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Community sends SOS to works ministry, FERMA

By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN CITY — THE Federal Ministry of Works and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, have been called upon to save the lives of Nigerians by fixing urgently, the Egono and Egwijor Bridges along the Auchi-Abuja Road, in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, which are on the verge of collapse.

If the bridges, which Vanguard observed were already caving in, collapse eventually, it would deny Nigerians plying to the Northern part of the country access, including stoping Governor Adams Oshiomhole from travelling to his  village.

The community members who spoke to Vanguard,  warned that the vibration observed when motorists ply the bridges was enormous and there was the fear that if nothing was done urgently, commuters may lose their lives the day it collapses.

Mr. Kadiri Abu, an engineer from Egono community, who spoke to Vanguard, said:  “If you look at the bridge now, the railings are no longer there and that alone is already causing serious accidents on the road. Our people decided to make this known to the Federal Government after serious assessment because we do not want innocent Nigerians to lose their lives.”

Besides, there will be no road any more to the North, so the Federal Government should urgently work on the bridges.

The FERMA boss in Edo State, Engr. Oladipo Fagbamila, who was contacted, said the agency was already aware of the problem and had sent proposals for repairs to the Federal Ministry of Works.

According to him: “FERMA here in Edo had sent proposal to Abuja and we believe that the place will soon be given the deserved attention. All the necessary proposals needed to fix the bridges have been forwarded to our headquarters. So any moment from now, we will start work on the bridges to avert  any danger.”

Meanwhile, Vanguard observed that another portion of the Iruekpen Road along the same Auchi-Abuja Road is failing. It will be recalled that the portion of the road which is between Iruekpen and Ekpoma collapsed last year, and forced commuters to divert to some communities in Iruekpen before joining the Abuja road.



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