Irked by the high rate of accidents on the Asaba axis of the Benin-Onitsha expressway, the Delta State government yesterday commenced the removal of accidented vehicles and illegal structures which are causing obstruction on the road.
Chairman of the multi-agency task-force for the clearance of the highway in the state, Prof. Sylvester Monye, disclosed that the exercise which will begin from Issele-Azagba in Aniocha North local government area to the Asaba end of River Niger bridge head, would not only restore sanity but also ensure a clean environment, save lives and protect property.
Prof Monye added that the clearance of the road of all illegal structures and shanties was to restore the old glory of Asaba as well as set the standard for the beautification of the capital territory.
“The approach to Asaba, our capital city, is less than clean. We have, over the years, allowed people to turn the road into mechanic workshops and trading spots. There was a time when Asaba was a huge relief for those coming in from Onitsha but today, the reverse is the case”.
“We have endured that for a very long time and this is the appropriate time to correct it. Our objective is to clear this road off all the mess. We are looking at 50 meters from the middle of the road and we must execute this assignment between now and Christmas,” he said.
Monye explained that the exercise was not targeting at restricting people from doing their businesses but that such businesses should be done within the limits of “approved places and not on the middle of the road.”
According to him, the exercise would be sustained by officials of the Delta State Transport Management Agency, DESTMA, who will be patrolling the route to ensure that the rules are not violated.
Monye added: “We have DESTMA which has the primary responsibility of ensuring that nobody comes back to the road. It will cost anybody who flouts this rule a lot of money, so it will do them a lot of good to steer clear of the road.
“DESTMA will be patrolling this road and toll vehicles causing obstruction, as well as demolish illegal structures and shanties defacing the highway. This will be regular even when sanity has been restored. It is something that we just have to do, we can’t shy away from it,” he pointed out.

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