Laleye Dipo in Minna
Heavy downpour accompanied by flood has washed off two bridges linking the North and southern parts of the country making vehicular and human movements from both sides of the country impossible.
The bridges are at Tatabu and Bokani towns in Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger State.
Also, part of the railway line at Tatabu had been washed off, making rail transportation between the North and South of the country impossible.
Though no life was lost, the flood was said to have washed off two petrol tankers and a truck conveying food items from the southern to the northern part of the country.
Several hectares of land cultivated with maize, mellon and yam were either completely destroyed or submerged by the flood.
Niger State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa, who carried out an on-the-spot assessment of the extent of damage by the flood on behalf of the state government yesterday described the situation as â€œdisastrous.â€
Vatsa said the situation was so serious to the extent that the federal government should declare â€œa state of emergency on all the federal roads in the state,â€ describing the federal roads as â€œdeath traps.â€
He said the washed off railway line being the only alternative means of transportation on the route would definitely affect transport fares and increase prices of goods thereby creating more hardship for the people
â€œYou can see the North and West are shut down; this is not palatable, we are here to take the report to state government for onward transmission to the federal government, some of these bridges were constructed during the Sardauna era, they are now obsolete.
â€œWe donâ€™t have the capacity to carryout work here considering the level of destruction both on the road and railway line, we are therefore calling on the federal government to urgently intervene by awarding contract for the repair to a competent contractorâ€