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FG laments vandalisation of Second Niger Bridge

The federal government has promised to pay a handsome monetary reward to anyone or groups who can arrest or give useful information on the identity…

The federal government has promised to pay a handsome monetary reward to anyone or groups who can arrest or give useful information on the identity of vandals causing havoc on the Second Niger Bridge and any other road infrastructure facilities nationwide.

The Works Minister, Engr. David Umahi, gave the pledge while reacting to the recent vandalisation of the Second Niger Bridge, describing it as “evil and cowardly”.

A statement issued by his Special Adviser (Media), Uchenna Orji reads, “The Minister condemns in the strongest terms this ruthless destruction of the expansion joints as a deliberate act of sabotage on a key national infrastructure that has immense socioeconomic benefits to the contiguous states and indeed the entire nation.

“It is saddening that a human being with the right senses could destroy such a critical and strategic treasure that catalyses Nigeria’s socioeconomic advancement.

“The minister notes that the Second Niger Bridge, which was handed over to the ‘Renewed Hope’ administration on December 12, 2023, after its completion, is one of the PIDF projects intended to bridge the gap in the road infrastructure yearnings of the people of the area and boost economic activities by expanding access into the southern part of Nigeria.

“But it is heartrending that the facilities are being vandalised by those who are meant to own the benefits it serves.”

He commended the patriotic young Nigerian who raised the alarm through the video and assured that a more formidable security architecture would be activated to forestall further havoc on the facilities.

He enjoined all road users, residents and authorities within the 1.6km concrete box girder bridge of the flyover, the two secondary bridges of 21.7m each on Amakon village road, the cloverleaf interchange at Onitsha-Owerri road and the approach roads between Asaba, Delta State and Onitsha, Anambra State “to keep watch against persons who vandalised, attempted to vandalise or tampered with the road infrastructure facilities on the project”.

He urged the residents to arrest or report such persons to the nearest Police station or call 08030986263 (SA Media), 08033389700 (Controller of Works FMW Anambra State), 08067736638 (Controller of Works, FMW Delta State) or 08037056860 (Director Highways).

However, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Abaniwonda Olufemi, says he has dispatched a team of policemen to the vandalised bridge.

The CP disclosed this when he received the executive members of the Asaba Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by its chairman, Ifeanyi Olannye on a courtesy visit.

“When the news came to us, I quickly dispatched my area commander to go and look at it and ensure that the place was secured.

“We called the engineer here in Delta, the man said he was not in his area and that he was in Anambra. I asked them (the police team led by the area commander) to remain there. They have called the engineer in Anambra.

“Those things (vandalised rail fittings) are so heavy and you would be asking how they remove them,” the CP said.

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