The spate of accidents at the Kubwa NYSC Junction in Bwari area council involving commuters and motorists, is mind-boggling. In this report, AFOLASHADE AZEEZ writes on the need for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to build a pedestrian bridge in the area in order to save lives and property.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Junction is a well-known location in Kubwa, Bwari area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as it leads to the NYSC Orientation Camp. It’s a busy junction, though it lacks pedestrian bridge to facilitate easy movement of residents in the area.
Daily, residents have to cross three extremely busy lanes to the other side of the expressway. Apart from the fact that many residents risk their lives every day to cross the road, members of the NYSC also have to contend with the busy expressway as they arrive for their compulsory service to the nation.
Residents, especially mothers who spoke with LEADERSHIP complained that they usually find it difficult to cross the road, especially in the morning and evening, which are the peak periods.
A resident of the community, Mrs. Patricia Taiwo, said that her experience with the absence of pedestrian bridge is a bad one because she is a mother with children and it’s not easy for her to cross the expressway with her children. She further explained that she usually boards a cab with her children, instead of crossing the busy road as many people have been killed trying to cross the road.
‘‘I spend so much getting cabs to convey my children. I would have used the money to invest in something else but I spen it to save my life and thought of my children,” she lamented.
She expressed hope that something would be done about it soon in order to save lives.
“I saw one at Arab road junction but I don’t know if it’s a pedestrian bridge, and if that one will come up as a pedestrian bridge, it will be a great thing. At least, it’s closer to this place compared to NNPC junction,” she said.
Also speaking, one of the residents, Miss Mercy Erueme who started Sim card registration business at the junction three months ago, lamented that the absence of pedestrian bridge led to loss of lives.
“The absence of pedestrian bridge here takes lives here and I’ve been seeing it for the past two months now. A little girl was trying to cross the road and a vehicle hit her, it was so painful. She can survive it only by the grace of God and I have seen many of these situations,” she said.
She added that because of the absence of the bridge, she usually uses the pedestrian bridge at another junction called NNPC Junction and from there, take a bike to NYSC junction where her business is located. Erueme called on government to take the pedestrian bridge that is still ongoing at Arab road Junction to the NYSC junction as the latter hosts heavier traffic.
Another resident, Mr. Musa Abdullahi, a car dealer at the junction, also expressed concern over the absence of pedestrian bridge given the frequent accidents on the expressway. He said that the residents have been trying to talk to the government about it for a long time but their voices were not heard.
Olamilekan James, a member of the NYSC, who observed his three weeks activities in the camp, also narrated how stressful it was for him and other NYSC members to cross the road with their belongings due to the absence of pedestrian bridge. He added that the road is not safe, calling on government to look into it as the junction is long overdue for a pedestrian bridge.
For Mrs. Georgia Ndubuisi, the pedestrian bridge will save the lives of not just residents but visitors who visits the area. She added that crossing the bridge with her children has been a herculean task as the road was always busy. Ndubuisi pleaded with the government to do something about the road, not just to save lives but to save people’s sanity.
“Every day, if you want to cross the road, you will be thinking of how to cross. I heard that there is an ongoing bridge at Arab road. It’s a good one. I hope it will be a pedestrian bridge. I will be going through that route as it will be very close to NYSC junction compared to the one at NNPC junction,” she said.
Also speaking, another resident, Mr. Yahaya Umar, stated that he had seen students trying to cross the road and got involved in an accident while going or returning from school. He added, “Accidents are common here. I always thank God when the school is on break, if not, you would have seen no fewer than four accidents in a month, it’s that serious.”
The residents are of the opinion that if the government will not mount the pedestrian bridge for their sake, they should at least mount it for the sake of NYSC members who should be protected as they serve the nation.
“They are government “pikin” (wards) They should be protected. Government should please help us. NYSC junction is always busy with vehicular movement,” George Azeez, a resident, added.