Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of the State of Kogi, on Sunday night 26th July 2020 spent about five hours clearing gridlock on the Lokoja-Abuja road within Kogi/Koton-Karfe Local Government Area. Governor Bello had come to the Jamata area of the State with his security men and some aides, and spent more than five hours directing the flow of traffic that has held travellers up there since Friday night. He joined efforts with the officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC, and other security agencies, to control and clear the traffic gridlock on the road.
The traffic had been building up since the evening of Friday and was poorly managed, allowing motorists to create further knots and complicate the situation, which caused a complete hold up through the weekend.
It is reported that Bello, who arrived at the scene circa 06.30 pm, beckoned the other security heads in the state to deploy more personnel to join his security convoy to clear the traffic gridlock.
While addressing the reporters, Governor Bello explained that he had to act after getting information on the traffic situation on the Abuja road, particularly between the riverbank Kpata in Lokoja and onto Koto, Kogi/Kotonkarfe Local Government Area, from his security details on Saturday. Consequently, he chose to visit the scene after another briefing on Sunday that travellers were still stranded in the gridlock.
He frowned at the slow response to emergency road situation by the officers of the FRSC, observing that there was an accident involving two articulated vehicles on a single lane on the bridge while maintenance work was going on the second lane. He felt that the FRSC should have responded swiftly to evacuate the lorries involved from the very busy road.
The governor said, “I was properly briefed about the hardship the commuters have been going through in the last two days on this road. I was told few officers of the FRSC were seen in controlling the traffic and that no vehicle could even move an inch.
“I have been here since 06:45pm and this is 10:25pm, with some of the officials of the FRSC and other relevant agencies. The good thing is that vehicles are now moving, hopefully, if the commuters can sustain and maintain this orderliness we have established the gridlock will disappear because disorderliness, impatient are the major causes of this gridlock.
“I understand that one of the lanes of the bridge has been under maintenance and travelers from Lokoja/Abuja were made to use only one lane; unfortunately, two articulated vehicles collided on the single lane resulting in this gridlock””
The governor thanked the commuters and drivers for their patience and urged that relevant agencies should deploy more personnel to ensure quick clearance of roads.
Some officers of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Civil Defence and vigilantes later joined the governor and his security personnel in controlling the jammed traffic.
Some passengers said they were held up by the gridlock for several hours, messing up their weekend schedules. They praised the governor for coming onto the scene, saying that were it not for his intervention, it would have been a worse experience.
The Lokoja-Abuja road is among the busiest roads in Nigeria, linking the North to the South.