By LUKA BINNIYAT
KADUNA—A proposed N1.9 billion bridge which was to pass through the private homes of some powerful northerners in Kaduna State has now been diverted to save the houses.
The private homes belong to Vice-President Namadi Sambo; former Military Administrator of Lagos State and ex-Nigerian Ambassador to South Africa, Brigadier-General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd), and the former Military Administrator of Kaduna State, Col. Dangiwa Umar (rtd).
Apart from the top Nigerians, the Kaduna zonal office of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the state office of the Leadership Newspapers are located in the same area.
The choice properties in Gubarau Street, in high-brow Anguwan Rimi Government Reservation Area, GRA, had been marked for demolition before the new change of mind by the state government, which had now re-directed the project through another route and compensated the owners of properties along the new route.
The new bridge, which is the fourth to be constructed over River Kaduna in the metropolis would be linked by new ancillary road networks worth N4.4 billion which would also link the Eastern and Southern suburbs to main Kaduna metropolis.
Alternative route for bridge
Mr. Reuben Buhari, Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Patrick Yakowa, said an alternative connection to the bridge has been found, and those to be affected, compensated.Buhari spoke on telephone to a group of reporters on inspection tour of the project yesterday.“
Buhari said: ”The house of the Vice- President and the former governors and others will not be touched. That issue has long been settled. When the governor visited the bridge construction site last year, after many people had observed that the choice properties would have been affected by the bridge, hence the engineers came up with an alternative route.
Pay-out for owners
“The bridge would now be connected to GRA through Link Road. That road is relatively not as built up as Gubarau Road, thus making compensation and related issues easier. You can go and find out, all those that would be affected have been compensated.
“We are sure that the bridge and road projects from the east and southern parts will be completed by the end of this month.
“We hope that the affected people by the Link Road would move soon as work would be completed by November.
Yakowa assures residents
”Gov. Yakowa has promised to embark on projects that have direct bearing on lives of the citizens and he is committed to doing more,” Buhari noted.