Posted by News Express | 2 October 2020 | 1,067 times
By JUSTINA ASISHANA, Minna
Hundreds of commuters were stranded on Friday after two bridges along the Minna-Bida road and Bida-Wushishi-Zugeru road collapsed.
The collapse forced Governor Abubakar Bello to threaten to shut-down the road again after expiration of the two- week window to the Federal government to begin repairs on Niger roads.
On Wednesday, the Kateregi bridge along the Minna-Bida highway and Zungeru along the Bida-Wushishi-Zungeru road collapsed.
The development caused heavy gridlock in the last two days, forcing commuters to seek alternative routes.
Over 3,000 travellers in 100 cars and 300 vehicles are trapped on the two routes.
Many of the commuters were forced to board motorcycles from Minna to Bida and vice-versa.
The Governor, who spoke to journalists after inspecting the Minna-Suleja road, his administration would have no choice but to shut down the Minna-Bida road based on its level of deterioration.
He lamented weeks after the State honored agreement with the Federal Government, the latter was yet to fulfill its part of the bargain.
“As a government, we will have no choice than to shut down the road to allow the contractor to go ahead with their job.
“We agreed with the Federal Government that the State Government should reopen the roads and give them two weeks to enable them to carry out some emergency repair works on the Bida-Lapai-Lambata road to ease pressure on the Minna-Bida road and to also allow the contractors do their work.
“But two weeks have passed and nothing has been done, the situation has remained the same. You can see that the situation is getting worse every day and we are running out of patience.
“Based on our agreement with the Federal Government, I expected that by now something should have been done to make this road accessible but unfortunately nothing has changed.
“As a government, we cannot fold our hands and see our people suffer every day on this road.
“We will shut it down any moment from now to enable the contractor to return to work. This time around there will be no going back until the Minna-Bida road is fixed”.
One of the road users, who plied Minna-Bida on motorcycle, Salihu Ibrahim, said he spent over six hours to Bida and back to Minna on Thursday.
He said that he was still recovering from the journey but had to undertake it because he had a very important meeting that could not be postponed.
“It was very terrible yesterday. The bike man took me two and a half hours from Minna to Bida and three and a half hours from Bida to Minna at the rate of N6, 000 going and coming.
“I had to resort to taking a motorcycle because I had a very important meeting to attend in Bida.
“When I got to the garage, I was told that I could either follow Zugeru road or Lapai road but on getting to Zugeru road, it was blocked and I knew Lapai road would not be convenient.
“So I saw a motorcycle and asked the driver if he could take me to Bida and he said yes, so we went. It was the same motorcycle that brought me back.” (The Nation)
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