For quite a long time now,vehicular traffic gridlock particularly within Onitsha Metropolitan city has become a nightmare.
No day passes without motorists and passengers literally sleeping on the roads while unbelievable number trek to their various homes with their belongings and quite miserably some run into hoodlums who take away their belongings.
Many are beaten by the rains while a good number are stranded one way or the other.
The reasons for this tortuous experience is not far fetched.
Those affected by this ugly situation often blame bad roads across the Metropolitan city but that is a small portion of the problem.
The problem of Onitsha traffic congestion is a result of poor management and non anticipation of population explosion of humans,vehicles and markets within and around the city.
The state government through its state and local government authorities do not have adequate knowledge or are ignorant on how to manage the situation at hand to be able to project the consequences before now.
The Onitsha city centre is turning into a huge jungle where the popular maxim,”survival of the fittest” plays out.
The menace of Keke drivers compounds the situation with their aggressive driving style and unruly behaviour.
The government should begin to think on what measures should be taken to either tame the Keke drivers or flush them out of the city centre just as is applicable in other cities,for example Owerri.
Over the years, past and present administrations did not take proper account and notice of the demographic characteristics of Onitsha city.
There is a large population explosion that has been taken for granted.
If something serious happens within the city centre,escape is impossible for a lot of people.
Government’s much talked about Master Plan for our major cities have become electioneering campaign gimmick.
Such political gimmicks eventually sell out the people in power as non starters who do not have the basic knowledge of development.The ripple effect and backlash of such gimmicks is what we have on hand.
Before it is too late,the government of the day should open up more roads to link up the satellite towns from the city centre.For example,there should be a new link from Awka Road Onitsha through one or two streets to the new Trans Nkissi layout .
Government should also take urgent steps to further decongest major markets inside Onitsha and relocate them outside the city centre.
It is unfortunate that some of the arrangements made recently to move out some of the markets was allegedly compromised by people in government.
In Onitsha city centre,many streets are under lock and key by the residents because they converted the street to car parks and garages.If the streets and roads are not open,it will seriously impede traffic flow.
Beyond that,the issue of bad roads and poor road maintenance culture in Anambra State generally is unacceptable.
Several regimes have come and gone with claims of building more roads better than the other.The claims are now putting a big question mark on the quality of roads.
We call on Anambra State Government to quickly commission a panel to look into traffic gridlock in Onitsha city centre with a view to finding a lasting solution to it.
A stitch in time, saves nine.

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