stop and search operations” at the two ends of the Niger Bridge.

“As more people pour into the South-East for Christmas and new year celebrations, I implore the Governments of Anambra and Delta states to work with relevant authorities to temporarily withdraw the services of those uniformed men and women at the Niger Bridge.

“If the multiple security checkpoints between road users’ different points of origin to the South-East did not flag them as criminals or offenders of any known law, I’m not exactly sure what miracles those security deployments at the Niger Bridge are expected to perform.

“Except if the idea is to cause nuisance and increase the sufferings of road users.

“I hereby respectfully call on Governors Okowa and Obiano to rise to the occasion, temporarily withdraw “stop and search” security operatives deployed at both ends of the Niger Bridge, and make access to the bridge free this festive season,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adeyemo Ajani, Federal Controller of Works in Anambra, had also called on police to relax checkpoints on federal roads to enable motorists to have smooth movement on some of the fixed roads.

Mr Ajani said “they don’t seem to understand the importance of free flow of traffic, the road blocks mounted on that road constitute nuisance, sometimes the traffic stretches from Oba to that bridge and others in Awkuzu and other places.

“They should relax these checkpoints and allow free flow of traffic around the state, especially during this Yuletide period,” he said.

The Federal House of Representatives had, on December 16, called on the Inspector General of Police to dismantle checkpoints on roads leading to the South-East from Lagos and Abuja.

The Green Chambers made the call following a resolution on the motion moved by Obinna Chidoka, PDP, member representing Idemili North and Idemili, entitled “Motion for the Disbandment on Multiple Security Checkpoints on Roads Leading to the South-East Region”. 

(NAN)

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