The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 9, Umuahia, AIG Isaac Akinmoyede, has given an assurance that the South-east geopolitical zone is safe for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Zone 9 comprises Abia, Ebonyi and Imo Police Commands.
This is coming as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said the temporary opening of the Second Niger Bridge to the motoring public has reduced the burden on the old bridge by more than 40 per cent.
A statement issued by the Zone 9 spokesperson, Bruno Iheanetu, said that the AIG also urged the people to be law-abiding as they celebrate.
According to Iheanetu, the police in zone 9 and other security agencies had put in place adequate plans to combat criminal activities during and after the celebrations.
The statement also urged people to abide strictly by the Electoral Act as they celebrate, bearing in mind that the general election was around the corner.
The statement read: “The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 9 Headquarters Umuahia, AIG Isaac O. Akinmoyede, on behalf of officers and men of Zone 9 Police Command Headquarters wishes to felicitate with all Christians under the Zone 9 Police Command which comprises of Abia, Ebonyi and Imo Police Command as they celebrate the Christmas and New year Festivals.
“The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 9 Headquarters Umuahia, while wishing all Christians a merry Christmas celebration, urges them to use this period to pray for sustenance, peace and security in the Zone as well as the unity of the country at large.
“The Zone 9 Police Command Headquarters uses this medium to assure all well-meaning Nigerians especially those coming home for the yuletide celebration of their safety before, during and after the celebrations as the Zonal Command in synergy with other sister agencies have put in place adequate and sophisticated apparatus and strategic operational order to ensure the safety of all and sundry before, during and after the yuletide season.
“AIG Isaac Akinmoyede further advises members of the public to adhere strictly to the Electoral Act, extant laws and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria given the forthcoming general election amidst the merriment of the yuletide season.”
Meanwhile, FRSC has said the temporary opening of the Second Niger Bridge to the motoring public has reduced the burden on the old bridge by more than 40 per cent.
The Sector Commander of FRSC in Anambra State, Mr. Adeoye Irelewuyi, stated this in Awka, the state capital, yesterday
Irelewuyi said the decision of the federal government to temporarily open the new bridge to traffic was a welcome and timely gesture as it had greatly eased pressure on the old bridge.
He noted that the Niger Bridge at Onitsha had been critical to vehicular traffic, especially during the Christmas and New Year festivities since Anambra State is the gateway state to the South-east and the South-south geopolitical zones.
He noted that when small vehicles are diverted from the old bridge, about 40 per cent of traffic on it would have been diverted, thereby reducing the gridlock.
“The bridge is just 1.1 kilometres, which should take a motorist moving at 50 kilometres per hour to cross it within two to three minutes.
“Before now, motorists spent between 12 hours and 18 hours on that bridge; the maximum time spent on the bridge now is 30 minutes.
“One of the strategies is that vehicles are now compelled to move in one lane in opposite directions, it could be slow but it is steady,’’ he said.
The Federal Ministry of Works, the governments of Anambra and Delta states, as well as the security agencies have formed a committee which worked towards decongesting traffic around the Niger Bridge.
Irelewuyi said the committee ensured that all factors which inhibited the free flow of traffic were removed as much as possible.
“Loading of passengers around the bridge is no longer possible; we have three big tow trucks permanently stationed around the bridge to facilitate quick removal of broken down vehicles and clear the road,’’ he added.
Source: ThisDay Newspapers