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Road Construction Affects Traffic In Port Harcourt

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After the two day Sallah holidays, residents of Port Harcourt metropolis and its environs expected that traffic problems within the state capital would rear their ugly heads once more. The public holidays had expectedly drastically reduced the level of traffic within the metropolis.

The residents of the city did not, however, bargain that the traffic difficulties would return to the city with a bang.

The traffic wahala did not only return with a bang, it also compounded the traffic nightmare of several residents. This is because routes leading to the Port Harcourt main town and the Lagos Bus Stop, Aggrey Road and Borokiri through Azikiwe Road were completely blocked as a result of on-going rehabilitation work along the busy road.

Azikiwe Road is a major road which pushes traffic to the Government House, the State Secretariat Complex, the state House of Assembly complex, the courts including the High Courts and the Court of Appeal, the State Police Command headquarters and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Port Harcourt office among other corporate offices in the city. The strategic importance of the road is further underscored by the fact that it is a major carriage way for government business as both civil servants and government officials make use of it on a daily basis.

Hence, when work resumed in the city last Monday after the Sallah holidays, users of the road were astonished to learn that a section of the road had been closed for traffic due to a major rehabilitation work going on along it. The portion where the work was going on was completely scraped and blocked.

The residents might have been surprised because they never noticed potholes along the long stretch of road. If anything was wrong with that portion of the road, it was also not to their knowledge because it had been one of the major roads in the city where motorists had been having smooth rides. There were virtually no bumps, potholes or other terrible spots along that road.

However, the Ministry of Works, through its Honourable Commissioner, Hon. Dakuku Peterside had gone on air to explain that the road was being rehabilitated because of some structural defects in its construction, insisting that something was actually wrong with the stone base of the road.

The traffic nightmare the rehabilitation of the road caused motorists and commuters was quite unbearable as traffic along the road was diverted to Forces Avenue. It was also in realisation of this fact that the company handling the rehabilitation project apparently displayed a “sorry for the inconvenience” notice at the junction between Azikiwe Road, Abonnema Wharf and Forces Avenue.

Vehicles heading towards the Port Harcourt main town were diverted to Forces Avenue while the other lane of the road from the main town was open for traffic,

The blocking of a section of Azikiwe Road and the diversion of traffic actually placed traffic pressure on several other roads within the axis of the city.

There were serious traffic jams along Azikiwe Road, Forces Avenue, William Jumbo Road and even Moscow Road.

The traffic situation further made commuters to be stranded at various bus stops within the city as motorists particularly taxi cabs operators refused to commute stranded commuters in a desperate bid to avoid routes prune to heavy traffic jams. Those who did not understand what had happened in the early morning of Monday were surprised to see taxi drivers who refused to take passengers to William Jumbo axis of the city particularly around the motor park for vehicles heading towards Garrison, Waterlines and Rumuola junctions along the busy Aba Road.

The reason adduced by the taxi cabs operators was that the roads leading to Braithwaite Memorial Hospital (BMH) and Moscow Road were congested with traffic. That was the first sign that all was not well with the Port Harcourt metropolis in terms of traffic flow. Sadly enough, the traffic situation has persisted till now as the rehabilitation of Azikiwe Road has continued, as residents of the city have to grapple with the problem in the coming week.

As residents of the city enter a new week, workers among them in particular are hoping that traffic difficulties they experienced last week would be mitigated. They have therefore, continued to make a passionate appeal to the Ministry of Works to ensure that the rehabilitation exercise is completed in record time to facilitate free flow of traffic again.

 

Donatus Ebi

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Metro

Rivers, A Global Investment Hub

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Nothing could be more elusive and desirous as the special skills and talent of a wand and a midas touch. Dr Freeman O’ Freeman is one the few possessive of this rare gift. He has a penchant for the reorganization of ailing industries, organizations and institutions. The foremost technocrat and consultant was recently spotted by the Port Harcourt Metro at a public function in the Garden city. When his attention was sought for an interview he willingly obliged an the session was a deep insight into his experience especially his years of consultancy services with the Rivers state Government in the  early 1990s. During these period he recalled that 14 parastalals and government agencies including the three state owned media Houses were under his consultancy services for full reorganisation process. “We made the State Electricity Board to be the highest revenue earner after the Ministry of finance, we also made the staffs of Water Board, Super Board, and Rivers Marine to earn their salary after the reorganization processes, some of the moribond companies can still be revived.”  He said Rivers state was deeply blessed with potentials to host the business world through flourishing business activities, nothing that most black Americans business moguls were looking for opportunities of investing their wealth and knowledge. Dr Freeman who is also and author and religious counsellor emphasized the need for proper restructuring of the Nigerian state to address the needs and imperatives of justice in the country. He canvassed for the creation of a state owned insurance company to secure the wealth and investments of  Rivers state. “ Rivers state is global investment hub, their is need to decongest Lagos by tapping into the enormous investment potentials in Rivers state, it’s quite unfortunate that investments of Rivers state government are easing out without full privileges to the state government, despite hosting two federal terminals economic activities in the state is still low. I want the Rivers state government to reap the benefit of insurance before Governor Wike leaves office, it will count for him as one his greatest legacies for Rivers people. Commenting on the prevalence of ethno religious crisis in the country, he pointed out the very custodians of religious faith were the propellers of the evolving Crisis. “it’s very unfortunate that people don’t practice what they preach, the much resources in the hands of the ministers should be redirected for the interest of the followers, the early missionaries gave education virtually free. Ministers should allow their members to have leveraging access to their schools, this will reduced the loads of poor parents and help in producing an informed and better society”. With a deep sense of concern, he urged the federal government to address the growing spate of insecurity in country, particularly the “ incautious activities of herders.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Wife Battery: Man Forced To Undertaken By In-laws

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In a bid to restore the marriage of a certain couple in Port Harcourt, ( names withheld) the family members and parents of the wife has forced the husband to an undertaken that he will no longer used their daughter as a punch bag. The Port Harcourt Metro gathered the parents of the wife are relatively well to do very supportive to the upkeep of their daughters family. Their intervention came as a result of repeated cases of physical and psychological abuses of their daughter by her husband. It was also gathered that the parents of the wife had made moves to terminate the relationship to secure the life of their daughter but she bluffed their moves and stuck to the marriage based on her professed love for the husband. The husband was said to have been invited to an intense family session during which he was asked to sign an undertaken to be of good conduct and act as a responsible man or gets his wife forfeited. The session became dramatic when the repentant husband and in-law was said to have broken down in tears , with confessions that he was always propelled by some incontrollable forces to act the way he did.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Group Plans Grassroots Medical Campaign

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As part of measures of promoting effective medical care at the grassroots, a body under the auspices of Medical  Xray and Imaging Technicians Association of Nigeria says plans has been put in place for mass sensitisation on the need for greater access to medical services at the rural areas. National President of the body, Rev Akiene Nunyor who disclosed this during a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said the sensitisation was targeted at rousing the sensitivities of critical stakeholders towards improving health care at the rural areas as well as creating awareness among the rural dwellers. He pointed out that the absence of ultra sound facilities at rural communities was responsible for high mortality among pregnant women in rural communities, as they lacked access to the facilities. Its difficult for women to go for scan exercises for proper medical check at the rural areas. In times of emergencies before they get to the urban areas that have the facilities it becomes late. He called for a synergy between the private sector and government especially in the area of research, training and manpower development in the health sector,  He assured that the body was ready to provide the professional regulatory services for middle manpower development and standards in medical practice. While commending the Rivers state Government for its efforts in promoting care in the state he called for a “ Public/ Private sector  driven “approach in promoting effective health sector delivery.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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