Drivers of articulated vehicles, mostly trailers and tankers, have blocked all major entrances to Bida, Niger State over the state government’s decision to close Minna- Bida road to articulated vehicles following ongoing dualization of the road.
This is just as the popular Apapa-Oshodi expressway in Lagos also witnessed a long traffic, as tankers blocked the highway.
Also, truck drivers have blocked the Yola-Gombe road, protesting what they termed continued extortion of money from their members by the police on the highway.
LEADERSHIP Weekend observed that since Thursday, the drivers had blocked the roads with their vehicles, insisting that they will not allow anybody in and out of Bida until the government opens the Minna-Bida road for them.
Niger State government had blocked the road to articulated vehicles for the last six months to enable the contractor handling the dualization to properly do a good job.
But the drivers told LEADERSHIP Weekend that the situation had adverse effects on them as the alternative Bida-Lapai-Lambata roads were no longer pliable.
It was observed that most motorists in their thousands have abandoned their cars, while commercial motorcycle riders make brisk business charging up to N5,000 per trip.
A traveller, Usman Mohammed who said he travelled all the way from Lagos and spent the night on the blocked road as the main entrance from Lagos axis to Bida up to about 10 kilometers to Wuya, along Bida to Mokwa road, was blocked.
Usman said, “The tankers and trailers have blocked the road; the same thing at Minna Bida axis as well as Lemu and Lapai /Agaie axis. So I took an Okada (commercial motorcycle) from Wuya close to Kakankpangi to take another car to Minna”.
A resident of Bida Abdul Abdulkadir said, “The entire roads in Bida have been blocked, including Gbazhi area before Emir’s palace and Esso, Siriku junction were all blocked as well as some street routes were blocked. We in Buda are worried that this also has security implication”.
The commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Hon Mamman Musa, told LEADERSHIP Weekend that the government will not open the road and the coordinating committee on safety and security of Minna-Bida road has been instructed to do the needful.
He said the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has instructed that the bad spots of Lambata-Bida road should be immediately graded to enable the articulated vehicles to pass the road as an alternative route.
The truck drivers who blocked Yola-Gombe road said they are protesting what they called continued extortion of money from their members by the police on the highway.
Spokesman of Adamawa Police Command, DSP Yahaya Suleiman, confirmed the development.
Travellers and other road users were trapped for more than hours.
Suleiman further said Adamu Alhaji, the commissioner of Police, has directed the immediate investigation into the matter to unravel officers allegedly involved in the extortion of money
The Numan Area Command, as matter of urgency, will transfer the accused officers to the state command for prompt investigation.