Anambra Residents, Motorists Want ‘Killer Immigration Junction’ Fixed
A truck driver, simply identified as Taiwo, was trapped in front of his truck when it veered off the Enugu-Onitsha expressway at Immigration Junction area axis, Anambra State in Southeast Nigeria.
The truck driver died after about three hours still trapped in his accident truck due to poor response and rescue operations.
Taiwo was driving a diesel laden tanker on the Enugu bound lane but lost control of the heavy-duty vehicle at the Immigration junction where the dual carriageway thinned into one.
He swerved and the tanker fell on its side.
While the driver died at the scene of the accident, the content of his tanker, a highly-priced diesel spilled but it was not allowed to waste as residents scooped it into drums and gallons.
On Thursday, November 12, multiple accidents at the same Immigration resulted in about 11 persons sustaining serious injuries.
According to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Awka, capital of Anambra, the vehicles involved were an ash Toyota Corolla car, a blue Toyota Matrix saloon, a white Toyota Hiace bus, a green Toyota Fatbed, a red truck and a red Mate 90 motorcycle.
The FRSC blamed the crash on excessive speeding and loss of control of by the driver of the Toyota bus.
It said a total of 29 people comprising 20 male adults and nine female adults were involved in the accident. Out of the 29, seven male adults and three female adults sustained varying degrees of injuries.
On Wednesday, October 28 what would have been a monumental tragedy was averted when a Mack truck fully laden with diesel crashed into an empty Mark truck and a Siena Bus at Immigration Junction. Though no fatality was recorded, three persons were involved.
“A tragedy of immense proportion was averted on Oct. 28 at about 0915hrs, a diesel laden Mack truck with registration number ENU 548 ZH crashed with another empty Mark truck with registration number GWA 772 YM,” the FRSC said of the accident.
“And a blue-black Siena Bus with registration number GOD 969 XA at the immigration junction Agu-Awka along Awka- Enugu expressway,” Kamal Musa, Sector Public Enlightenment Officer stated in a statement.
The Immigration Junction has become notorious for fatal road accidents leading to deaths and life threatening injuries for many of the victims.
The Enugu bound lane of Awka-Enugu expressway is suddenly terminated at Immigration Junction, also known as Eze-Uzu Junction due to disrepair.
Vitalis Orji, a motorist resident in Awka said auto crashes were regular occurrence at the junction in the last six years when the construction work on that lane of the road stopped.
Orji said any motorist who was coming from Onitsha would think that his nightmare had ended at Amawbia bridge where the good portion on that axis started and would assume that it continued to Anambra border.
According to him, as you journey along, through the Government House you will think you are on cruise level only for you to run into the abrupt end of that stretch of the road.
“At that point which is a four-way junction, you will now slow and join the Onitsha bound lane to ply one-way, but in the course of change over, there is usually traffic build-up and the heavy-duty vehicles which are not conversant with the road are likely going to run into those vehicles.
“Accident is usually caused by a sudden break and change of direction from high speed, this will make the truck to lose control and either fall or crash into others,” he said.
Eunice Mba, a staff at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Campus, has stopped making use of the road due to incessant crashes, and particularly, the lack of political will by the Anambra State Government to fix it.
“Each time accident happens, I say it could have been me because there is always fear of accident occuring on that road and regrettable the federal and state government have not done anything to correct the problem,” Mba said.
“It is simple, they should just continue and complete that stretch of the road to Anambra border.”
Osita Obi, Convener of Recover Nigeria Project says he had mobilised students and transporters to occupy that portion of the road for three hours in 2019 to draw attention to the danger of Immigration junction without achieving any significant result.
He described the situation as terrible and regrettable while blaming excessive speeding on the part of motorists and narrowness of the road for the recurring carnage at the junction.
According to him, though the road belongs to the Federal Government, efforts should be made by both Federal and State governments to provide a lasting solution because ‘people that die there were Anambra people and other innocent motorists’.
“Anambra government should do something fast, they can liaise with the Federal Ministry of Works which is executing the job on that road to go to Immigration junction and fix the road to save lives,” he said.
“We have shouted, cried and even occupied that post for three hours but the government came and did little palliative. As it stands we may have to close it to traffic until it is fixed.
“It is a big intersection, what we need is a bridge or a massive roundabout because even if they construct the second lane of that road, accidents will not be completely eliminated.”.
Adeyemo Ajani, Controller of Works in Anambra admitted that the portion of the road was dangerous but assured that efforts were on to complete the Enugu bound lane as soon as possible.
Ajani said this would take care of Immigration Junction but added that being a ‘cross junction’ there was a need to build a bridge or close it so that vehicles could turn before or after it to reduce crashes.
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