Lockdown Ease: Commuters groan as Nyanya-Mararaba road becomes impassable



Commuters on the Nyanya-Mararaba axis of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have cried out to authorities to reduce their hardship because of the gridlock occasioned by tight security checks on the road.

Recall that the Federal Government had last week announced the easing of the lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and the FCT following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

The easing of the lockdown, however, was announced with some stringent measures still in place.

Such  measures involved adhering to safety precautions to curb spread of the global pandemic, which is also slowly ravaging Nigeria with new cases on the rise daily.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), correspondent, who got stuck in the heavy traffic, spoke to some commuters who expressed their frustrations at the situation.

“I thought there are just supposed to be a few persons allowed to go to work today, but it appears as if all the people residing in Mararaba and Nyanya today decided to go to town.

“I left Masaka (a satellite town in Nasarawa and close to FCT) since 6:00 a.m.

“This is 10:30 a.m. and I am still here in Nyanya with no sign that I will get to work today,’’ Miss Ruth Dangana, a personnel of the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, told NAN.

Mr Innocent Raymond, a civil servant, whose office is at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, said he left his home around 7:00 a.m., but was stuck in traffic at Nyanya for more than three hours.

“I learnt that the security agencies are carrying out checks to ensure that people adhere to the precautionary measures put in place by the government as a precondition for easing the lockdown.

“At least they should have made it quick and efficient; making such checks stringent and leaving people stuck in traffic for so many hours has made rubbish of the aim of the whole plan.

“People’s safety, as you can see, cannot be guaranteed in this type of situation.

“Many cannot keep physical distancing with this setting. See those stranded on the road, waiting for vehicles, they are forming crowds and struggling to board vehicles that are scarce as a result of the gridlock.

“No one can ensure absolute safety in this situation,’’ Raymond said.

Others who also spoke with NAN, urged the authorities concerned to revise the plan with a view to easing the traffic congestion and ensuring people’s safety.

NAN reports that the FCT Administration, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s announcement on the ease of lockdown, also reeled out its directives on conducting businesses in the territory.

In a statement, Malam Muhammad Bello, the Minister of FCT, said wearing of masks, washing of hands, fumigation of business premises and offices, as well as maintaining physical distancing were mandatory for those reporting for duties.

Bello, however, directed those living outside the FCT to remain in those states until further notice because Abuja would strictly enforce the ban on inter-state movement. (NAN)

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