Passengers Stranded In Abuja As Ban On Mini Buses Begins


Akin Akande, Abuja

Many residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja were stranded for several hours on Monday at different locations as the ban imposed on the operations of mini commercial buses in the city by the FCT administration became effective.

The FCT administration had last month announced that it would implement its new transport policy which restricts minis buses to satellite towns on June 3.

The administration said it was introducing 350 high capacity buses to be servicing routes where the commercial buses have been banned.

However, commuters waited for hours at various bus stops before they could be conveyed to their respective destinations.

At the Mararaba, Nyanya axes, where most civil servants and other categories of labour live, many commuters were seen lining the road waiting for buses to convey them to their offices.

Many of them were at the mercy of private motorists who seized the opportunity of the moment to charge arbitrarily high to move people  to their destinations as the high capacity buses only service Nyanya.

The Situation was not different at Nyanya as at the time of filing this report as the number of passengers on the streets were more than the buses available.

At the popular Berger Roundabout, commuters going to Lugbe and Gwagwalada waited endlessly too as no high capacity bus was in sight.

There was, however, a struggle to get a space in one of the buses that came to the area as it was a survival of the fittest among the commuters.

One passenger, Chris Samson, lamented that the ban has subjected many passengers to unnecessary hardship as they have to wait endlessly for the high capacity buses to arrive.

He lamented that the ban will further make economic situation in the FCT worse adding that the FCT administration must review the policy to the people friendly.

Another commuter, Angela Omoruyi, who commended the ban noted that it would only work if adequate high capacity buses are provided.

The ban on the operations of mini commercial buses was enforced amidst tight security provided by men of Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC).