One-chance menace: Stakeholders divided over adequate transportation in Abuja

AS the criminalities of ‘one-chance’ robbers continue to endanger commuters’ lives in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), stakeholders were divided on the inadequacy of public transportation as one of the causes of the menace.

This formed part of the discourse on Thursday, June 15, when The ICIR hosted its  Twiter Space on the topic, ‘One chance – Abuja, hotbed for crimes on commuters’. Listen to the conversation HERE

The discussion centred on the inadequacy of commercial buses to cater for the needs of the rising number of residents in the FCT, leading many commuters to patronise private cabs, who sometimes might be one-chance drivers disguised as transporters.

An investigative editor at HumanAngle, Kunle Adebajo, stressed that the lawful kind of commercial vehicles are not just enough in the FCT to serve commuters adequately and prevent them from falling victim to one-chance robbers.

Adebajo said, “If you are trying to move to town from Lugbe, for example, there are times you will wait for 30 to 40 minutes, and no car will be available, and people will just stand there desperate to go by whatever car they see.  Nobody will be expected to be checking for the number on the car.”

Adebajo considered it quite unfortunate that the issue of ‘one chance’ was still being discussed many years after it became rampant in the FCT.

In 2019 he did an investigation that uncovered the one-chance menace. Read HERE.

The ‘one-chance’ menace is due to the influx of people into Abuja, which disrupted the original FCT masterplan, and not because of the inadequate public transport system, according to Aruwa Joel Thomas, head, Abuja Intelligent Integrated Traffic Information System (AIITIS), Department of Traffic Management, FCT Transportation secretariat.

Thomas disclosed that the department was already working on a plan to resolve the issue of transport insecurity in the FCT.

“It is easier to say there is inadequate public transport, especially in the FCT. As you know, there is a masterplan for the FCT, the transport masterplan. Unfortunately, I think there was a miscalculation as nobody envisages the kind of growth the city will experience within the shortest time,” he said.

While sympathising with other speakers who shared a bit of their awful experiences in the hands of ‘one-chance’ robbers, Thomas recalled that his  sister fell victim just the previous day, losing her phone and other variables.

“That, however, is not to say that the FCT authority is not working hard to subdue the menace. It’s just that more people are coming into Abuja as the government tries harder,” he maintained.

He noted that the insecurity challenge in transportation was one of the reasons the Department of Traffic Management created the AIITIS.






     

     

    The AIITIS is putting in place a policy to reduce transport crime to a level where even the police would be glad to do their job, he said.

    Thomas explained further, “It is not that public transport is not enough, but people hardly take public transport at the parks. They would rather take cars in front of their houses.

    “At the Nyanya terminal, there are buses that still work there. But commuters prefer to stand in front of their junctions and board cars to town. ‘One chance’ criminals operate more with salon cars,” he stressed.

    Discussants noted that ‘one chance’ robbers perpetrate their acts mostly during the rush hours in the morning and evening when the volume of commuting is high.

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