Kaduna State Government says no fewer than 15 persons perished in crashes on the Kaduna-Abuja highway, within the past 72 hours, while driving against traffic, according to a statement it issued on Sunday, in Kaduna.
Mr Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, who issued the statement, said the information was based on feedback to the state government by the military and security agencies conducting security operations along the highway.
According to him, the figure of the dead was presented along with a report of the latest crash, which occurred early on Sunday morning around Greenfield University, in Chikun local government area, involving an articulated vehicle conveying grains and motorcycles to Abuja and driving against the traffic.
“This caused the vehicle to veer off the road and tip over on its side. Seven persons died in the crash, with five injured and now receiving treatment in hospital. Troops and security agents helped clear the site and ensure the normal flow of traffic,” he added.
Aruwan said several other fatal accidents had occurred recently on the route, all caused by drivers switching lanes to drive against the traffic, leading to head-on collisions with oncoming vehicles, citing the case of a crash on Saturday, around Olam Farms, in which two lives were lost.
“Two days before that, four persons died in another crash close to the NYSC camp, and a similar crash occurred on Jan. 20”, the commissioner added.
Aruwan said Gov Nasir El-Rufai had expressed dismay at the reports and commiserated with the families of the deceased, while wishing the injured quick recovery.
The Governor reiterated his call to drivers plying the highway to desist from dangerous practices, such as speeding and driving against the flow of traffic, stressing that the state government had mandated security agents to continue to enforce compliance with good motoring practices.
While acknowledging the inconvenience posed by defects on the highway, El-Rufai pointed out that the risks involved in switching lanes to drive against were too grave, as clearly indicated by the number of deadly crashes recorded on the road, in the past month.
The commissioner urged the public to report violations, crashes and other abnormalities, to the Kaduna State Security Operations.