Nigeria is fast winning the trophy for being the country with the “most dangerous roads to travel,” and this is not unrelated to the number of lives that are lost daily on the nation’s roads. According to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), over 150,000 lives are lost annually all around the country as a result road-related incidents, and these range from –
– Traffic accidents
– Armed robbery
– Open gullies
– Police traffic checkpoints
– Unmarked corners
– Unlit roads
– Abandoned broken-down vehicles
Some of the most dangerous roads to travel in Nigeria are as following –
i. Abuja-Lokoja-Okene-Kabba: If you have travelled from anywhere in the Southwest of Nigeria to Abuja through the Lokoja-Okene road in Kogi State, then you will understand that this is a road of death. Not only is this road bad, it is a haven of armed robbers. Thousands of passengers travelling the Lokoja-Okene road to Abuja or to Ondo State have been waylaid by armed bandits and dispossessed of their goods. The same can be said of the Ilorin-Kabba-Lokoja road and the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba road among others along that same axis.
ii. Lagos-Sagamu-Ore-Benin road: An analyst noted that “If there is any road in the country that has portrayed successive governments in the country in bad light as failed governments in the last two decades, it is the Lagos-Sagamu –Ore –Benin road.” This road is not only bad and terrible for motorists, it is also a den of robbers where unfortunate passengers have been robbed and raped if their vehicles break down along the road. Travelling through the road is like travelling through the valley of the shadow of death.
iii. Lagos-Ibadan expressway: Constructed in 1974, the 120-kilometre highway is the only major road linking Lagos to Ibadan and other states within and beyond the Southwest of the Nigeria. The FRSC reported that in 2012 that 775 people died in 2,075 accidents along this road. The main dangers along this major expressway linking other states to Lagos is that of unmotorable road and frequent accidents, largely caused by oil tankers and overspeeding vehicles on the expressway filled with potholes.
iv. Okigwe-Umuahia road: The ever-busy Enugu Port Harcourt expressway has always been a death trap for commuters. While road contractors hired to repair and maintain the road had abandoned it due to funds not being released by the government, the roads have fallen into terrible disrepair and become a death-trap for motorists and passengers alike.
v. Otukpo-Otukpa road in Makurdi: It is true that Otukpo and Otukpa roads are both within Makurdi in Benue State, this is a major road where craters, gulley erosion, potholes, and even dare-devil robbers rule the road. From Otukpa to Otukpo, the ancestral home of Idoma kingdom; you’d be forced to dance along with your vehicle to no rhythm for close to four hours in the journey, which ought not to last for about one or 2 hours. A columnist wrote that “For regular travelers, the thought of venturing on Otukpa-Otukpo road is the beginning of a journey into uncertainties, eternity or the easiest way of booking appointment with fate and grave, nay a way of bring money for nearby coffin makers.”
vi. Enugu-Awka-Onitsha road: The deplorable state of the highway linking Enugu, Awka, and Onitsha has forced hundreds of motorists to abandon the road and reroute via the old road from Udi to Awka. Several people have died in traffic accidents occurring on this road, and it continues to be a serious headache to passengers and motorists alike.
vii. Kaduna-Abuja road: The Kaduna highway links many states in the north of the country to Abuja but boasts of over 400 potholes. In fact, the state of the road bears no image of a channel that links major states in the north to the Federal Capital Territory. An 18-seater Hummer bus was once involved in a ghastly motor accident that caused the loss of 14 lives along this road – they were all burnt to death beyond recognition. The vehicle had been coming from Kano State to Abuja.