Following the growing traffic gridlock in the Abuja city centre due to the absence of traffic management personnel on the roads, some road users have appealed to them to return to their duty posts.

President, Road Users Development Network of Nigeria, Dr. John John Uket made the appeal during a one-day national dialogue on traffic management in Abuja.

He said many operatives had abandoned their beats in consideration of their personal safety after hoodlums hijacked an otherwise peaceful #EndSARS protest.

Uket attributed the recent severe traffic situation being witnessed in Abuja and Lagos “as a result of the absence of road traffic personnel from agencies such as the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Nigeria Police Force, Department of Road Traffic Services, VIO, LASTMA and others who have left the roads unattended for fear of attack due to the recent wave of uprisings.”

He also condoled with families of the deceased security operatives, assuring the officials of their safety in the line of duty.

We have taken into cognizance the need to reassure you of the public support that you have always enjoyed before the protest.

“In the spirit of nationhood and patriotism, we want to kindly appeal to you to let by-gone be by-gone and forge a new page in our nation’s history.

“For all the traffic officers who are still feeling hurt, we the road users, both motorists and commuters, say sorry for the actions of the hoodlums as we hope that they will be brought to justice soon.”

He therefore condemned the burning of public facilities by the hoodlums, particularly mass transit buses and called for investigation, even as he advised the public to safeguard public facilities in their own interest.

Chairman, Federal Capital Territory Administration Traffic Management Team, Comrade Ikharo Attah revealed that his team remained on their beats during the #EndSARS protest until it was hijacked by hoodlums, a development which forced them to consider their own personal safety.

He bemoaned a situation where traffic personnel were attacked by hoodlums and a section of the public were cheering them on, instead of appealing to them to stop the act, adding that “the operatives are our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers, and have families and so do not deserve to be attacked in that manner.

We want to be on the road and do our routine job. We don’t want to die. When people are stirred up against us, we get scared. The public should support us,” Attah said, even as he promised to report to the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, on the appeal for traffic officers to return to the road because “we all want to get to our destinations on time.”