Vivian is a passionate young lady presently living in Abia State. She has taken to writing her experiences and sharing them on my blog. Her articles have been featured on here several times. You can search for #BlogFeature on my blog to see others.
The truth is that for the change we seek to happen, we must keep talking and pointing out the ills in our country. We cannot afford to keep quiet about them. Enjoy the article and have a lovely Saturday ahead.
Will the urgency of all the consequences of the terrible state of our roads be finally grasped when the very last one of us dies? September 4th was a black Friday in Aba, a tanker carrying oil overturned and went up in flames. Right now, we don't know how many casualties we had as a result. Yesterday, I got a call from a friend that his sister survived a near ghastly accident. The driver of a truck didn't see the gutter because it was waterlogged. He drove his car into the gutter and turned over taking lives along with his.
On our way into Aba, along waterside, we saw a truck carrying wood sliding down the sloppy road. People were shouting and running. Others were picking themselves off the ground. A Keke and a private car had already been bashed. The passengers in the Keke were scampering out from different directions. The truck had lost its brakes and there was traffic on the other side of the road. We were witnessing an accident that would claim lives and we couldn't help them. The worst of all, we were driving into the oncoming truck. People in our bus were screaming and praying. Our driver was able to manoeuvre the situation. The truck kept sliding down and all we could was pray for others.
When we turned on the radio to get local news, a radio program where people will call in to report about the traffic situation in the City was going on. From the discussion, we learnt that the previous day, on the same spot, another truck lost its brakes and was sliding down the road. A tipper driver blocked the oncoming truck with his tipper to save the day but lost his life in the bid. He sacrificed his life to save many others. And the story goes on.
How long more will this happen before the government begins to give these roads the attention they deserve? Clearing gutters, dumping the filth on the road and then taking another two weeks before clearing the filth off the roads at which time the filth would be blocking the roads thereby causing more traffic and then making every where look so nasty is not road construction. It is not alleviating the traffic situation. It is not fixing the terrible potholes.
The security and wellbeing of the citizens should be the priority of any government. If the people feel these basic needs are not the priority of the leadership, they relocate to areas where they feel these needs will be met. Most, if not all, of the people still living in Aba are still there because their sources of livelihood are there. How can a man whose business is well established in a city think of relocating? His customers, paying for a new shop, uprooting children from their schools and so many other factors need to put into consideration. Yet, how can he keep doing business in the city when he's no longer safe? When he's not sure he would always return home from work due to these incessant accidents.
In 2009, we had a crisis in the state. We had a situation where kidnappers held the city hostage for months, kidnapping people, raping young women and committing all forms of atrocities. We lost many people as a result. Doctors, lawyers and many business people left the city. Today, we no longer have the kind of qualified doctors we had prior to then. Any hospital you find one is usually overcrowded. Women go for antenatal in the morning and return late in the evening. The church rose in prayers and by God's grace, order returned to the state but many of those precious people never returned. Now, will the church need to pray again for the governor to fix the roads?
I feel 2009 is about to repeat itself. People are fed up. Those that can relocate will. People can no longer keep up with the traffic, the accidents, the feeling of insecurity and the gory sights. It's really time for this leadership to rise up and fix Aba.
Article by: IGBOKWE VIVIAN BEULAH
Twitter : @club7teen