Otti bans movement of heavy duty vehicles to check incessant accidents on Abia roads
Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti has ordered the immediate restoration of the previous directives restricting movement of heavy-duty vehicles within Umuahia and Aba metropolis between the hours of 7am and 8pm as part of measures in improving public safety on Abia Roads following the unfortunate accident at Waterside bridge Ogbor Hill Aba on Tuesday.
The Governor in a statement on Wednesday signed by the Senior Special assistant on Public Communication Mr. Dodoh Okafor said the Abia State Ministry of Transport and other relevant agencies of the Government have been directed to immediately activate all existing vehicle road worthiness and safety policies and enforce the laws as may be necessary to ensure safety on the roads, especially as the yuletide approaches.
The statement further revealed that in other to promote the safety of the public across all roads in the state, the government will set up a taskforce which would work on a 24-hour basis in Aba and Umuahia with a direct mandate to remove all damaged or immovable vehicles on the road as quickly as a report is received.
It stated that this would apply to heavy duty, commercial and private vehicles adding that the cost of removing such vehicles would be borne by the owners.
Otti while commiserating with the deceased families and those injured during the accident promised to set appropriate machineries in motion for identifying and reaching out to the families of the victims to offer all necessary support to them.
He also assured that the State Government would stand by the victims and their families during these difficult times and would do everything within its powers to lessen the burden on all affected by this regrettable tragedy.
The statement reads in parts, “The Abia State Government notes with great regret, the unfortunate accident that occurred on Tuesday, 14th November 2023, at the Waterside Bridge in the Ogbor Hill area of Aba, involving a heavy-duty truck and several commercial and private vehicles at around 8: 00 am.
“The Government hereby extends its heartfelt sympathies to the families and relatives of the victims, praying for the peaceful repose of the soul of the deceased and quick restoration to health for the injured.
“The State Government under the leadership of Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, has set appropriate machineries in motion for identifying, and reaching out to the families of the victims to sympathise with, and offer all necessary support to them.
“The Governor has assured that the State Government would stand by the victims and their families during these difficult times and would do everything within its powers to lessen the burden on all affected by this regrettable tragedy.”
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Abia North Senatorial District, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has commiserated with Otti and the families of victims of the Water Side accident which occurred Tuesday.
The former Abia State Governor described the accident as unfortunate and a big loss to the state.
A statement issued on Wednesday by his media office, stated that the lawmaker was deeply saddened over the incident.
He said, “I am deeply saddened over the Water Side accident which occurred on Tuesday. More saddening is the fact that the lives of those in search of livelihood were cut short.
“As a former Governor of the State, my heart is with the families of the affected and the entire state during this period, and pray God grant us the fortitude to bear the loss. “
Similarly, the immediate past Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has expressed deep sadness at the news of the accident.
Ikpeazu, in a statement signed by his spokesman, Onyebuchi Ememanka, described the incident as “disturbing and distressing.”