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.
Excitement In Isiopko As Wigwe University Commences
Plans are now in advanced stages ahead the take of a private university, Wigwe University, in Isiokpo Town, headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government Area.
The Tide Metro gathered that various families whose lands are expected to house the private university are excited over the dividends that will accrue to the community as the school takes off next year.
In a meeting between representatives of Wigwe University, led by its founder, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, and all major families representatives in Isiokpo, plans were announced for the siting of a hospital and power gas turbine for electric provision the ancient town.
Founder of Wigwe University and Chairman of Access Group, Dr. Wigwe, used the opportunity to inform the community that the university will ensure the involvement of all the families in employment for the university.
But before the projects will commence, a memoranda of understanding (MOU) will be signed between the university and the community.
Representative of Nye Nwe Ali Isiokpo, Chief Charles Nsirim and members of Isiokpo Community Development Committee (CDC), the leadership of Ikoro Isiokpo, youths and other stakeholders were excited over the plans.
Academic activities in the university is expected to commence in September next year and is expected to attract some of the best university administrators and lecturers in the world.
Wigwe appealed to the members of the community especially the youths to shun social vices and embrace several benefits that will accrue from the university.
He assured them that Isiokpo Kingdom and the entire Ikwerre Local Government and indeed Rivers State will never be the same again once the university starts operations next year.
The Nye Nwe Ali Isiokpo and the community development committee members, youths and other stakeholders all pledged their total support and cooperation for the growth and development of the university.
They assured the founder of the university that they would give maximum support to see the institution come to stream.
By: King Onunwor
Rivers NSCDC, NDLEA Seek Collaboration To Check Drug Abuse
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Rivers Command, have pledged to work in collaboration to tackle illicit drug use in the state.
State Commandant of NSCDC, Basil Igwebueze, while playing host to the Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Rivers State, made the plans public at the state headquarters of the civil defence corps in Port Harcourt.
Commandant Basil noted that research has shown that most heinous crimes are committed after inducement of drugs and substance abuse; and that one way to rid the nation of crime is to forge a common front against drugs.
The NSCDC Commandant said some young people are exposed early to drugs from the environment they live.
He opined that the fight against the use of prohibited drugs should be a collective responsibility to achieve a crime free society.
Said he, It’s highly disturbing that drug abuse has now eaten deep into the fabrics of our society. It has destroyed our youths especially and for us to protect the tomorrow which our youth are going to be leaders we need to be in unity towards fighting the course”
“The campaign against drugs and substance abuse should not be done only in schools and neighborhood, the fighters of this crime which includes all Security personnel are also not excluded; officers and men on duty must see the need to firmly abhor the intake of drugs and inducers while on duty as well” he stated
Earlier, the Rivers NDLEA Commander, who led a team of senior officers on the visit hinted that a lot of campaigns are ongoing in various communities across the state.
The State NDLEA commander affirmed that in curtailing sales and consumption of illicit drugs, the NDLEA has been organising reorientation and awareness programmes across communities, churches, mosques and schools and this informed the need for NDLEA, NSCDC and other security agencies to partner and strengthen ties in order to fight to stand still the spate of drug abuse across board.
“My visit today is premised on the need to collaborate with your agency so that we can join hands together to rid Rivers State from the hand of criminal minded persons and one of the ways to do this is to vehemently combat the circulation and intakes of illicit drugs in our environment,” he declared.
Promising full support to the sister agency, he stressed need for training of officers to be fully equipped with necessary skills on how to identify prohibited drugs, effects of intake, arrests and rehabilitation methods for victims.
The highpoint of the courtesy visit were presentation of materials and souvenir graced with group photographs.
World Peace Day: Rotary, Peace Corps Walk for Peace In PH
Members of the Peace Corps of Nigeria and Rotary International conducted a peace walk campaign round the city of Port Harcourt yesterday to commemorate the World Peace Day.
About 17 Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt joined the campaign together with the Relief International Africa with the call for a collective action by all stakeholders and citizens to foster peace, especially in Rivers State.
The Peace Walk Campaign which took off from Garrison Junction in Port Harcourt terminated near the Port Harcourt Mall, with stops at the Police Headquarters, State House of Assembly and Government House, to call on the authorities to take steps to build peace and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Commandant of the Peace Corps Nigeria, Rivers State Command,Dr. Michael Obiora, said the PCN will continue to carry out its core mandate of facilitating peace through volunteerism community services and nation-building.
He said, “Government must be intentional in building sustainable peace through human capacity development”.
Coordinating leader of the seventeen Rotary Clubs and President of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt, Rebisi Kingdom, Kris Ugo, said “the Rotary clubs in Rivers State will raise its peace drive and campaign across its catchment areas to maintain existing peace and foster more development in the state”.
On her part, Initiator of the Peace Walk Project and Assistant Peace Coordinator, Rotary Nigeria National Peace building and Conflict Prevention Committee, Rivers State Chapter, Precious Ahiakwo-Ovie, said the committee will “influence the optimal function of state institutions and create an environment that nurtures communities and supports enterprise by activating positive Peace in Nigeria”. Rivers State Coordinator of the Universal Federation of Peace, Arinze Akupue and State Coordinator of Relief International Africa, Isaac Green, also spoke on the theme of the 2023 World Peace Day “Action For Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals.”
The Rotary Clubs partners include, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt, Rebisi Kingdom, South, City Valley, Seaport, GRA, Cosmopolitan, Metropolitan, Creek View, Spring Gardens, Orbit, Gateway, Rumuigbo, Port Harcourt, Atlantic City, New City, Esara City and Rotary Club of Onne.
By: Kevin Nengia
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