Travelers, residents trapped for hours inside Abuja traffic

Travelers who were returning to Abuja after the Easter break were among those who were on Monday trapped for hours inside a traffic gridlock on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway.

The chaotic situation was caused by armed soldiers deployed in Kugbo end of the ever-busy expressway after the bomb blast that killed about 86 persons at the Nyanya bus station along the road.

The traffic spread from Kugbo to Masaka, a distance of several kilometres with inner roads in Karu and Nyaya completely blocked.

Traffic policemen attached to Karu Police Division had a hectic time controlling the traffic build-up recorded on the inner roads.

At a point, they left motorists to their fate and returned to their station.

At the time of filing this report at 5.30pm, the road were still completely blocked.

The situation was the same at the Nyanya end, forcing some commuters to resort to trekking.

Commercial motorcyclists made brisk business by carrying passengers close to the military check point.

At that point, the passengers would disembark and trek pass the solders on duty before joining few vehicles that had made it pass the check point.

There are fears that the traffic jam which started since Thursday will become more complicated when work resumes on Tuesday after the Easter break.

Most of those who were caught in the gridlock on Sunday were those heading to Abuja city centre for Easter church services from Karu, Nyanya, Jikwoyi, Kurudu, Mararaba, New Nyanya and Masaka among other satellite towns.

The stern-looking soldiers blocked the traffic inward Abuja, leaving only one lane open.

One of the motorists who were trapped in the traffic jam, Mrs. Rachel Ogwu, said it was unfortunate that such hardship could be unleashed on innocent Nigerians.

Many vehicles that developed faults inside the traffic were pushed to the roadside while their owners were sweating.

“On the day they started (on Thursday), I left my house in New Nyanya at 8am for work and I did not get to the city centre until 3pm,” another motorist, Mr. Akin Oladokun, told our correspondent.

Another motorist, Mr. Bayo Obisesan, had a more pathetic tale to tell.

Obisesan said he left his residence in Masaka at 9.20am and did not get to Asokoro until 6pm.

A senator representing the FCT in the Senate, Philip Aduda, had told journalists on Sunday that he had taken up the issue with President Goodluck Jonathan during a visit of a delegation of Abuja residents to the President on Easter celebration.

Aduda expressed the belief that Jonathan would address the situation soon.

Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Muhammed, also confirmed that he had received numerous complaints on the issue and promised that something would be done about it.

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