Rehabilitation of Felele highway in Lokoja, capital of kogi state has commenced, barely 36 hours after a fatal accident/tanker explosion killed no fewer than 23 people on the road, The Reporters, an online publication reports.
Our correspondent who visited the road on Friday reports that Engineers were seen supervising the exercise amidst earth moving equipment tilling the NNPC section of the road.
The Reporters recalls that an articulated vehicle with an inscription”NNPC”, experienced break failure, lost control while descending the road and rammed into oncoming vehicles, tricycles and machines.
In the unfortunate situation, a family of 6, which include father, mother and relations lost their lives among many other souls.
The online media outfit also recalls that the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, promised that government would mobilise efforts toward timely rehabilitation of the road.
Fashola, who gave the promise when he received in audience the Governor of kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, expressed sympathy over the accident and commiserated with the families of the victims.
Bello had earlier expressed concern to the minister over the deplorable condition of federal roads in the state and attributed many road accidents in the state to the bad condition of such roads.
He therefore, urged the Federal government to do something urgent about the situation.
Meanwhile, negligence on the part of the driver of the articulated vehicle involved in the accident has been identified as the prime cause of the road crash.
An eyewitness who spoke with The Reporters on the condition of anonymity, said the driver,who escaped unhurt but disappeared in to thin air, was aware that the articulated vehicle had break problem but treated the issue with non challant attitude.
“According to the information available to me, the driver was privy to the fact that his vehicle had break issue, but instead of exercising patience and repair the defect before embarking on the journey, he decided to put the vehicle on road.
“He was said to have told those who drew his attention to the problem that he would manage the mechanical defect from the NNPC to Nataco junction which about two kilometres before effecting the repair.
“Unfortunately, in between the two places, the break of the vehicle gave way totally, resulting in a fatal accident,” he said.
The source described the accident as a product of human factor, adding that it was becoming incoming of an accident on the road.
He described the rate of fatal accident on Felele high way as alarming.
Meanwhile, the accident which Governor Bello described as the worst of its kind in recent time in Lokoja, has continued to attraction comments from members of the public on how to avert such calamity in future.
The Marafa of Oworoland, Dr Denja Abdul, called for total bypass of lokoja, adherence to implementation of setback law which gives specific metre houses should be far from road and restriction of articulated vehicles between 6a.m and 10 a m.
According to him, these periods marked heavy human/vehicular movement along the road,whereby workers of various categories, school children, students among other segment of the society trooped to the road to catch various means of transportation in pursuit of various ends meet.
The Marafa,who spoke with The Reporters also called for regular repair and maintenance of damaged portion of the road to ensure smooth traffic.
He also stressed the need for the state government to provide public transportation at designated points to reduce cluster of passengers along the street, especially at the morning and evening rush hours,between Felele and Zango daji in the state capital at a subsidised fare.
The title holder said that expansion of the road, coupled with the construction of service lane on it would go along way to check the rate of accident along the road.