By Felix Ekwu
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Warri Branch has urged the Delta State government to urgently rehabilitate and fix the popular Effurun Roundabout which is one of the major gateways to the twin cities of Warri and Effurun in Warri South and Uvwie Local Government Areas of the state.
Rising from its general meeting held on Sunday, July 31, 2022, the NBA in a press release signed by the Chairman, Chief Oghenero Okoro and Mr Slyvester Ediagbonuvie, both senior lawyers, the Association said, “That the very bad and deplorable state of the Effurun Roundabout, Effurun, is not only worrisome but embarrassing. It has continued to cause great pain, suffering and loss of revenue to the residents of Warri, Effurun and environs due to the gridlock it occasions daily.
“It is also a bad testament to and an advertisement for the twin cities of Warri and Effurun, considering the fact that the Effurun roundabout is the gateway into the cities of Effurun and Warri for visitors and investors transiting through Warri, Effurun and environs to other parts of the country.”
Consequently, the NBA Warri Branch called on the Delta State government to as a matter of urgency, “take steps to immediately rehabilitate and fix the Effurun Roundabout and restore it to normalcy. The government should also take advantage of the repair to beautify the roundabout which has been taken over by some mentally challenged persons, due to its long neglect.
“In addition to fixing the roundabout, the Delta State Government should also think of creating alternative routes in the area to divert traffic from the Roundabout and reduce the pressure on it. This will reduce the rate of failure of the Roundabout which has become yearly.”
The Association frowned seriously at the taking over of the Warri-Benin road, a Federal highway, particularly the stretch from Effurun to Oghara, “by miscreants and other non-state actors who in the guise of one taskforce or the other mount roadblocks on every metre of the road.
“Some Government agencies like the NSCDC (National Civil Security and Defence Corps) and Delta State revenue task forces, rather than check these miscreants, have also joined them in inflicting gruelling pain on commuters on this road.
“Between the Effurun Roundabout in Effurun and Oghara Junction in Ethiope-West Local Government Area, about 32 (Thirty Two) of these illegal roadblocks are mounted by these non-state actors. This is excluding the ones mounted by men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). These roadblocks not only make commuting on the Effurun to Oghara portion of the Warri-Benin Highway difficult but also cause damage to vehicles of commuters and the road itself.
“There have also been reports of robberies and attacks on citizens at night by criminals taking advantage of the logs and barricades left on the road at these roadblocks.”
Accordingly, the NBA Warri Branch recommended that “The State Government should also as a matter of urgency liaise with the Police, army and other security outfits in the country to clear the Effurun to Oghara portion of the Warri-Benin Road of all the roadblocks mounted on the road by the non-state actors masquerading as one taskforce or the other.
“It is instructive to note that apart from the menace these roadblocks cause to commuters, it has also become a great security risk to travellers as criminals stay at these roadblocks to rob and kidnap or maim travellers at night when these miscreants who mounted the roadblocks have gone home.”
On security, the Association noted that “the security state of the Eku-Abraka Road and also the Ohoror-Bomadi Road is now very alarming. Fulani herdsmen have reportedly taken over the entire stretch of the Eku-Abraka Road, daily kidnapping, killing, raping and maiming our people. This also is the scenario on the Ohoror-Bomadi Road stretch where farmers have been forced to flee their farms and their homes and same have been taken over by these Fulani herdsmen and other bandits/criminals.
“The State should engage and synergize immediately with the security forces to safeguard the lives and property of persons travelling along the Eku-Abraka Road by clearing out the herdsmen who have taken over these areas. This also goes for the herdsmen who have also taken over farmlands and homes of Deltans in the communities along the Ohoror-Bomadi Road.”
The Branch however commended the Delta State Government for the “recent rehabilitation of the Jakpa and Airport Road Junction on the Effurun/Sapele Road,” and expressed hope that the rehabilitation would be extended to other parts of the cities.