Need for Speed-Breakers Along Nkwagu-Army Barracks Highway


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By Peete Kol

 

Thanks be to God Almighty for making it possible for me to script this article myself, in spite of the bruises and swollen hand after an encounter with a hit and run Hilux van driver that almost killed this writer and the person carrying him on a motorbike penultimate Sunday afternoon and escaped but not from God.

It all happened along this death-trap of a road called “Nkwoagu/Afikpo road” that is presently under construction to be turned to a dual carriageway.

The fact remains that since the beginning of the construction work, the caterpillars had scraped the sides of the road thus elevating the tarred road and making it hang. No vehicle or motorcycle could have the ease of parking by the road side as it is the case with the normal road, thereby causing a lot of discomfiture to all drivers and riders of bikes, including the tricycle, otherwise called “Keke”.

But in spite of all these, some trailers and other vehicles kept speeding and running as if all was well with the road. And the result of it all is one accident or the other on daily basis.

This writer had warned in the past, Prof. Clement Mgbada almost had a head-on collision with a reckless bus driver, who was overtaking a particular keke, but instead, he veered to the right and lost control into a shop having 3 persons in there. But we thank God that they all came out of it unscathed. Praise the Lord, but not without a broken wall that cost so much money to be put in order.

Another man and wife on bike were not as lucky. They were both killed even when the wife was a nursing mother of twins.

The other time a trailer which was not wary of the dangers inherent of the road in the night, wanted to park, but the entire trailer fell on its side right in front of the Quarter Guard. It stayed there for four days, before it was pulled up along with its loads.

But the most dangerous aspect is the way motorcyclists are frequently knocked-down into the dangerous precipice.

In our own case, Master Warrant Officer Simon Tizhe, a bomb expert, who came all the way from Maiduguri war zone to Catholic Church Military Cantonment Nkwoagu. The church was a beehive of activities eliciting great dancing from the melodious choir of the church. The jolly “Bomb expert” fellow danced and danced and pulling the whole congregation to join him in the great dance to the Altar of God, after which he donated fifty thousand naira (N50,000)  for the wing of the church being reconstructed and another (N5000) five thousand for next Sunday launching for the visit of Army Director since he thought he would leave again by Wednesday for the Boko Haram territory.

But soon after mass, there was a need for a message at Nkwoagu market. I joined him on his bike. No sooner had we gotten on the hanging highway, taking it easy, than a mad Hilux driver knocked us down opposite the Command Secondary School and took off, may be thinking he had killed us.

Ritual killers! I happened to regain consciousness first but before one could say ritual killer, the van was almost at Nkwoagu market. And because it was on a Sunday, he was able to escape without being apprehended.

Soon a keke was brought that took us to the MRS. Military Hospital inside the barracks.

MWO Tizhe already had a dangerous cut near the eye and was in a very serious condition that he was referred to the FETHA 2 after sewing the cut by the Doctors and nurses in the MRS. He was further referred to a hospital in Enugu for a scan on his head.

I received some bruises here and there with minor treatment. Can one thank God enough? He is the Alpha and Omega.

I cannot agree less with some of the sympathisers who came to our aid voicing condemnation for the attitude of the driver who knocked down and ran away saying that he may have run away from us but he cannot run away from God. He must surely be paid in his own coin.

They sympathisers advocated that not less than five to six speed breakers (bumps) should be erected on this dangerous highway before many lives will be lost, at least until the end of the construction of the dual carriage way.

They should make sure that these bumps should be sprinkled with white reflective paints to avoid another mishaps for unsuspecting road users. It should not be the mound-type but just a quarter moon-types that are not dangerous on itself since some don’t know how to construct good speed breakers. The earlier these are placed there, the better to all living around this area and of course, others that use the elevated tar. We should be alive to enjoy the dual carriageway after construction.


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