…Government moves to the rescue.
by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Lantang North-Wase Bridge has become a focus-point and a thing of concern, as during the raining season citizens of the area usually had difficulties in crossing to Wase or Langtang due to damage of the bridge.
Recently, Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, undertook an the spot assessment of the damaged Lantang-Wase Bridge, which has cut off travels between the two local governments and other parts of the state as well as Taraba State.
It could be recalled that, during the military administration in the state, the government then tried to construct the bridge, but one wonders why the bridge is still damaged or collapsing.
The governor said he was at the site to personally assess the situation and also reassure the people that government will not neglect them.
According to him, “Although, this is a Federal Road, we have to immediately intervene, in order to ameliorate the suffering of the people, since this road is a major commercial corridor in this area.
“This is one of the roads that I submitted to the President for federal government’s intervention, which has been approved,” he said, and assured that, he will soon be in Abuja to intimate the president on this development so that the bridge can be rebuilt immediately.
The governor then ordered the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy to immediately provide boats that will ferry people across the river, while intermediate work is being carried out.
While thanking the people for their continued support to his administration, the governor assured them that government will ensure that the bridge and other projects are carried out to improve their living standards.
Earlier, the Emir of Wase, Alhaji Muhammadu Haruna Sambo, commended Governor Lalong for showing concern and coming to see things for himself, despite sending teams earlier.
He reaffirmed that the collapse of the bridge has cut off Wase Local Government from some parts of the state and is greatly affecting economic activities, while appealing to the governor to impress on the federal government to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the entire road as well as the bridge, in order to save his people from economic deprivation.
The Emir also appreciated Governor Lalong for his doggedness towards ensuring the discovery and exploration of oil and gas within the Wase and Kanam areas as announced by the NNPC recently.
Federal Controller of Works, Plateau State, Engr. Usman Magin, said already the Federal Ministry of Works has sent teams to assess the situation, and work will soon commence on the collapsed bridge.
The governor also inspected the Duankwam Bridge linking Shendam and Garkawa, which has also been partially damaged by the rains.
After receiving briefings from Commissioner for Works, Pam Botmang, Governor Lalong directed the contractor already working on the road to immediately deploy his team to the bridge for quick intervention.
Chairman of Shendam Local Government, Miskoom Alex Nuantam, appreciated the governor’s personal visit, which he described as “reassuring.”
Before returning to Jos, the governor also inspected ongoing reconstruction of Shendam-Ibi Road where he asked the contractor to increase the tempo of work, in order to cover lost time due to COVID-19.
He said although, it is a Federal Road, the state is carrying it out to ease the difficulties of the people with the hope that the reconstruction work will be reimbursed by the Federal Government after completion.
The governor was accompanied by secretary to the government of the state (SSG), Prof. Danladi Atu, Cheif of Staff Noel Dongjur and some members of the State Executive Council, respectively.