John Adams, Minna
Residents of Minna, Niger State have sent Save-Our-Soul (SOS) to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to urgently address the deplorable condition of roads to ease movement. The township roads are in a terrible state of disrepair, begging for serious attention as residents lament lack of government attention on the roads.
Although at the inception of the present administration in 2015, it promised what it called “zero pot holes.” This has, however, remained a dream as residents continue to groan on the deplorable state of the roads.
The condition of most of these roads is better imagined than experienced as residents recount their ordeals describing the roads as “eye sour.” Worst hit are residents of Chanchaga, the entry point to the city, Mandale/Building Material, Dusten Kuran Gwari suburb, Piggery/Railway, Minna Medium Prison and a host of others.
The only intervention that the township roads witnessed since this administration came on board was the rehabilitation of Sabon Gari/Kasuwan Gwari Road, the completion of the Old Airport and Hard Resources Hotel/Tunga Low Cost roads started by the past administration.
The Chanchaga/Shango Road, the entry point to Minna, remains a bad advertisement for government due to its poor condition. A resident of Chanchaga who identified himself as Abdullahi told our correspondent that driving through the road remains a nightmare:
“What we go through everyday is quite unbearable. You will leave your house in the morning you go through stress, and when you are coming back is the same thing. The condition of this road has never been so bad like we are experiencing now. It is like the people have been abandoned to their faith.”
He blamed the terrible condition of the road on the articulated vehicles that ply the road following the activities of armed bandits that forced them to abandon the Birin Gwari/Kaduna Road and now route their journey through Minna.
This notwithstanding, the government, he pointed must do something very quality about the road, stressing that previous interventions have carried out through direct which could stand the test of time.
The condition of the Mandela/Building Material Road is also a source of concern to the residents of the area and the hundreds of people both business owners and their customers that ply the road everyday.
Before the relocation of the Building Materials Market to the area, the administration of Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu under took the construction of the road to ease movement of both the residents and the traders. The opening up of the road brought about massive development of the area with businesses springing up on a large scale. It was a great relief for the people but four years after, the road is now in a sorry state.
A businessman at the building materials market, Mr Ameobi Malizu, said their businesses are badly affected: “The road is terribly bad and it is affecting our businesses. Our customers find it difficult to come to the market because of the bad nature of the road. We can only hope and pray that government will come to out aid and do something very urgent. Government asked us to relocate to the present market and now there is no road even to bring our goods.
“Our customers are equally complaining of the road. I am sure other residents of this area are not finding it easy with the road. We appeal to government for quick intervention. The terrible portion of the three-kilometre-road is what the government can fix without any stress. I think governance is all about the welfare and the security of the lives and properties of the people.”
However while residents grab with the worsening township roads, commuters plying major highways are also not having it easy. The recent downpour worsened the condition of most of these roads. The cutting-off of Minna-Bida highway after a three-day heavy rain, left travellers stranded.
The governor is yet to constitute his cabinet. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of works and Infrastructural Development, Alhaji Sadiq Balarabe, attributed the deplorable condition of the roads to what he called neglect by past administrations. He gave assurance that government will soon come up with a comprehensive package for the repair of some of these roads: “The attention of the government is now on the major roads leading to the state.”