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Road Traffic Problem In PH

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike

Port Harcourt is a city
affected by the menace of serious road traffic congestion. A lot of man hour loss, stress and other health challenges weighing on those living in the city and its environ and those who come to do business in the city, arising from this menace is enormous and unbearable. Many factors give rise to this problem. Some of the factors are:-
Indiscipline of motorists, inadequate road design, absence of efficient traffic distribution, use of unhealthy vehicles on the road, absence of  functional digital traffic control lights and inappropriate location of corporate institutions and establishments.
Nigerians are people in a hurry. Impatience is one of our trade marks. Very many persons on the road are in a hurry and want to beat other road users to get to their destinations. Where that is not possible all will struggle to go through available space at the same time. Things do not work that way. We do not all go to bed at the same time and we do not all wake up from sleep at the same time.
So when on the road, why do we want to reach our destinations at the same time? Why do we behave as if we do not know that God made the dusk and the dawn to control the affairs of humanity, as to fit our plans into nature’s programme? Why do we abhor queueing and taking our own turns? Why do we prefer to and have more pleasure in jumping the than taking our turn in the traffic? If we curb the practice of jumping the queue while in the traffic, the traffic will flow easily. No matter how long the traffic is, everyone will go, where there  is orderliness. So we must be civil and disciplined in the art of road use. We must learn to respect other road users to curb traffic congestion and hold-up on our roads. Pedestrians must be cautioned to cross at the designated points.
It is important to note that improper use of the highway contributes to traffic holdup and congestion. Highways are divided into high or fast speed lane, middle lane and slow speed lane. Many motorists do not know this and so do not observe the difference while driving. The high/fast speed lane is on the left side of the highway as the country maintains right wheel drive system, while slow lane is on the right side in a dual carriage way road. Most of our roads are single carriage way and do not have these features quite pronounced and our drivers are used to driving on single carriage way roads. Dual carriage ways normally have three lanes. There is middle lane which separates the high/fast speed lane and the slow speed lane. If a slow moving vehicle is on the fast lane, it is wrong and the vehicle could cause an accident.
Likewise, a fast moving vehicle must not go on the slow lane to avoid causing an accident. The middle lane in a three lanes road/highway could be used when the driver is contemplating to go fast or slow. When a motorist wants to pull or go out of the road it must be done from the slow lane. Wrong use of the road by the motorists and pedestrians is a major cause of accidents which contributes to traffic congestion/hold up on our roads.
All our roads have required service features but lack kerb for buses and taxis and lay byes for other motorists. The absence of kerb and lay byes make taxis and other motorists to convert pedestrian walkways into parks thus exposing pedestrians who are forced to use vehicle lanes to accidents. Apart from accidents, the use of vehicle lane by pedestrians and motorists cause holdup and traffic congestions because the motorists are forced to slow down to save lives.
Where the taxis and buses spare the pedestrian walkways, they convert part of the road lane to parks thus reducing the road space for traffic. This cause traffic holdup and congestion. Therefore, there must be provision of kerb and lay byes in our road designs to ensure efficient traffic flow on our road.
In order to reduce the number of vehicles on the major roads within Port Harcourt city and its environs, the commercial passenger vehicles should be zoned and restricted for operation within the zones they choose. The zone terminals can be linked to make interconnectivity possible for passengers wishing to continue their journey from one zone to another. The link of a zone to another will enable them feed each other. The zones are to have identifiable numbers and operators registered according to their options. The zone number must be ascribed on the vehicles operating within the zone and operators will limit their regular daily operation within their registered zone. Penalty such as fines could be imposed on vehicle operating outside their registered zone of operation. This step will reduce vehicles plying the major roads of the city and its environs.
There is need also to re-introduce bus routes within the city. This will checkmate the carefree use of all roads of the city by buses thus causing infringement of free traffic flow. The bus routes and bus stops should be clearly designated and visibly marked for easy identification. Traffic congestion within Port Harcourt city and environs will considerably reduce by redistribution of the traffic.
Many vehicles on our roads are not roadworthy. Allowing such vehicles to ply our city roads is dangerous to other road users. The Vehicles Inspection Officers (VIOs) should do their job of certifying vehicles’ roadworthiness. Commercial vehicles mostly fall short of roadworthiness. Very often they break down on sensitive and strategic parts of the roads, causing mayhem to other users of the roads, especially within the city.
This measure will help to reduce traffic problem in Port Harcourt and its environs.
The traffic lights help to enhance free traffic flow on the road within the city. It ensures more efficient traffic flow than traffic staff or officers who depend on their personal judgment in directing traffic movement. The necessity of traffic lights on our roads as a measure for the control of vehicle movements cannot be overemphasized. There is need to install digital traffic lights on every junction of the road within the city. Traffic wardens/officers should only be deployed to control the traffic on emergency situations on short term basis and to book drivers that beat the traffic light command for fines/prosecution. The unsuitability of traffic wardens in the control of the traffic is demonstrated in their frequent abandonment of the duty and chasing after perceived offenders and violators of their signals thus, leaving behind chaotic situation which arises from their absence at the material time. The traffic lights function for twenty-four hours when source of power is constant unlike traffic wardens/police who leave their beats often.
The traffic lights should not only be seen to be there at road junctions but should be functional all-round the hours. The functionality and availability of traffic lights will surely enhance orderly flow of traffic on our roads within the city and reduce traffic hold ups.
The lopsided distribution of sites or location of business establishments and institutions give rise to heavier vehicular movements to certain areas of the city than to other areas. The location of institutions and business establishments need to be considered as well as residential areas, with consideration of the traffic which the establishments will generate. This is the reason why urban and regional planners must cooperate with transport planners and transport managers when designing towns and cities.
The demand for movement to an area is determined by the type, number and nature of establishments and institutions located in the area. The anticipated volume of traffic will also determine the road network to service the area. The lopsided location of business institutions in Port Harcourt and its environs and unanticipated population explosion at present are also responsible for the current traffic congestion in the city.
Traffic problem in Port Harcourt poses serious challenges to the government and to the private sector. The solution calls for concerted effort. Some of the suggestions made above call for a traffic study of the city with a view to determining the zone, bus stops and routes. It also calls for public enlightenment on the use of roads and civility on the road. It calls for strict enforcement of traffic rules and order on the road by traffic enforcement and control officers. The police should stop checking vehicle particulars on the traffic. Vehicles should be made to pull out of the traffic when checks are necessary.
Obinna is a retired Permanent Secretary.

 

Chris Obinna

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Investing In Nyesom Wike: A Story Of Dedication, Sacrifice And Ultimate Loss

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In 2015, I made a conscious decision to invest my financial resources, my time, and energy into supporting Nyesom Wike’s gubernatorial campaign. I poured my heart and soul into ensuring Nyesom Wike emerged victorious even at the risk of my personal safety.
Again in 2019, I doubled down on my commitment. I invested a significant amount of money to procure campaign outfits for all twenty-three Local Governments Areas of Rivers State. I spared no expense in supplementing Wike’s election efforts in my own local government, and once again putting myself at great risk to safeguard the fairness and transparency of the electoral process.
However, despite my unwavering loyalty and sacrifices, I found myself abandoned and forgotten by Wike. Throughout his eight-year tenure, he failed to acknowledge my contributions or fulfill his promises and agreements. Even as a former Deputy Governor, Wike denied me my severance benefit.
My investment in Wike’s governorship was not just financial – it was a commitment of passion, dedication, and belief in a better future for Rivers State. Yet, his leadership style of dishonesty, greed, drunkenness and rash abuse of senior citizens brought me nothing but disappointment, misery and losses.
By the grace of God, today I speak not as a victim, but as a hero. I have accepted my losses, and I have moved on. And as I reflect on my experience, I cannot help but urge Wike to do the same and allow peace and development to reign in Rivers State.
Nyesom Wike, when you speak of investing in Governor Sim Fubara’s election, remember those like me who also invested in you. Remember the sacrifices I made, the risks I took, and the promises and agreements you left unfulfilled.
It is time for you, Wike, to let go of the past and allow Governor Sim Fubara the breathing space he needs to lead Rivers State forward. Allow him to focus on the challenges of good governance and the aspirations of the people. Spare him these unwarranted and ill-conceived political manoeuvrings founded on personal agenda and not for general good of Rivers State and her people.
I may have lost my investment on Wike, but I have not lost hope in the future of Rivers State. And together, we will continue to strive for a brighter tomorrow.
Long Live the Governor to Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara!
Long Live the Good People of Rivers State!!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
Engr Ikuru is former Deputy Governor of Rivers State.

Tele Ikuru

 

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Is Okocha A Happy Man Being Perpetual Hireling?

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The man Tony Okocha, the devastated tattered ragtag remnant Rivers APC factional, but Caretaker, Chairman, is known for being notoriously a hireling willing to play in the mud just for the pay or settlement. To Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, he did against Chief Nyesom Wike. To Senator Magnus Abe, he did against Rotimi Amaechi. To Chief Nyesom Wike, he did against Magnus Abe. Having maintained such unbefitting character trait, it is not surprising to see him at his demeaned best showing off his tainted skill of grandstanding and loquaciously struggling fruitlessly almost every day to castigate the popular Rivers people’s Governor with very glaring false, bogus and unsubstantiated claims such as:
1. That Governor Fubara is wasting state fund in the name of thanksgiving across 23 Local Government Areas.
2. That Governor Fubara has withheld Local Government funds.
3. That Governor Fubara runs the government without input from the State Executive Council.
4. That nothing is happening in the State with respect to governance.
To the above false claims of Tony Okocha, every reasonable, right thinking and well-meaning Rivers person would effortlessly puncture all as rascality and mendacity taken too far.
Apart from the fact that Governor Siminalayi Fubara had said he is not sponsoring the massive SIMplified Movement Thanksgiving events across the Local Government Areas of the State being organised by elated Rivers people who feel liberated from an era of overbearing and suppressive form of leadership in the State, Tony Okocha should be asked to prove his false claim with indisputable facts and figures. Until then, let Tony Okocha respect himself and learn to keep quiet as an elderly person who is saddled with such a responsible position as Rivers State Representative in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board. A position that places a huge responsibility on him to ensure that the core objectives of the commission are actualised in the State, by not only ensuring that Rivers State gets its fair share of its dues in terms of projects, programmes and activities, but by synergising with the state government on development matters concerning the state vis-a-vis the responsibilities of NDDC to the State. In summary, the SIMplified Movement is all about a happy and joyful people of Rivers State who have decided to stand and stick together to defend and uphold their common heritage and patrimony. It is a voluntary venture, not sponsored by the government.
To his claim that the Governor has withheld Local Government funds, Mr Tony Okocha should also be asked to prove that with facts and figures and explain why the Governor would do such. More so, what is Tony Okocha’s business, assuming, but not conceding, that a PDP Governor withholds money against PDP-led 23 Local Government authorities? Did Local Government workers across the state complain to Okocha, the meddlesome hireling, an acclaimed APC Caretaker Committee Chairman in Rivers State?
On his ignorant and false claim that the Governor runs the government without input from the state exco, Okocha, the busybody wannabe should explain how he was employed or engaged as the spokesperson of members of the Rivers State Executive Council. He should also tell us his source of information to that effect, if it is not just a proof that he is making himself known as a perpetually irredeemable hireling notoriously good for playing the spoiler’s role.
On Mr Okocha’s assertion, probably, borne out of lack of more convincing lies, that nothing is happening in the State with respect to governance, is sure a proof that the man is only acting a bad and an unsellable script to justify the reward of expected gratifying filthy lucre, which is the compelling reason for condescending so low and evilly so. How else is governance measured, if not by executing meaningful and impactful projects, giving hope, inspiring and putting smiles on the faces of the people with joy of fulfilment in their hearts, both civil servants and everyone living and doing business in the State? Is Okocha blind to see and deaf to hear of the good works of the Governor Fubara led Rivers State Government? Civil servants are happy, teachers are highly elated. Several projects are ongoing. Investors are trooping in. The health sector, education, agriculture, sports have been highly boosted under Governor Fubara-led administration. To Okocha, there’s no governance in the State because patronage of free money is not getting to him from the Governor but from other sources that are likely against the Governor.
Let Tony Okocha weep more. Rivers State is breathing fresh air already and is liberated.
Let Tony Okocha tell us how he has, so far, as Rivers State Representative in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), clearly effected development in the State through the NDDC, and why he lied that there was Cholera outbreak with deaths recorded in Soku in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area with the intent of raking in about ¦ N5billion for non-existent mitigation programmes?
Odike is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Social/New Media .
Bernard C. Idike
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Day Asari-Toru Declared Massive Support For Fubara

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and politician who served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. He was a member of the Democratic Party and is the only United States President to have served more than two terms.
In one of his popular quotes, he said, “The creed of our democracy is that liberty is acquired and kept by men and women who are strong and self-reliant, and possessed of such wisdom as God gives mankind – men and women who are just, and understanding, and generous to others — men and women who are capable of disciplining themselves. For they are the rulers and they must rule themselves.”
This explains the recent gathering of creme la creme of Asari-Toru political gladiators converged at the inauguration of the Simplified Movement, ASALGA chapter to reiterate their unflinching support for the Rivers State Governor, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara whose mantra revolves around liberation.
The event which took place at the Autograph in Port Harcourt on the 1st of March, 2024, to galvanise strong support for Governor Fubara attracted over 500 members of the Simplified Movement from the Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The gathering of supporters of Governor Fubara’s government, under the umbrella of the Simplified Movement, the ASALGA chapter led by an astute politician, former member of the Federal House of Representatives and two- time member of the Rivers State Executive Council as Commissioner, Chief Hon. Paworiso Samuel Horsfall comprised both the old and young generation political helmsmen drawn from all the 13 Wards of the local government area.
The nerve-““““““wracking gathering had the likes of the 1999 democratic system pioneer Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Council and former two-time Special Adviser to ex-Governor Nyesom Wike, Hon. Opakirite Mackson Jackreece; former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Adokiye Young-Harry; former member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Daisy West and former Special Adviser to ex-Governor Nyesom Wike, Chief Hon. Iboroma Norman Wokoma.
Others were the incumbent Vice Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Council, Hon. (Mrs.) Tekena Wokoma; former Commissioner of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, Hon. Dr. Hope Barango; the South-West Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Sule Amachree and the Secretary of the Local Government chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Cladious Princewill; former Chief of Staff of Council, Hon. Ajumogobia West and former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ASALGA, Hon. Onari Awo Tariah.
Also present at the event were past caretaker committee chairmen of the Local Government Council including, Hon. Waite Harry, Hon. Dawari Hamilton Ibinabo, Hon. Wright Warmate and former Deputy Mayor of the Port Harcourt City Council, Hon. Adokiye Horsfall amongst others. My humble self belongs to the movement. The list is inexhaustible.
Speaking at the inauguration, the member representing Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru Federal Constituency and leader of the Asari-Toru political family, Hon. Boma Goodhead assured the people of the commitment of the Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara to extend visible dividends of democracy to the people of ASALGA.
The federal lawmaker who spoke through her representative, Dr. Sule Amachree, said Governor Fubara means well for Rivers people, particularly the people of ASALGA and urged them to remain calm, peaceful and resolute in their support to the administration of the State Governor.
“His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara is the Governor ordained by God to liberate Rivers people from the snares of poverty and oppression. He is God-sent to bring visible and even development to Rivers State and Asari-Toru people are on the top of that agenda of development,” she said.
Hon. Goodhead reiterated her confidence in the capacity of the leader of the Simplified Movement, ASALGA chapter, Chief Hon. Paworiso Samuel Horsfall to mobilise massive support and a huge source of encouragement for the Government of Sir Siminalayi Fubara to succeed.
“I urge you to continue to stand firm with our Governor. Be rest assured that His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara is a man of peace, focused and determined to deliver on the mandate given to him by the people of Rivers State. He will not fail you,” she said.
In his speech, the leader of the ASALGA chapter of the Simplified Movement, Chief Hon. Paworiso Samuel Horsfall described the movement as a child of necessity born out of the hunger of Rivers people for a paradigm shift from oppression to liberation.
“As witnessed across the length and breadth of Rivers State, the Simplified Movement is a child of necessity, born out of the hunger for a paradigm shift from oppression to liberation, with one core objective to promote and defend the interests of Rivers State and her people. It is on this account, we stand as dependable allies giving strong support to the Executive Governor, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara in his pursuit of peace and commitment to the genuine development of Rivers State.
“It is our position that with the elections come and gone, it is practically a time to face governance and to ensure deliverables of dividends to the people of Rivers State in the atmosphere of peace, security and stability,” he said.
Chief Samuel Horsfall explained that Rivers people saw the leadership qualities needed to achieve the sole objective to genuinely defend and promote the interest of the State in Governor Fubara, hence the spontaneous massive support expressed in the birth of the Simplified Movement.
He recounted avalanche of achievements made by Governor Fubara within six months in office. “We appreciate the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara for his resilience and determination to make a difference. It is on record and attestable by all, the numerous projects being executed by his administration.
“Such as the ongoing construction of the gigantic Port Harcourt Ring Road project, the 20,000 housing units for low income earners, the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity road, the near completion of the 10km Old Port Harcourt-Bori road, the Emohua-Kalabari road, the 6.5km Woji-Alesa-Refinery link road and the inclusion of the remaining part of the Trans-Kalabari road project in the 2024 budget. “Moreover, the promotion of the State civil servants, first time in history payment of N100,000.00 Christmas bonus to civil servants across board, approval of promotions and implementation of N30,000.00 minimum wage for local government workers and the N4 billion single digit interest loans facility for Small and Medium Scale business operators in Rivers State. All these achievements within six months in office are eloquent testimonies of Governor Fubara to deliberately improve the welfare of Rivers people.
“We are convinced that such a proven great mind and well experienced, tested and trusted administrator/technocrat, Governor Fubara has demonstrated the capacity to deliver effectively the needed democratic dividends to Rivers people. It is on this convention we are gathered here for the umpteenth time to reaffirm our unalloyed support and commitment to his administration,” Chief Samuel Horsfall declared.
He disclosed that the gathering was to put in place citizens mobilisation strategy to forge a collaborative bond with the Governor to foster partnership for the development of ASALGA and the State. He, therefore, advised those he called detractors of Governor Fubara’s administration to desist forthwith and allow the Governor to remain focused in his quest to deliver on his mandate.
“All detractors should desist from further attacks on the Governor and the Chief of Staff, Government House, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie and allow the Governor to focus on the delivery of the good policies and programmes to Rivers people. We unequivocally condemn attempts by disgruntled Abuja politicians to employ intimidation antics against the former Speaker of the 10th State Assembly and current Chief of Staff, Government House, Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie and others who are standing on the path of justice and good conscience for the collective good of Rivers State.
“We equally urge the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to be discreet in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities in the State and not to allow themselves to be used by selfish individuals who do not mean well to fuel political crisis in Rivers State.
Chief Samuel Horsfall also commended the federal lawmaker, Hon. Boma Goodhead for her doggedness and resilience in supporting Governor Fubara since the wake of the political crisis in the State.
Several other personalities spoke to express their support to the State Governor and urged the people to ASALGA to maintain their peaceful disposition and remain steadfast in the Simplified Movement to give the state government maximum support to continue to render good governance to Rivers people.
Highlights of the event were the inauguration of the elders and stakeholders of the Simplified Movement for the 13 Wards as well as the executive committee of the movement in Asari-Toru Local Government Area.

Amieyeofori Ibim

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