Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The bus wahala.....

Yesterday 14th of January, I left my office at asokoro to do some business at xerox business center at zone 5. When I got to wuse, afraid catch me (as a warri man will say). The crowd I saw near the market made me wonder if people were preparing for another occupy naija protest. That was when my driver told me that buses had been banned from entering wuse.

The news hit me like an uppercut to the chin! The look of frustration on the faces of those people who were busy trekking and looking for alternate means of transport from the wuse market area just said it all. When I asked what may have caused he stoppage, I learned the authorities said it was a move to curb traffic congestion often witnessed at central wuse area.

Yes, I have been held up in traffic at that area on many occasions and I must say, the experience wasn't one to savour. Yet, it is not just because buses ply directly into wuse that causes the congestion- it is the way the buses and other commercial drivers park on the road. I wasn't in Abuja when Nasir El Rufai was the minister for FCT, but a colleague of mine who has virtually lived here all his life said that during El Rufai's time, buses plied wuse but the congestion wasn't there

This makes me ask if the guys in authority actually sample public opinion before they start making all these laws meant to 'help the masses?'. I know what people must have passed through to get home from wuse yesterday. It is not just left alone for buses to be banned- what alternatives have been put in place to serve as palliatives?

The number of agencies controlling traffic alone in abuja is enough to prevent unnecessary traffic jams caused by irresponsibility on the part of drivers. Here alone, you will find policemen, road safety officials, security defense, traffic wardens, vehicle inspection officers, task force and the newly introduced SURE-P VIO.

The minister should make all these officers earn their living by working for it. Designated areas where buses are known to park irregularly should be filled with these officials, and offenders will be deal with. That way, the traffic situation will be eased, and people will not need to trek for long distances before they can find a vehicle to transport them.

All it takes, is for everybody to play his part, do what is right and consider the next person as a human being.

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