STAR FEAT Catas­tro­phe looms as er threat­ens Gombe-Bauch

A 146 kilo­me­tre long road in the North east may fi­nally col­lapse ,if noth­ing is done to save it

Daily Trust - - DIGEST - From Haruna Gimba Yaya, Gombe

The Gombe-Bauchi road is a Fed­eral High Way which links Gombe with Bauchi state and other parts of the coun­try. The road con­structed many years ago has over the years de­clined and it is on the verge of col­laps­ing, in­ves­ti­ga­tions by Daily Trust re­veal.

The 146 kilo­me­tre road is full of pot­holes and it is also be­ing threat­ened by ero­sion, trig­gered by de­for­esta­tion and ne­glect by rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties over the years.

Our cor­re­spon­dent who vis­ited a por­tion of the road at Wuro Dole vil­lage in Akko Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Gombe state, lo­cated 34 kilo­me­tres away from Gombe town, re­ported that the only bridge there has col­lapsed, as wa­ter has al­ready washed away fifty per cent of the road, leav­ing only one lane for mo­torists to use.

Daily Trust ob­served that the road is sup­ported by huge stones as heavy down­pour over the years washed away the shoul­ders and ma­jor por­tions of the struc­ture. Fur­ther ob­ser­va­tion re­vealed that pipe­lines and com­mu­ni­ca­tion ca­bles buried un­der­ground have been ex­posed, and are be­ing taken away by un­known peo­ple.

Mo­torists who ply the road are alarmed, and are of the opinion that if ur­gent ac­tion is not taken, a dis­as­ter might fol­low, and Gombe will be cut off from rest part of the coun­try.

A fe­male pas­sen­ger said when­ever it rains, mo­torists have to wait for the rain to stop be­fore they could pass. “Last week when I was re­turn­ing from Bauchi, we spent over three hours wait­ing for the rain to stop, we didn’t get to Gombe un­til around 9pm,” the fe­male pas­sen­ger lamented.

A sec­tion of mo­torists who spoke to the Daily Trust Cor­re­spon­dent ex­pressed worry, and called on the gov­ern­ment to ur­gently ad­dress the prob­lem and save them from a loom­ing tragedy.

Yakubu Adamu Duro, a com­mer­cial driver, said: “This por­tion of the road has vir­tu­ally col­lapsed. For years we have been bat­tling with the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to come to our aid. Gov­ern­ment should con­struct at least two bridges at the spot, be­cause all the pre­vi­ous work by FERMA didn’t solve the prob­lem.”

“When­ever it rains, we have to wait like a kilo­me­ter be­fore reach­ing the spot to avoid sinking into the river. Last week three cars were sub­merged when the driv­ers at­tempted to pass while it was rain­ing, although they were lucky to be pulled out alive. If this road collapses, lives will be lost, and it will af­fect the econ­omy of Gombe and the en­tire coun­try, be­cause the road con­nects Gombe and other parts of north cen­tral and south­ern parts of Nige­ria,” Adamu Duro added.

An­other mo­torist, Mah­mud Yunusa Ningi, said: “I fre­quently ply this road to visit my fam­ily in Gombe, and the road is a very im­por­tant link be­tween Gombe and Abuja, the na­tion’s cap­i­tal. But for about five years now, ply­ing the road dur­ing the rainy sea­son is such a nightmare, be­cause the por­tion of the road about 34 kilo­me­ters to Gombe, is on the verge of col­lapse.”

Yunusa Ningi said apart from the many ac­ci­dents recorded due to the bad con­di­tion of the road, which forces mo­torists to drive slowly, mis­cre­ants take ad­van­tage of that op­por­tu­nity, and rob un­sus­pect­ing pas­sen­gers es­pe­cially at night.

He ap­pealed to Gombe and Bauchi state gov­er­nors, Ibrahim Has­san Dankwambo and Mo­hammed Ab­dul­lahi Abubakar, to draw the at­ten­tion of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to the road, so that nec­es­sary ac­tion would be taken to rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion.

Sal­isu Adamu, a com­mer­cial driver, said he plies the road at least five times a day, to trans­port goods and pas­sen­gers to neigh­bour­ing vil­lages. He told Daily Trust that the road was washed away as

A ve­hi­cle manou­ver­ing its way along the road

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