*hands down five-day ultimatum
By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
A group, APC Stakeholders Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency has handed down a five-day ultimatum to the Niger State Government to revert back to earlier decision of ban on heavy duty trucks plying state roads or face massive protests.
The group made the threat in a statement signed by its Secretary, Yahaya Mustapha, dated September 20, 2020.
“We urge, with deep sense of humility, the state government to stand by the early pronouncement to close the road to all articulated vehicles.
“This is to avoid any drastic, but peaceful action by the restive youths and indeed the entire community.
“We are calling on the government to within five days ( 20TH -24th September, 2020 ) Close The Road To Safe Our Lives and provide the needed environment to face the rehabilitation of the road. We can no longer sit and watch our people suffer in silence nor tolerate glaring discomfort and contininuous ( but avoidable ) fatal accidents,” the group said.
They explained that the deplorable condition of Bida – Minna Road has been one of the greatest nightmares to the people and government of Niger State.
“The road, though a state road, witnesses on daily basis a very high volume of vehicular traffic especially articulated ones that ply it as a shortcut between many states in the Northern part of the country and the Southern part.
“The unceasing and frustrating flow of trafic of these heavy trucks has led to total dilapidation of the road, thereby converting it to a deadly route for the teeming masses of our community in particular and other Nigerians in who ply the road.
“When the state government took the decision to close the road to such vehicles, it was a big sigh of relieve for our people. To us, the Government of Niger State took the bull by the horn in her bid to ensure uninterrupted rehabilitation of the road,” they confessed.
The APC Stakeholders of BIDA/GBAKO/KATCHA FEDERAL Constituency said that they deliberated extensively on the outcry and complaints by various groups, especially their teeming youth, on the condition of Bida- Minna road.
“While the decision of the Niger State Government to close the road to heavy vehicles was acknowledged and greatly applauded, we are dismayed and disappointed with the pressure mounted by the Federal Authorities to reopen the road to these vehicles.
This option will not only jeopardise the lives of our citizens but also undermine the ongoing rehabilitation work on the road.
” It is ironic that the federal coercion is coming at the time we ecpect the federal authorities to come to the aid of the state government due to the challenges baing faced on the overused road.
“It is also expected that the federal authorities will hasten work on the Lambata-Lapai-Bida Road,” they added.
The group therefore, expressed it’s unequivocally stand by the earlier decision taken by the state government on closure of Bida-Minna Road.
“We remain committed to the dictates of our people, supportive of our dear state government and loyal to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the statement concluded.