Following the collapse of two bridges along the Minna-Bida road and Bida-Wushishi-Zugeru road, Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello has declared that his people are living in hell. He made the declaration when he met President Muhammadu Buhari, at the presidential villa, Abuja, yesterday. He said he was at the villa, to seek urgent intervention to alleviate the suffering of his people.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Bello said the poor state of federal roads has made life difficult for commuters and threatening to cut them off from the rest of the country. The state has witnessed failed roads and devastating effects of floods. Governor Bello also lamented that floods have ruined acres of crops particularly sugar plantations for which he is now seeking the president’s assistance to provide succour for affected farmers.
He said: “At the moment, we are facing difficult times because the rains are quite heavy, most sections of the road have failed completely and there is need to have some quick intervention to ease the difficulties being experienced by motorists on the highways. So I took time to brief Mr. President on what is happening and what I think can be done in the interim to address some of these issues.
“You will recall that about two weeks ago we had a meeting chaired by the Chief of Staff with the Minister of Works, the GMD of the NNPC, the Director-General of Department of State Service and the Inspector General of Police with regard to the closure of Minna/Bida road.
“We were forced to close Minna/Bida road because the contractor on site had complained that the work in progress was very slow as a result of heavy movement of trucks on that road. As you are aware that road was built for light vehicles. So, we were forced to shut down Minna/Bida road.
“Eventually we had to open it so that we don’t create hardship to other parts of the country especially the Northern states. But at the moment, we have two failed sections of Minna/Bida road and one failed section of Minna/Tegna road which has brought about the complete blockage of that road. Asked about the President’s response to his request, Bello said, “The President believes more in action, he doesn’t talk too much, I think from his countenance I can say that he felt bad especially for Niger State. We are shouldering all the weight, every cargo from South West passes through Minna specifically.
“I think he has an idea, he probably will not know everything but he has an idea what we are going through. At the moment, we are going through hell in Niger State. So, I believe something will be done.”