Residents of the FCT have commended the Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, for gradually returning the lost glory of the nation’s capital, especially in the area of street and traffic lights.
The residents noted that within the few weeks of Wike as minister they had seen significant improvement on street and traffic light operations on many of the streets in the city centre.
Recall that some months back, many parts of the city were almost in total darkness as many of the street lights were not working.
This had resulted into various types of criminality, ranging from attacks on passersby and motorists at night to robbery and kidnapping.
Similarly, the absence of traffic lights at many junctions, especially the busy ones, had resulted in many accidents.
The minister had on the day of his assumption of office warned all those in charge of street and traffic lights to sit up or be ready to leave.
He warned that his administration would not be presiding on a dark city and gave relevant departments a few weeks to restore some of the faulty lights.
Our correspondent who drove round some major roads in the city centre at night from last Wednesday to Sunday observed that many of the street lights were working.
All the street lights on Obafemi Awolowo Way down to Airport Junction are now working, so also those on the road connecting Berger and Wuse.
All the faulty lights on Nnamdi Azikwe Way from Tipper Garage down to Area 1 have also been fixed. Those on Murtala Muhammed Way, popularly known as Kubwa Expressway, as well as those on Musa Yar’Adua Way down to Airport Junction have also been fixed.
Faulty solar street lights on Life Camp-Grwarinpa Road have also been fixed.
Mr Segun Olayemi, a civil servant, said he could not believe the wonder done by the handlers of the lights, who within a few days of Wike’s directive fixed most of the lights.
He said, “For God’s sake, these are the lights that were mostly faulty and could not be fixed for years. A mere directive from this minister is already yielding results. To me, I think that is how governance should work.’’
Another resident, Mrs Halima Idris, said she was once attacked inside her car while driving pass the Mabushi area around 8pm when everywhere was dark.
She said it took the assistance of some passersby who rescued her from the hoodlums.
She added that, “But when I drove pass the same road sometime last week, I think on Tuesday, the street lights were working. It would be difficult for anyone to attack under such lights.”
However, while most residents are commending the effort of the leadership of the FCT Administration (FCTA), others are calling on traffic enforcement agents to mete out stiffer penalties on motorists disobeying traffic lights at most of the junctions.
Mr Chuks Emmanuel cited Utako, Jabi Garage and Childa Hotel junctions as where motorists disobey traffic lights which often leads to accidents.
He further said, “Traffic officers need to be positioned at some of these junctions to arrest and prosecute anyone caught violating the traffic lights. Although you will see some officers in some of these junctions, but you will hardly see them arresting erring motorists, but instead harass other drivers picking passengers along the roads.’’
But a traffic police officer at one of the junctions, who craved anonymity, said most of the violators always escaped, adding they were only caught when they were involved in accidents while trying to disobey traffic rules.
She noted that traffic officers were doing their best.
She further said, “When the traffic light is working, it is our joy. That is when you see some of us sitting somewhere monitoring instead of being at the junctions controlling traffic.”
Our correspondent also observed that solar traffic lights have been provided in some satellite towns like Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje and in most parts of Kubwa and Gwarinpa.