From Maurice Okafor Enugu.
Residents of Oji River town in Enugu state who usually buy and sell at the popular Oji River Urban Market witnessed another tragedy on Tuesday, February 16, as a lorry which obviously ran out of control of its driver caused a chain of accident and killed a lot of people.
The vehicle killed several people before it finally rammed into a shop. Mangled dead bodies aftermath of the accident littered beside the tarmac attracted lots of people to the scene of the accident.
An eyewitness told The AUTHORITY South East post that the vehicle was coming from UDI/ Enugu axis of the road and probably had brake failure before it ran out of control of its driver.
The AUTHORITY South East Post checks reveal that such magnitude of accident with heavy casualties at Oji Urban market has become a recurring decimal since the Enugu to Onitsha old road started experiencing increased vehicular movement in the past decade.
The steep slope of the road before the Oji River Thermal power station compulsorily increases the speed/velocity of vehicles coming from Enugu axis of the road and those of them with faulty brakes often end up into the fast flowing river when it’s driver lost control or ran into the near by shops at the Oji Urban market.
The ugly state of the Enugu to Onitsha express road has paved way to the usage of the Enugu to Onitsha old road by all calibre of vehicles without regulation. Particularly at Oji River town, the undulating natural disposition of the hills/valley across the bridge of the river is always an uphill tasks for lorries and trucks conveying loads to and fro Enugu to Onitsha and vice versa. It puts the traders and people doing their genuine business at the market at risks even as goods worth millions of naira has been damaged or lost into the river at instances.
Some of the residents who spoke to The AUTHORITY pleaded with the authorities of Enugu state government to halt movement of heavy vehicles/trucks across Oji River town just as it prevented heavy vehicles from plying the famous ‘Milken hills’ from ,9th mile. They suggested that in as much as Oji River town connects the neighbouring Anambra state, heavy vehicles and trucks should be compelled to divert into the Enugu to Onitsha express road to continue their journey through the link road at ‘Agbalaenyi community’ reconstructed by Governor Ugwuanyi.