Sallah: Fuel scarcity, traffic slow down interstate travels

Sallah ram
FILE: Sallah ram

The Ijora park in Lagos State was crowded with stranded passengers travelling to Ilorin and other cities for the Sallah festival due to the unavailability of vehicles.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, newsmen who visited the park reported that many of the passengers said they had been waiting for a long time to board vehicles.

The passengers and some commercial vehicle operators attributed the situation to delays caused by roads being rehabilitated across the country.

One of the passengers at KASMAG Transport, Mr Isa Ajadi, said he had been waiting at the park since 5:00 a.m.

He said that it was doubtful if he would get a vehicle to Ilorin. Ajadi said that some buses that left on Tuesday arrived on Wednesday.

A passenger at Emirate Transport Ltd., Mrs Sidikat Ayuba, said the fare on Tuesday ranged from N4,000 to N6,000.

Another passenger, who was with her four children, Alhaja Fausat Lamidi, said they had been around since 5:00.a:m. and were still waiting.

She said that she would not go back home, adding that she will sleep in the park with her children until they boarded a bus to Ilorin.

A 75-year-old man, Alhaji Musa Lasisi, said that although fares usually increased during Sallah, he had never experienced such a difficult situation.

The Secretary, Joint Progressive Transport Service Ltd., Ijora Crossway, Lukmon Adeyeye, said their drivers encountered heavy traffic at Berger, Ogere, Ibadan and on the Ilorin axis, from Oyo to Ogbomosho.

“Along the Ilorin area, there was a flood on the highway which caused a lot of traffic and also damaged vehicles and delayed the drivers.

“Passenger traffic has increased due to the Sallah festivals. Fuel is very scarce and the roads are not in good condition due to ongoing road rehabilitation.

“Passengers are stranded because those buses loaded from Ilorin were hooked in the traffic and the same applied to those buses leaving Lagos for Ilorin.

“A journey that takes between four to five hours to Ilorin now extends to 10 to 12 hours per trip due to bad roads,” Adeyeye said.

He said that fuel was easier to purchase before Sallah. Adeyeye pleaded with the government to ensure that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company provides sufficient fuel.

He said that if fuel was available, the cost of travelling would reduce because less time would be spent at filling stations.

Adeyeye said that before now the fare was N3,000 from Lagos to Ilorin, adding that due to those factors mentioned, the fare had increased to N5,000.

He urged the government to rehabilitate roads at night to enable travellers to get to their destinations without much stress.