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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Tatabu Bridge Collapse And Acting President’s Field Visit, A Vindication Of The National Assembly -Senate

The recent field visit of the Ag. President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to the site of the collapsed bridge at Tatabu on the Mokwa- Jebba Road is a vindication of the position of the National Assembly on the need for a balanced budget that cater for all sections of Nigeria.


While it is highly commendable that the Ag. President visited the collapsed segment of the road along with the Governor of Niger State, His Excellency,Abubakar Sadiq Sani Bello, the Etsu Nupe, His Royal Highness Yahaya Abubakar and the Hon. Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), it is important to re-echo that the situation of Federal roads in Niger State calls for a declaration of state of Emergency on these roads in the state. The collapse of a segment of the road at Tatabu is just a tip of the iceberg.

As at date, there are additional four collapsed bridges and road sections at Gidan Mai Village on Mokwa – Bokani- Makera road; Sahon Rami and Baban Rami on Makera –Kontagora road and at Tungan Kade on Ibeto – Auna – Kainji Dam road.
A potentially dangerous event waiting to happen are the two colonial-type bridges at Lioji and Gulbin Boka on the Kontagora – Rijau road, which in itself has become travellers’ nightmare and a death trap for those plying the road to Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States.

The truth that Nigerians must appreciate is that legislators are the representatives of the various Federal Constituencies and Senatorial Districts and are very much familiar with the state of affairs in these areas. This places them on a better position to know the level of decay and magnitude of intervention required on Federal Government Infrastructure within their respective domains.

It is within this context that the constitution empowers them to modulate the various proposals brought by the Executive with a view to creating the needed balance in resource allocation while also helping to avert the kind of calamity at Tatabu on Mokwa- Jebba road among others.

It is on record that the provision made on this and other roads are not given the required priority attention over the years. Yet, the unfortunate scenario at Tatabu does not select the race, tribe, age, religion or political leaning of commuters and businesses, who are now bearing the pains of the road collapse. For example,trucks carrying economic goods now spend 7 to 10 days to reach Lagos from different parts of the North as they have to pass through another very important but serially neglected and abandoned road which is the New Bussa - Wawa – Kaiama-Kishi-Oyo Federal road that traverses Niger, Kwara and Oyo States.

To stop further occurrences such as this, efforts must be made to do things in the overall interest of all Nigerians because they are all entitled to freely move across every corners and parts of Nigeria. Bad roads do not select commuters on the basis of any sentiment. We all face the music of “gbagan gbagan” on every bad roadwithout exception.

A stitch in time saves nine, and will prevent avoidable carnages with loss of precious lives and resources of our citizens.


                 Signed 
Sen. Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi
Spokesman of the Senate
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media & Public Affairs
(Niger North Senatorial District)

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