Polo roundabout: Jos’ dangerous spot

Kim Musa Ndoh
The Polo roundabout in Jos, the Plateau State capital, has become an accident hub in the state, and mishaps have been costing lives, destroying vehicles/tricycles and inflicting varying degrees of injury on the people.
In the latest incident, which took place on Thursday, a tanker lost control and rammed into some vehicles and tricycles, killing one person and injuring others. A number of cars and tricyles were also damaged.
The Public Education Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Plateau State Sector Command Jos, Andrew Bala, who confirmed the incident, attributed it to a brake failure.
“Motorists, most especially the articulated vehicles, are advised to always carry out their routine vehicle checks and drive with the common sense speed limit as they drive within the metropolis,” he said in a statement.
But the spate of the accidents at that spot has become worrisome to many residents of Jos, particularly those living around that area.
While some blame the accidents on the sloppiness of the road (if one is coming from Joseph Golmwalk road), others blamed it on the recklessness of the drivers, particularly those driving heavy duty vehicles.
Surprisingly, many others are attributing the frequent accidents to some spiritual/mystical orchestration. Those who believe this said the occurrences were not natural and happening at the spot was just meant to hide their perpetrators’ motives.
Some residents who spoke with Benue/Plateau Trust also shared this view.
A pharmacist who owns a shop around the roundabout, Vivien Fazing, said the spiritual/mystical attribution of the accidents is not entirely out of place because of the manner and sequences which they often occur.
For instance, she said, in January this year, three accidents happened consecutively at the roundabout, and they happened at a particular time of the day for the three days.
She said there have several versions on the cause of accidents at the spot which needed to be investigated to stop the constant loss of lives and property.
Mrs Fazing called for urgent government intervention to unravel the situation.
She advised that another route be created for trucks to reduce the rate of accidents at the roundabout
A lorry driver who resides in the area, Friday Abah, dismissed the mystical postulation, saying that the accidents occur due to the recklessness of the drivers whenever they approach the roundabout.
He said if speed breakers are put from Plateau Hospital, through Hill Station Junction and to the roundabout, it will help to reduce the spate of the accidents at the roundabout.
He said people around the area are always apprehensive because of the frequency of the accidents, which they attributed to heavy traffic.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dayyabu Garga, said the stakeholders have met on the matter and that one of the immediate resolutions was to put warning signs on the road.
The commissioner dismissed the idea of erecting speed breakers, saying they would cause more danger to the motorists and pedestrians.
He called on drivers to be more careful whenever they ply the route so that the road mishaps would be brought to the barest minimum.
FRSC spokesman, Andrew Bala, advised drivers to ensure their vehicles are always roadworthy and obey traffic rules.
He advised other road users, hawkers and pedestrians to be careful and watchful to avoid being run over by such vehicles.