Port Harcourt is one city in Nigeria that is synonymous with traffic congestion. Over the years, residents of Port Harcourt have had to go through excruciating experiences on the roads. From Aba Road to Ikwerre Road, to the township axis of the oil city, traffic congestion has caused some kind of nightmare for the residents.
In many cases, people are unable to keep appointments because the roads can be very unpredictable. Even with the task force on illegal parking, some commercial drivers are still in the habit of parking and picking passengers at will. They bother less about the effects of their actions. This has been identified as part of the reasons for traffic hiccups in the Rivers State capital.
Aside from the activities of commercial drivers, drivers and passengers go through hell on Port Harcourt roads once it rains. The situation in Aba road, especially the Market Junction axis, as well as the Airforce flyover that connects the Eliozu Road, can be very tormenting, when it rains. The multiplier effect is that even those trying to negotiate into the Stadium Road and connect the Elekahia route also go through hell. Residents are often subjected to horrifying experiences on the roads.
But the already terrible situation is getting worse, with the on-going construction of flyovers in parts of the state capital. At the moment, on-going flyover projects are being undertaken at the Rumuola axis, spanning up to the GRA Junction on Aba Road. A few minutes away from that point is the expansion of another flyover project at the Kaduna Street axis.
Traffic flow around Aba Road is therefore an issue. Drivers and commuters are therefore compelled to take alternative routes. Such routes are jammed with vehicles battling to move.
On the Ikwerre Road axis, there is another flyover around the Ikoku area. This one affects traffic flow into the Amaigbo road, forcing drivers to make use of alternative routes around that area.
While the residents on these routes were still grumbling and smiling, as they had no choice, a new flyover project came up around the Ada George area. This is the one that seems to hit the residents the most.
On a daily basis, the residents groan and roar about their ugly experiences on the roads. They cry to the governor, Nyesom Wike, to help and address the hardship they are made to go through. Even though they appreciate the governor for the flyover projects, they complain that adequate plan would have been put in place to prevent the hardship they are currently going through.
We agree with the residents that the current trauma occasioned by the simultaneous construction of flyovers and other road projects in Port Harcourt is avoidable. If the state government had attached a human face to the projects initiation and execution, the case would have been different.
Now that scores of the people for whom the projects are constructed have been wailing and begging the government to consider their plight, it would only be proper for the authorities to take steps immediately to address the concerns of the people. It would be counter- productive if people are made to continue under the current choking condition, despite their outcry.
We believe that the projects are meant for the people to enjoy and they have to be alive and in good frame of mind and good health to enjoy the projects. This is one way of showing that the government truly cares for the well-being of the people.