By Frank Oshanugor
Authorities of the Delta State Police Command, have debunked the contents of a 117seconds video clip trending in various social media platforms alleging that the traffic hold-up on the Asaba – Onitsha Expressway towards the River Niger Headbridge was caused by police personnel from the State Command.
In a statement on Thursday, spokesman of the Command, DSP Bright Edafe on behalf of the State Commissioner of Police, said the video which was recorded in an admixture of English and Igbo languages, that a voice could be heard of a seemingly frustrated motorist, understandably bemoaning the traffic situation on the ever busy road linking the South West to the South – Eastern part of the country.
According to the statement “the voice in the narrative, wrongly accused officers of the Force as being responsible for the heavy traffic at the head bridge. However, following a careful examination of the trending clip, the Command wishes to state that the accusation is not only false but a deliberate effort by the narrator to mislead members of the public and to bring the image of the command into disrepute”
“Second, the Command has been doing all its possible best daily to ease the traffic at the HeadBridge and will continue to do so.”
The spokesman added that it should be noted that the video was recorded on 14th December, 2021 being a Tuesday. “Owing to the fact that people do not usually ply the route on Mondays due to the situation in the Eastern part of the country, it is expected and quite natural that the traffic flow to the market will be heavy on Tuesdays. The fast approaching Yuletide season is another contributory factor as more people are traveling eastwards for the celebrations.”
‘It is a notorious fact that the bridge which was commissioned for use in 1965 in response to the vehicular traffic flow of that era is grossly inadequate and structurally not designed to deal with the vehicular flow of present time. The single lane of the bridge can not easily accommodate the four lanes flowing into it without causing traffic jam as it is currently being experienced.”
The Delta Police also contended that if “theTruth be told, the narrowing down of the multiple lanes to a single lane as well as the narrow exit at the Onitsha end is solely responsible for the overflow at the Asaba entrance of the bridge.
This is very visible to every discerning mind.,”
The Command also argued “that the current situation at the Headbridge is not strange neither is it a sudden development as the Federal Government who is bent on tackling the problem headlong commenced the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge to ease the pains of motorists on the route.”
The statement assured that the Police Command under the watch of Commissioner Ari Muhammed Ali ‘is working with the State government and other sister agencies involved in traffic management including the FRSC both in the state and in Anambra state with a view to seeing that the HeadBridge is decongested.
“The Command remains committed to its goal and will not be deterred by any ill-intentioned comment from whatever quarter.”