HomeFeaturesEnugu Crash: Army Absolves Self Of Responsibility

Enugu Crash: Army Absolves Self Of Responsibility

The Nigerian Army has rejected claims that its checkpoint at the Ugwu Onyeama axis was a factor in the horrific crashes that occurred on the Enugu-Onitsha highway, insisting that the tragic incident was unrelated to their presence.

Tragedy struck, claiming the lives of two individuals and leaving 10 others with severe injuries. However, prompt intervention by good Samaritans and the Federal Road Safety Corps ensured the safe rescue of 25 passengers who were trapped in the wreckage.

The situation ignited widespread criticism, as numerous individuals lambasted the soldiers for establishing checkpoints, perceived as an overreach of their authority.

According to eyewitnesses, the soldiers cordoned off the newly repaired lane on the dual carriageway, forcing drivers to use the crumbling alternative, which was further constricted by wooden logs, exacerbating the congestion.

Through a statement issued to the press, Lieutenant Colonel Jonah Unuakhalu, Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations for the 82 Division, decisively repudiated the claims, emphasizing that they were entirely without basis or fact.

He said: “The attention of Headquarters, 82 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to the news circulating in some mainstream and social media platforms, blaming the Division’s checkpoint at Ugwu Onyeama as the cause of an unfortunate and tragic accident that claimed lives on June 11, 2024.

Read also: Anambra: Gunmen Ambush Army Convoy, 2 Soldiers Feared Dead

“On receipt of the information early this morning from an online journalist that sought clarification, he was informed one-off that the Division does not have a checkpoint there. But rather, it has a location/base by the roadside to curb the incessant kidnappings the area was hitherto known for.

“This report is inaccurate and full of falsehoods that are meant to tarnish the appreciable efforts of the troops. It is therefore necessary to set the records straight.

“First, the Division wishes to condole with the families whose loved ones were involved in the tragic incident and also pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured.”

He added: “It would be recalled that the rehabilitation of the road was concluded in December, and the road opened in the first quarter of this year. Since then, the troops only have a base and the barriers used for the checkpoint were removed.

“Due to the steep gradient of the road, the section has remained problematic since the 1990s before, during and after the checkpoints were removed.”

“The accident that happened at about 3:00 a.m., ahead of the soldiers’ base… preliminary investigation revealed that it occurred due to a brake failure of a trailer coming down the slope from the 9th Mile axis.”

The Eastern Updates 

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