The Abuja-Lokoja Highway has finally been reopened for motorists and commuters, 16 hours after blockade by aggrieved tanker drivers over the death of their colleague in Kogi State.
The reopening of the road was carried out after an undisclosed amount of money was given to the family of the deceased tanker driver.
The drivers had on Monday at 10pm blocked the road following the death of one of their members, who had problem with security agents at a military checkpoint just after Murtala Muhammed Bridge along Jamata, River Niger area.
The driver had allegedly refused to stop and over ran into the military checkpoint but was chased by the security agents.
On noticing they had caught up with him, he and other occupants ran into the bush but unfortunately fell into a ditch and got injured.
The driver was taken to the hospital for medical attention but died, a development that angered his members, who quickly mobilised and blocked the highway on Jamata area, obstructing movement.
Travellers from both sides of the highway were trapped and stranded all the 16 hours until the reopening of the road.
An anonymous government official told the news Agency of (NAN) that the reopening of the road took longer time because the drivers insisted that the family of the deceased should arrive at the scene from Nasarawa State.
“When the family members came, we were able to reach an accord with the provision of some money to them as a show of concern. Of course, no amount of money in this world can bring the dead driver back to life,” the official said.
The Kogi FRSC sector commander, Mr Steve Dawulung, expressed gladness over the final reopening of the road.
“In fact, it has been so hectic and worrisome the blockade for not just for my officers and men, but other security operatives.
“We are grateful to Governor Yahaya Bello, who through his special adviser on security matters, facilitated the peace deal with the aggrieved drivers,” Dawulung said.
However, with the reopening of the road, it would take some reasonable time before the gridlock will clear for free and normal flow of traffic along the highway.