The Protest of Tanker Drivers in Niger State has taken a new Turn.
NaijaNews reports that trailer and tanker drivers’ blockade of the Minna-Bida road, which began on Thursday, took a new turn yesterday when the blockade was extended to the Lambatta-Bida road.
This is despite the fact that the Niger State Government has stated that the opening of the Bida-Minna Road is “not an option for the time being.”
Vehicle movements between the two axes had been halted as a result of the protesters’ actions, causing confusion and trauma among travelers.
The state government closed the Minna-Bida road a year ago to allow the construction company tasked with rebuilding the over 100-kilometer stretch of road to operate smoothly.
The action of the government was also informed by the alleged continued damage of portions of the road already reconstructed.
However, spokesman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association Alhaji Alhassan Salihu, has vowed that they would not back down from their action unless the road was reopened for them to ply.
In a statement yesterday, the state Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Sani Idris, said reopening of the road was “not an option for now” and blamed the federal government for the latest development.
“Niger State is the gateway between the North and South-west. It hosts the highest stretch of federal roads in the country yet the federal roads in the state have been mostly neglected. The state government continues to expend limited resources on Trunk A roads even when it’s also faced with several challenges that are primarily its duty in the governance of Niger State.
“Nigerlites of goodwill have implored and continue to beg the federal government to help not only Nigerlites but the entire country by fixing the Trunk A Lambata-Lapai-Bida Road and Jenna-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road to resolve this issue of heavy duty vehicles regularly damaging the Minna-Bida road.
“As it stands today, the entire stretch of the entire roads in Niger State are suffering because of these heavy-duty vehicles. Only a few months ago these same vehicles completely destroyed the Minna-Zungeru Road, they’ve also destroyed the Bida-Zungeru Road and are now looking to destroy the work ongoing on Minna-Bida Road. The state government will not allow that,” Idris declared.
The commissioner added that :
“The Governor Abubakar Sani Bello administration is determined that the road construction must go on and as such, opening the Minna-Bida Road to heavy-duty vehicles is not an option for now for that would destroy everything the government has done and taxpayers’ money would be wasted redoing what was already done.”