Some motorists plying the Benin-Okene highway have called for its urgent repair to reduce accidents and loss of lives on the road.
The motorists told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin that aside accidents caused by its poor state, some criminals took advantage of the bad portions of the road to rob travelers.
One of the road users who spok with NAN, Mr Abel Onoja, said it would be a relief if government declared a state of emergency on the road.
“What we are saying now is that many of our colleagues as well as innocent other Nigerians are being killed daily on this road because of its bad state.
“Several sections of this road have been overtaken by potholes and ditches. They pose danger to our lives and those of other Nigerians who ply the route daily,” he said.
Aliu Ozioruva, a journalist, described the situation on the road as pathetic, saying it should not have been allowed it to get to its present state.
“You can hardly drive for two minutes without manoeuvring in order to avoid running into these potholes. Some of them are up to two feet deep,” he said.
Samson Ahamisi, who also plies the road, said that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) had abandoned its job on the road for over a year now.
“The fact that the government has abandoned the dualisation project of the road should not prevent FERMA from being alive to its responsibility.
“I often wonder if our lives no longer matter to government that swore to protect the citizenry.
“Many have died in the process of trying to avoid these potholes or when they ran into them.
“Our vehicles have become constant visitors to mechanic workshops because of the road,” Ahamisi said.
Another Benin resident, Patrick Ebojele, said it had become a nightmare for people plying the route on a daily basis.
Obojele called on the federal government to quicken the repair of the road to forestall further damage.
The past administration had started dualising the highway in 2013, but abandoned it shortly before the March 2015 general elections.
Meanwhile, the State Controller, Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr Denis Orji, said that work would resume on the road as soon as the 2016 budget is passed.
“We are aware of the state of the road but we are waiting for the budget to be passed before work will begin on it,” he said. (NAN)
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