The Bida-Minna Highway has collapsed for a second time this year following torrential rainfall in the area in the last few weeks, forcing users of the ever busy highway to resort to bush path as an alternative route.
It has become an annual ritual for the bridge located at Sabongida village a few kilometers away from Minna, the state capital, to collapse every raining season.
The road is the major Highway linking motorists travelling from the Southern part of the country to the North especially from Lagos-Kwara-Niger-Abuja.
The present administration had awarded the construction of the less than 100 kilometer road to Dantata and Sawoe in 2018 at over N20 billion with the ground breaking ceremony taken place in 2019.
Since the take off of the project, only about six kilometres of the road out of the 89 killometre have been graded with only about four kilometres asphalt laid.
With the present situation, commuters coming from the southern part of the country are now forced to follow bush path as alternative route to Bida after linking Mange Vunla to Lemu the headquarters of Gbako Local Government Area, LGA.
Some of the commercial bus drivers plying the road, who spoke with Vanguard’s Correspondent, lamented the hardship they are facing over the bad road and called on the state government to intervene immediately.
“This road had been like this in the past years especially with the bridges collapsing every year and we expect the government to have taken action for long on the road,” one Mallam Muhamned Alkali lamented,”
Efforts to contact the state commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Mamma Lafiya proved abortive.
Meanwhile, Motorists plying the Highway have been advised to exercise restraint at Sabon-Gida in Gbako Local Government following the collapse of the bridge
Spokesman of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, in Niger State, Mr Habibu Egigogo, who gave the warning, said “There is a collapsed bridge at Sabon-Gida on the Bida-Minna Road; motorists are advised to take caution when approaching. Alternative road has been created for small vehicles, while men of the FRSC Bida are at the scene controlling traffic.”
Egigogo said the bridge collapsed on Sunday as a result of pressure on it by heavy duty trucks moving in large numbers.
“The government banned articulated vehicles from following the road, but at night they always find their way to the same road,” he said.
According to reports, when the incident occurred on Sunday there was gridlock on the road, making motorists and travellers to spend hours before the alternative route was created.