For motorists plying the Murtala Muhammed Expressway, popularly known as Kubwa Expressway, the activities of commercial motorcycles also known as ‘okada’, are of major concern with the way and manner they carry out their business on the highway. These commercial motorcycle operators in total disregard of the order prohibiting them from plying major roads, now take over part of the road especially at major points in Kubwa such as Phase Three, NNPC, NYSC and Arab Road junctions.
This situation often hinders free vehicular movement due to the gridlock as well as the accidents that often occur at these points. Abuja Digest Weekly gathered from Mallam Musa Zubairu, a taxi cab driver operating on the Kubwa/Zuba route that this often leaves them with no option than to park in the middle of the road to pick and drop their passengers, thereby contributing to the chaos. He said the situation can only be controlled if the commercial motorcycle operators were made to comply with the order restricting their operations to township roads in the satellite towns of the FCT.
For Mrs Komo Jonas, a resident of Kubwa, the daredevil antics of these commercial motorcyclists is in complete violation of traffic rules and regulations, saying that if left unchecked, it could lead to serious breach of law and order in the area. She therefore called on the relevant authorities to deploy the necessary machinery to restore order and compliance to existing FCT traffic laws. Another motorist, Mr. Chidi Uche, blamed the situation on the traffic regulatory agencies, saying that if enforcement is sustained, the situation will change for the better.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Mr. Kalu Emetu, said the situation is not peculiar to the Kubwa axis, but a situation that cuts across the entire territory which prompted the setting up of a joint Ministerial Task Force by the immediate past FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello. He said, “The Directorate is operating within the provisions of the law to tackle this problem even as the commercial motorcycle operators fight back, a situation which led to the burning down of our office in Idu.”
Emetu said the problem is further compounded by the insecurity situation being experienced in some parts of the country as well as the ban on the operation of commercial motorcycles in some states which has brought a massive influx of people into the FCT. According to him, “the Directorate believes that enforcement is not the only way to ensure compliance. We are constantly engaged in dialogue and sensitization campaigns with not only commercial motorcycle operators, but all commercial transport operators in the FCT on the need to comply with traffics rules.
Mr. Emetu therefore called on the media, security agencies and other members of the society who are users of this mode of transportation, to partner with the FCT Directorate of Traffic Services, in bringing sanity to Abuja roads.
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