TRAGEDY is lurking on the Benin – Warri expressway as some portions of the road have become death traps for users of the ever-busy road that leads to Warri, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt on the one hand and Ore, Lagos and the northern parts of the country on the other.
The most dangerous part of the road, as of the last check, are two deadly portions of the Jameson bridge across River Ethiope.
Both bridges leading to and from Benin have portions gradually caving in with nobody giving a hoot on how to fix it, given the likely dangers attached.
Checks by the Nigerian Tribune last Saturday morning revealed that the steels fortifying a portion of the Jameson bridge has caved in such that motorists have to slow down to avoid somersaulting.
Across the bridge, from a close observation, is a yawning gap that can halt or swallow the tyres of a tricycle if caution is not applied.
Could it be the handiwork of thieves who had earlier removed the iron rails meant to prevent straying vehicles from plunging into the river?
Speaking with a user of the road, Mr Morrison Oritsegbemi, on Saturday, he described the bad portions of the bridge too ugly to recount.
Oritsegbemi, who’s a councillor in Warri North Local Government Area with headquarters at Koko, said: “the bad portion is very very bad and of course, there’s nothing we can do as it is a Federal road.
“I, however, appeal to the Federal Government to come to the aid of the people plying the road.
“The users are not just Deltans as the road leads to Lagos, Port Harcourt, Bayelsa, Benin.
“They ply it day and night. They should come to our aid.
Since this government talks about “change,” they should come and do it so that the people will be happy.”
Oritsegbemi also enjoined the Delta State government to fix the road instead of waiting for the Federal Government which might be slow in taking action.
“The state government should not wait for the FG, they should fix and find how to collect the money from the Federal Government.
“They should fix the bad portion of the bridge and road to avoid casualties, “ he warned.
Another regular user of the road, a commercial bus driver, Mr Godwin, lamented the adverse effects of the bad portion of the road on his vehicle and those of others.
Speaking in pidgin he said: “the thing dey spoil motor all the time.
“Some of our vehicles dey get accident on the spot. So, we’re not happy about it. We feel so bad about it.”
Godwin, who said he plied Benin, Warri and Abuja regularly, appealed to the State and federal governments to fix the bad portions of the bridge and road to save lives.
Meanwhile, a brand new Toyota corolla driven by a lady, who was apparently ignorant of the state of the bridge, was dangerously bashed from behind at a bad spot from Oghara to Warri, just few hours after InsideNigerDelta visited the area.