Lawmakers from Niger State made up of 3 Senators and 10 House of Representatives members called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a State of Emergency on the 33 Federal roads linking the state.
Specifically, the lawmakers said the Minna -Suleja, Mokwa- Birnin Gwari and Bida – Lambata roads should be given special consideration.
Speaking during a press conference at the National Assembly, the leader of the Niger Caucus and Senate deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi said people now spent three days to get to Niger State capital Minna from Abuja, a journey of about two hours.
He said Niger State is the only state linking the Federal Capital Territory Abuja without a dual carriage road, urging the federal government to come to their aid.
“We want a state of emergency on the Federal roads in Niger State because our communities have been cut off from one another,” Abdullahi who was flanked by other lawmakers from the state said.
“We have 33 Federal roads linking Niger State. People are now suffering before they pass through Niger State. This is affecting the economy of the country because goods and raw materials moving southward and Northward are trapped in Niger state for days. We don’t want to be cut off from civilization,” Abdullahi said.
“Minna -Suleja, Mokwa- Birnin Gwari and Bida – Lambata roads should be given special priority because Niger State is located in the North Central Zone and has the highest number of Trunk A roads in the country but the roads are poor. All the 33 roads are in deplorable state. Especially the truck A2 that takes people to Kaduna.
“Bida – Minna was cut off twice. The Suleja – Minna road was good before now but because of high traffic and vihicles overweigh, people now sleep for days because the road is now in deplorable condition.
“Nigerlite are in pain. Daily market no longer possible which is impacting negatively on the economy. That is why we are calling for urgent action,” Abdullahi said insisting that the government should see the issue as an emergency
” We want a state of emergency to be declared in the 33 roads in Niger State. The Minna -Suleja road should be dualised because only Niger state has no dualised carriage way linking Abuja.
“We are here to intimate you of an issue bordering our state, Niger. Niger state has the longest trunk A network of federal road. If you are travelling from North East, North West, you have to pass through Niger state, taking the trunk A2 from Kaduna down to Birnin-Gwarin to Mokwa-Jebba before you exit Kwara state. At the same vein, if you are going to Kebbi, Zamfara or Sokoto state, you will now ditto at Makira to Kotangora and you have three options depending on where you are going. When you come to Mokwa, you have the option to take Bida off to Lambata to join the Minna-Suleja highway.”
“All these roads as we speak to you are in very deplorable state. This is no thanks to some development especially the heavy rainfall. The downpour this year is so heavy. What we experienced was first the very bad deplorable condition of trunk A2 road leading to Kaduna vwcUse that is the main road most of our heavy vehicle ply. The heavy traffic we have experienced in the last two years has impacted negatively on the roads.”
“The western bypass in Minna is completely degraded. The Suleja-Minna road, there were sections of the road that were very good but because of what the vehicles plying that road that were carrying for the past one or two months, the story is one of cry and anguish because you have to sleep there for 2 to 3 days as a result of a section giving up completely, being muddy, trucks breaking down there. Nigerlites are in vein. Daily marked is no longer possible, requiring we call on very urgent action. We have made our case but we felt it is necessary to cry out,” Abdullahi said.
He said: “The vehicles plying these roads are also overweight or overloading. Some of them are designed for 30 or 40 tonnes but what we see is 60 to 90 tonnes. Right before your eyes as the vehicles are passing, you will see the road sinking in.
“The essence is to call on the Federal Government in particular under the ministry of works and our father, Mr. President. The bulk of these vehicles do not belong to Niger state but to Nigerians but the impact is felt by Nigerlites. What we are asking for is a state of emergency to be declared on these three roads- Minna to Suleja road, from Mokwa down to Kaduna and Bida to Lambata road.”
“An emergency does not require normal process. What we saw in the last three to five days is so serious and it is also breeding insecurity because the volume of vehicles in that road has increased and the roads are bad and some of our relationship encounter accidents. Personally, I have lost two brothers in the last one week, accidents on these roads. My junior brother just escaped barely with his life two days ago, attacked by armed robbers. It is the same story with all of us because the road is bad and you can’t even move. Hoodlums have taken over,” Abdullahi said
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