Report: The Incessant Cases of Accident Along Kaduna- Zaria Expressway

Report: The Incessant Cases of Accident Along Kaduna- Zaria Expressway

Report: Th Incessant Cases of Accident Along Kaduna- Zaria Expressway

By Nuhu Basheer Masa

The incessant reoccurrence of t accidents along Kaduna- Zaria express road, a 70.6km highway which serves as a major axis of the Abuja-Kano highway has continued to raise concern among travelers, motorists and residents alike.

The road serves as a major highway and connecting route that gives access to the North West and North Central part of the country from the Federal capital territory (FCT).

For years, there has been several degrees of tragic incident and auto crashes that have led to numerous loss of lives along the road. 

Eyebrows are being  raised, questions are being asked by various stakeholders including government, the road safety agency and road users on what might be responsible for such ghastly incidences on that particular highway almost on daily basis.

This report will discuss some of the recorded accident considering their impact, proximity, and prominence. 

It will also be looking into expert opinions, comments, and eye witness account gathered through the interview conducted.

And for us to know about causes and solution to the cases we tried to trace the government approach in the past towards the maintenance of that road and what the road safety agency is doing in collaboration with the mass media for information dissemination, orientation and enlightenment as well as other measures to strategically minimize these incidents.

On 10th June, 2019. An auto crash occurred  along Zaria-Kaduna highway that led to death of Professor Adeola Abosede Orogade from the Department of Pediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria and various degrees of injuries sustained by other victims of the accident.

According to the Kaduna State Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr.Stephen Akau Kache, the accident was caused by blockages and diversion along the high due to ongoing constructions and failure to adhere to road signs by motorists.

The chairman recommended that government should deploy cranes and other equipment along the roads that could be used to extract victims who are trapped in vehicle and also establish emergency medical unit at strategic locations.

Also, on 22nd December, 2019 at about 12:20pm there was a report of auto crash along the same highway which led to the death of former commissioner for works and transport in Jigawa State, Alhaji Sintali Aliyu Sarkin Yakin Kazaure. According to the report by his elder brother the accident happened between Jaji to Birnin Yero, where the former Commissioner and his driver died at the spot as a truck heavily loaded container fell on their car.

Eye witnesses who blame the incident on the deplorable condition of the road called on government and the contractors handling the road construction to speed up work on the high way in other to return it to good shape and prevent future occurrences.

Similarly, on 4th February,2020 a ghastly motor accident occurred along Dumbin Rauga axis of kaduna-Zaria Express road which resulted to the death of former secretary of the Kaduna State Council of Nigerian Union of journalists (NUJ) Mr. Dominic Uzoh and three others including one who was burnt beyond recognition, the other two death on the way to the hospital as a result of burns, while six other victims sustained several degree of injuries and had been receiving treatment at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria.

Road safety official on the scene who spoke to newsmen said, the accident happen as a result of lackadaisical attitude by a trailer Driver who wanted to dodge a pot-hole and rammed into a Toyota Hiace Bus carrying pasengers. He also blamed the accident on over speeding and therefore adviced motorists to minimize their speed as the road is still under construction.

Recently, on Thursday 10the December, 2020 16 Kano indigenes perished in an accident at Rigachikun  axis of Kaduna-Zaria road  following a bursted tyre. 

While interviewing the Chief Commander in charge of Operation in Zaria, Marshall Abdulhameed Salihu Aliyu, he mentioned various causes like diversions as a result of ongoing road construction, bad nature of the road, lots of pot holes, over speeding on the part of the drivers playing that road as being responsible. He also revealed further that some commercial drivers take drugs to boost their moral in order to beat time and meet up target.

The official who acknowledged high number of commercial vehicles especially gulf and articulated cars involved in recent accidents blamed the drivers of these vehicles for their inability to maintain their vehicles as most of these vehicles are not road Worthy.

Speaking to our source, the official was not able to give information on the exact number of cases recorded but adviced motorists especially commercial drivers to always maintain speed limit or even go slower when approaching construction sites or high ways.

Further speaking on measures to avoid these kind of accident, he cautioned drivers to always adhere to road signs especially approaching areas marked with diversions and avoid overloading of their vehicles to minimize loss of lives and properties. 

Our findings on the ongoing construction work on the road further reveals that three parts of the road at about 70km were highly dangerous to motorists among which are Kwanar Tsintsiya to Jaji, a segment that is about 35kilometers from Zaria was described as "Danger Zone". Other danger zones according to road users include the diversion point at Birnin Yero village adjacent FRSC Office. The last danger spot is the stretch between Maraban Jos and Rigachikun which is about 10km.

Some of the motorists who spoke to our source lamented the slow pace of the reconstruction work on going on that road.

The House of representative committee on works led by Abubakar Kabir Abukabakar have queried the construction giant Julius Berger handing the 375 kilometers Abuja-Kano road for subjecting millions of Nigerians to hardship while plying the road. The House further threatened to split the contract and bring on board other contractors to hasten completion.

The Federal Executive Council had three years ago awarded the N155bn road construction project to Julius Berger. 

So far, the Federal Government, released over 50Billion, representing 32% of the total budget for the road.

Progress of work on the road is said to be at 26.7 percent in the18 out of 36 months completion period.

Our findings reveal that progress of the reconstruction work has been slow and the degration that necessitated the award of contract had continued due to weather conditions, traffic congestions and lack of maintenance.

Examining the role of media so far in ensuring safety on our roads. The FRSC has a radio frequency called National Traffic Radio (NRT) 107.1 FM in Abuja which could be accessed on  the FRSC official website ( you can also follow FRSC on Facebook,Twitter,YouTube etc. To acquire necessary information as well as to be enlightened on road traffic matters in programme.

Similar educative programmes that is enlighten the road users are on air in different Radio stations in kaduna and Zaria such as "Sannu Bata Hana Zuwa" sponsored by Queen Fm Radio zaria, "Hattara Direba" by KSMC Kaduna, "Ba hawan ba sauka" by Alheri Radio Kaduna and Zaria to mention a few. 

Drivers are hereby advised to adhere to the rules by FRSC, avoid over speeding, over loading, and reckless over taking.

Road Contractors should be more professional in discharging their duties and ensure their job are completed in time.

The road safety agencies should not compromise under any circumstances on their primary role of ensuring safety on our roads, employ necessary and constitutional measures to minimize road traffic accident.

Finally, the government should focus  on the construction of the Abuja -Kaduna- Zaria Kano express way looking at its prominence in the Nigerian road network this is to ensure that the work will progress in 2021 drastically and will be finished before 2023 as it was promised by President Muhammadu Buhari. Though few weeks back we heard minister of works Mr.Fashola stating that the project would not be completed till 2025 that is why Senator Uba Sani representing Kaduna central expressed his dismay during an interview with journalists and called the attention of Mr. President, stating that "People are dying on daily basis because of this construction, it is better for President Muhammad Buhari to look at this damnable situation to bring an end to these incessant cases of accident. We advised the federal government to stop awarding any contact till this one is done since the government treasury is low." 

Basheer Masa, is a young broadcast Journalist works with Queen Fm Radio Zaria,Chairman KAYOJA,Nuhu Basheer Masa@Facebook, and writes from Zaria.

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