The use of Pedestrian Bridge has once again proved to be a necessity to residents of Onitsha owing to the number of people who have lost their lives as a result of crossing the expressway. Recently, the government of Anambra State constructed some pedestrian bridges along the popular Upper Iweka Expressway in Onitsha, Anambra State.
The Pedestrian Bridges are however located at Ugah Junction, very close to the Bridge Head, and M.C.C Junction. Though work is yet to be completed at the M.C.C axis, the Ugah junction has been put into full operation but the worrisome event is pedestrian refusal to use the bridge in spite of the threat that crossing the express poses to their lives.
On September 4, 2015 was another sad day that another victim lost his life at Ugah Junction spot of the bridge. Eye witnesses account explained that while the latest victim one Mr Pius Ugwuanyi, a broom merchant was trying to cross the expressway with his ware, he was knocked down by a fast moving vehicle.
The incidence which happened at night did not allow sympathizers to come to his rescue leading to his death. It was not till the next morning that his remain was evacuated by his family members who were alerted of what happened to their father.
According to an Onitsha-North Traffic Agent who spoke to Inlandtown. Com on anonymity, “Many people have lost their lives people have died on this express for refusing to use the bridge. The bridge is just beside them yet they will not use it.
“Every effort to stop them from crossing the express falls on deaf ears. Even when they know that they will be arrested, it still does not stop them.”
Another eye witness, Mr Uchendu Aniago wondered why people will risk their lives when government has provided an alternative means that is safe. “What does it cost them to climb the bridge and cross over, instead many of them prefer to risk their lives. Everytime you see them crossing, these security officials try stopping sometimes by arresting them but they will not stop,” he asked.
Mr James Obiorah, a motorist pleaded with people to endeavour to use the pedestrian bridge because it is safer. Though many people complained that the height of the bridge discourages many people from using it due to time, “What is time compared to safety of life,” he retorted.
He complained that often time people leave reality to chase shadows. He explained that when they are considering time whenever there is an accident every worry about time ends abruptly.
Therefore for the government of the day to have meant so well by providing a bridge for pedestrians after considering the width of upper Iweka Expressway, people should endeavour to use it regularly to avoid frequent loss of lives.