Collapsed bridge: Bauchi Governor directs refix in one week, visits flooded road where three people died, valuables lost
By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed has directed contractors working in the state to urgently within the next one week fix the collapsed bridge on the Bauchi – Ningi – Kano federal highway at Malka village.
The Governor visited the Malka village, on Saturday where the Bauchi-Ningi-Kano road collapsed leading to the death of three people, many animals and other valuables after their vehicles were washed away in the flood.
In the incident, Four other passengers who were also in the car have been rescued alive while over 250 goats were said to have been killed in the incident.
Following the incident, many vehicles and hundreds of passengers were stranded as there is no entry into Ningi LGA to Jigawa state to Kano state from Bauchi and vice versa for several hours.
Speaking in an interview with journalists shortly after inspecting the the collapsed road, Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, who described the level of damage caused as “monumental,” confirmed that three people lost their lives.
The governor who was accompanied by the Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, in whose constituency the incident happened, and many top government officials, lamented that the incident has cut-off the state from other north-western states.
He called on the federal government to immediately create a permanent solution is provided saying: “The damage is so monumental, it washed away the road in two portions because of the wash-out and the low flood drain. Three people were washed away in the incident and they died.
He also said that, “We brought Triacta and they’ve looked at it and we given them directive to make sure they provide palliation. We are unanimous with the representative of the Federal Ministry of Works and the Zonal representative of FERMA that we need provide palliation because it appears that we are cut-off from the north-western part of the country through Kano and Sokoto and Katsina”.
The Governor further said that, “Because this is a major corridor, we cannot afford that and we have taken it as a state to bear the cost of the palliation. We crave the indulgence of the federal government to make sure that a permanent solution is provided by making sure that the procurement is done as an emergency and given to a company that has capacity and integrity.”
Bala Mohammed also lamented that incidences of flooding had happened along Bauchi-Jos highway the same day leaving travellers stranded for about five hours.
He said that, “Unfortunately, we noticed that we have been challenged by the rainy season and by the flooding because it is not only this place that has this problem, we have this problem with a portion of the road near Soro (Darazo LGA) about 90 kilometers from Bauchi where the road was washed out and the contractor didn’t do well. He demobilized there and we have already urged FERMA and they are already there.
“There is another road along Ningi-Burra road which was cut-off and we asked some contractors to go and fox the road as part of their corporate social responsibility but if they can’t do it, we will pay them their money. The same thing with Jos corridor, where commuters have had to wait for about five hours and today we are providing palliation and we are going to see what is happening there,” he also said.
Adding that: “Unfortunately, the Gombe corridor is also having the same problem around Lariski where there is a flood drain and of course FERMA is there but we want to assure Nigerians that we will work with the federal government to make sure we provide permanent solution to this incessant flooding and wash even though all those road are under the federal government but certainly, we will work with them.”
It had earlier been reported that the ever-busy road which leads to Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi state, Jigawa and Kano states, was cut-off at Malka village, about 90 kilometers away from the state capital following a downpour which led to flooding in the area from Thursday night to early hours of Friday morning.
The Speaker, Bauchi State House Assembly, Abubakar Y. Suleiman, who is the member representing Ningi constituency in the assembly said that the situation was devastating as the flood washed away parts of the road, disconnecting the people of Bauchi, Kano and Jigawa states.
The Speaker called on the relevant agencies particularly FERMA and the federal ministry of Works to immediately mobilize to the portion of the collapsed bridge to fix it without further delay in order to alleviate the suffering the people are facing at present.