Wednesday, April 14, 2021

State of emergency imposed on federal roads in Niger


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The Niger government has declared a state of emergency on federal roads following the collapse of two bridges in Tatabu and Bokani villages in Mokwa Local government areas.

The bridges are in Bokani village in Makera Tegina road and Tatabu village, which link the northern part of the country with the west.

They collapsed between June 4 and June 11 after heavy rainfall.

A rail line that links western and northern parts of the country also collapsed as a result of flood from heavy rainfall.

Jonathan Vatsa, the state Commissioner for Information, told newsmen on Wednesday shortly after inspecting the bridges and the rail line that the federal roads in the state have become dead traps.

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“There is no guarantee of life on these roads and therefore, on behalf of the acting Governor Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, Niger state as a government thereby declared a state of emergency on federal roads in the state.

“Road users should henceforth be very careful and take precautionary measures while traveling on the roads as anything can happen. The federal roads in the state are no longer safe.

“I advise drivers of trucks and articulated vehicles to be conscious especially when approaching a bridge,” he said.

Mr Vatsa appealed to federal government to intervene in rehabilitating the roads, adding that the Northern and Western parts have been cut off as a result of the collapsed bridges and rail line.

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“The two bridges must be fixed at the same time because they are links to each other in one way or the other.

“Vehicles conveying goods to other parts of the country will now have to use Tegina-Minna-Suleja-Abuja and Lokoja route which is more longer,” he added.

Suleiman Mohammed, a resident of Bokani community, said that the collapsed of the bridge has left motorist and passengers stranded as there was no alternative route to their communities.

A youth leader in Bokani village, Umaru Mohammed, said that all the youths in Bokani and the neighboring communities had come up with new initiative of pushing cars and crossing of passengers through the water.

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He said that the pushing of buses through water attracts a fee of N500 per bus while small cars go for N300.

“We only push small cars, articulated vehicles are not allowed. This initiative has created a means of livelihood for youths in the areas,” he said.

Mohammed disclosed that the collapsed of the bridge in Bokani had led to the increase in transport fair.

“Before transport fair from Bokani to Makera was N300 but now it goes for N500 while Mokwa was N150 now goes for N300. We appeal to government to help because we are suffering and travelers are stranded,” he added.






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