By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—A human rights group, Campaign for Democracy, CD, has described the 2nd Niger Bridge project as a subject of politics, insult and caricature to Ndigbo in particular, concerned citizens of the entire South East and South South zones of the country.
National Publicity Secretary of CD, Dede Uzor A. Uzor, who stated this while speaking to newsmen Monday in Onitsha, Anambra State, said whereas it took China only $1.5 million to build over 100 kilometres bridge, it is taking Nigeria a whooping $15 billion to build less than three kilometres 2nd Niger bridge that traversed Onitsha in Anambra State and Asaba in Delta State.
Uzor lamented that “for over 20 years now, beginning from 1999 when former President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded it and ruled for eight years, to between 2007 and 2009 when the late former President Umaru Yar’Adua took over and ruled for only two years, till the advent of former President Goodluck Jonathan who reigned for six years (2009 to 2015), work remained stagnant on the bridge to the extent that not even up to 50 per cent had been completed.”
He also demanded that Federal Government should declare a state of emergency on Trunk ‘A’ roads in South East zone. He mentioned such roads as Enugu-Amansea-Awka-Onitsha road; Enugu-Okigwe-Port Harcourt Road; Urualla-Akokwa-Amaifeke Road with a spur to Banana Junction at Amaifeke Orlu to Owerri; Ihiala-Umuahia Road; and Nnewi-Okigwe Road, among others.
He said that due to the dilapidated nature of these roads, an average of seven lives per week or one life per day are lost in auto accidents.
“Again, the Onitsha River Port has been so much politicized because it is located in Igbo land,” he said.