From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders ‘Foundation (HURIDE) has charged
Federal Government led by President Muhammdu Buhari to ensure the completion of second Niger bridge in 2022 as promised.
The group raised some doubts of the sincerity of Federal Government to complete the Second Niger Bridge in 2022 due to slow pace of the project.
Recalled that some officials of Federal Government and chieftains All Progressives Congress (APC), have reassured Nigerians that the bridge will be opened for traffic in February 2022.
But HURIDE in a statement in Onitsha, Anambra State signed its Executive Director Dede Uzor said with the sluggish and speed of work at the site, they doubt if the assertion will be realistic, saying that it might be another way of using the bridge to play Politics in the upcoming Presidential election with Ndigbo in 2023.
The group alleged that politicians want to use the bridge for 2023 presidential election like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan did with the bridge, saying that the greatest undoing of the administration of Jonathan was its inability to complete the Second Niger Bridge and the East-West Road.
Uzor said from their investigation and analysis, it appears that funding of the project has run into hitch.
“It appears that they want to politcise the bridge again. They want to use it for 2023 presidential campaign. For us and other beneficiaries of the project we want it completed by the first quarter of 2022 or the second quarter. But there is no indication that the target will be realised.
“There is construction at both sides of the road adjoining the bridge from either Delta State or Anambra side,” said the group.
“It is a clear indication that the project may not be completed as expected.
“We urge the Governors, National Assembly members and stake holders from South East and South South, to prevail on Federal Government to release enough budgetary fund to speed up the construction for the completion of the bridge at the appropriate time”.
“Now that there is dry season, there should be no excuse why the work is stalled, stressing that quick completion of the bridge has become necessary because the old bridge is now a death trap coupled with hellish experience the users go through as well as the extortion that has become a norm at both Asaba and Onitsha end of the bridge by some overzealous security officers” Uzor warned.