PETER OKORE, Umuahia
To curtail incessant road accidents caused by Heavy Duty Vehicles entering and leaving the Metropolitan cities of Aba and Umuahia in Abia State, the state Government has directed that as from the 14th of this month, all heavy duty vehicles entering or leaving the cities will only do so by night.
This followed the ghastly accident that occurred last Thursday at Ogbo-Hill , Aba, the commercial nerve – centre of Abia state and claimed lives as well as destroyed properties worth millions of Naira. The driver of the Truck was alleged to have had break- failure problem and crashed into the nearby Abattoir and cattle market.
In a quick reaction, the Government, has, therefore, directed the state Ministry of Transport to restrict the movements of such heavy duty vehicles within the Aba and Umuahia metropolis from the hours of 6am to 9pm daily. The ministry is charged with the responsibility of regulating the movement of articulated vehicles from the 14th of February 2022.
This is also as the state government has ordered the immediate closure of the Abattoir and the Ahia- Udele Market located at the Waterside area of Ogbor- Hill, Aba.
The Commissioner for Transport, Chief Godswill Nwanoruo, who said the new order has the blessing of the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, made this public during the inauguration of the Ministry’s Special Duty Taskforce on Transportation.
At the ceremony, the commissioner charged the members to see the opportunity as an honour to serve Abians and urged them to discharge their duties with optimum care and responsibility .
He also warned them that their appointment came as a result of the need to restore sanity, as well as,clear- off obstructions from the roads and High-ways pointing out that they must not to misuse the opportunity. He directed them to work in tandem with TIMAAS, adding that on no account should tricycle operators, mechanics, artisans, as well as traders use roads as their loading and offloading bays or business spots.
Contributing, the Director Vehicle Inspection Service,Prince Ekwenye,charged the taskforce to make as their duty, the safety of lives and properties of Abians, adding that they should endeavour to rewrite the wrongs on our roads.
Responding on behalf of the members of the Taskforce,the leader of Aba zone,Sam Okafor, pledged their readiness to sanitize Abia roads, promising that they would carry out their duties effectively.
In a vote of thanks,the State Director of Transport,Comrade Boniface Okechukwu Oleka, congratulated the members of the team, urging them to do their duty without fear or favour, while commending the State Governor for seeing the need to approve the taskforce, appreciating the Commissioner for his brilliant policies.
BusinessHallmark understands that the Taskforce is made-up of representatives from the following transport unions, RTEAN, NURTW, and also staff & Directors of the State Ministry of Transport. together they would ensure Abia roads, particularly, roads in Aba,Umuahia and Ohafia are rid of obstructions, so that the roads can be safe for everyone.
In his reaction to the closure of the Udele market, the state Commissioner for Trade and Investments, Mr. John Okiyi, further explained that the market closure was prompted by the fatal accident which occurred on Thursday after a truck bearing a container lost control and crashed into a market and killed many people (number yet to be ascertained), mostly tricycle operators.
To this end, the commissioner said that all those currently doing business at the abattoir “should immediately relocate” to the new Omuma Uzor Abattoir in Ukwa West while those in Ahia Udele were directed to shift to the Good Morning Market, Aba.
Okiyi assured that the new abattoir would be ready “later this month”, adding that his ministry “will do everything possible to ensure that (affected traders and butchers) are properly settled to continue doing their businesses within a safer and healthier environment.”