Saturday, 10 August 2019

How El-Rufai left Abuja, trekked for 10km to solve Kaduna-Abuja traffic gridlock

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The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday afternoon left Abuja to solve the horrific gridlock along Kaduna-Abuja expressway.

The gridlock occurred when a police inspector allegedly shot dead a bus driver in the early hours of Friday.

In protest against the killing, trailer drivers blocked the lanes, causing over 14 hours of traffic gridlock along both lanes of the highway.

The bus driver was reportedly on his way to Abuja from Katsina when the policeman allegedly shot him dead while the his assistant was haggling with another policeman who demanded for a N1,000 bribe.

Immediately after the blockade, thousands of vehicles piled up along the road, drawing the attention of the state government and security agents to the scene.

DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that when Mr El-Rufai realised that gravity of the situation, he insisted on coming back to Kaduna from Abuja despite assurances by his aides that they were on top of the situation.

It was gathered that when the governor reached the point of the snarled-up traffic, he left his convoy in the gridlock and trekked for about 10km to the point of the barricade.

DAILY NIGERIAN learnt that the governor arrived at the scene around 5:30pm and left around 2:30am on Saturday when all the obstacles were cleared and vehicular movement greatly improved.

“We wanted him to stay back in Abuja but he insisted in coming with his family to also share the feelings of the travellers and solve the problem,” said an official who preferred not to be named.

In a statement by Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the governor thanked travellers for their patience and perseverance.

“On behalf of the the government, he once again commiserated with the family of the driver that was killed. Malam El-Rufai described the killing of the driver as a most unfortunate incident that must be thoroughly investigated so that justice can be done. He welcomed the arrest of a police officer in connection with the case, assuring that the state government is awaiting the result of the investigation.

“The Governor apologised for the distress stranded commuters endured due to the road blockage. He said that the reaction of the drivers who protested the killing of their colleague by blocking the highway amounted to unlawfully inflicting distress on innocent citizens. The consequence of the blockage was so so severe that it took several hours for the gridlock to clear, even after the barricades had been removed and the road opened.

“The Governor also commended security agencies for their efforts in clearing the blockage and protecting travellers after the unfortunate incident,” Mr Aruwan said.

The Commissioner of Police Kaduna State Command, Ali Janga, has announced the arrest of the police inspector allegedly involved in the killing of a commercial bus driver.

The command spokesman, Yakubu Sabo, said in a statement issued on Friday in Kaduna that the commissioner also ordered immediate investigation into the death.

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