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For the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari

I would like to first congratulate the president on the 62nd Independence Day celebration of our great country. Happy birthday Nigeria.  I would also like…

I would like to first congratulate the president on the 62nd Independence Day celebration of our great country. Happy birthday Nigeria. 

I would also like to draw the attention of Mr President to the plight of the people of the North-East geopolitical zone, who have been cut off from the rest of Nigeria, and the North-West geopolitical zone, due to the collapse of bridges and roads that have been washed away.  

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The North East geopolitical zone has about four corridors through which you enter from the North West geopolitical zone. 

  1. Kano to Hadejia LGA in Jigawa State; to Zaki and Gamawa LGAs in Bauchi State; and then to Yobe and Borno states, through Potiskum in Yobe State. 
  2. Kano to Shuwarin to Kiyawa LGA in Jigawa State; to Azare in Bauchi State; to Potiskum in Yobe State and then to Maiduguri in Borno State. 
  3. Kano to Kwanar Huguma, to Birnin Kudu, Babaldu Gwaram in Jigawa State; to Giade, Misau LGAs, to Kari to Lanzai in Bauchi State; then to Potiskum in Yobe State and then to Maiduguri in Borno State. Or, from Kari to Darazo LGA in Bauchi State; then to Gombe in Gombe State. Then, to Adamawa and Taraba states. 
  4. Kaduna to Pambegua, to Saminaka in Kaduna State; to Rahama to Gumau to Magama Gumau in Bauchi State, and then to Bauchi city. And from Bauchi, to Gombe through Dindima, Alkaleri and Kirfi in Bauchi State and then to Adamawa, Taraba and Borno states.  

Since August 2021, the bridge near Kwanar Huguma in Kano State collapsed. Till today that bridge remains collapsed, closing that corridor entirely. This year, another bridge near Masaya village in Birnin Kudu LGA of Jigawa State, collapsed. The two bridges – the one at Kwanar Huguma in Kano State, and the one at Masaya in Jigawa State provided the gateway to all the six northeastern states of Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Taraba. 

Today, travelling to any of these states through this road is a whole day or two day’s journey, because commuters have to take alternative routes that are longer, riskier and prone to accidents due to excessive damage. This used to be a journey of not more than seven hours to the farthest destination in the region – Maiduguri. 

The window from Kano to Hadejia to Zaki to Gamawa to Potiskum and then to Maiduguri is also shut due to the collapse of bridges and roads. Kano to Hadejia, is closed down, Zaki to Gamawa to Potiskum is closed down, Gashua to Damaturu is closed down, Damaturu to Dapchi is also closed down. 

Gwaram to Darazo has similarly been closed down. Thank God, from Darazo to Dukku in Gombe State has been opened after it was repaired recently. But this corridor is not as important because all the roads leading to it are not accessible at the moment.  

From Kaduna to Rahama to Gumau is on collapse alert. From Bauchi to Gombe is also on high alert of total collapse. 

A number of state-owned roads and bridges within Jigawa, Bauchi, Yobe and Gombe states, which provided alternatives, have also collapsed or are on high alert of collapse.  

The federal government should, as a matter of urgency, wade into this precarious situation with a view to ameliorating the sufferings of millions of people that ply these routes. The state governments should also come to the aid of the millions of commuters along these routes, by ensuring that the alternative routes that are shut down due to damage are repaired and reopened. 

 

Musa Azare, wrote from Azare, Bauchi State