The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Sunday announced the closure of the Lokoja-Abuja highway to ensure the safety of road users.
Mr Mohammed Garuba, the Kogi State Sector Commander of the FRSC, said that the decision to close the highway was to ensure the safety of lives.
The highway had since last week been flooded because of the rise in water level from River Niger.
The commission arrived at the decision following the continued rise in the water level at the Banda Village, two kilometres to Lokoja, the Kogi capital, adding that the movement of vehicles on the road had become “completely impossible”.
According to him, FRSC officials and some youths who had been guiding vehicles through the water for the past three days had been overstressed and could no longer cope with the situation. He said that the road would remain closed until the commission could guarantee safe vehicular movement.
Meanwhile, officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who had been carrying out rescue operations in Idah and Ibaji local governments said that the situation in the area was deteriorating.
One of the officials , Mr Ishaya choloko said: “although some trapped victims had been rescued, so many people are still taking refuge on top of trees’’. He said that the three boats being deployed for rescue operations by National Inland Water Authority (NIWA) were inadequate, adding that the agency had been contacted to release more boats and equipment to hasten the evacuation of victims.
All the rescued victims had been camped at primary schools in Idah and gave an assurance that NEMA was making efforts to rescue the remaining victims latest by Monday morning. He explained that no casualty had been recorded so far.
Meanwhile, Gov Idris Wada has visited Idah and Ibaji to assess the extent of damage and to commiserate with the victims of the flood disaster.
He promised that the government would assist them to resume their normal lives.
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