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Buhari has abandoned Rivers state, lawmakers cry out as they protest over deplorable state of roads

Nneka Nwogwugwu

Rivers State National Assembly members have alleged that the administration of the Muhammadu Buhari led government has totally abandoned Rivers State, especially in the area of infrastructural development.

The house made this known on Monday, while observing a peaceful protest on the Aleto/Akpajo Bridge along the East-West road in Rivers State to draw the attention of the federal government on the poor state of the infrastructure.

The lawmakers decried that the government has turned deaf ear to the State needs, one of such critical needs is the road infrastructure which is either lacking or under very deplorable condition.

The Senator representing Rivers South-East in the Senate, Senator Barinada Mpigi, while leading the protest, lamented that the bridge has become a death trap not only for commuters who plied the road on daily basis but to neighbouring Akwa Ibom and the Cross River States and the oil and gas business operators who equally operate at the Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Company, Refineries and the seaport at Onne in Eleme Local Government Area of the State.

Mpigi, said, “We are here to draw the attention of President Buhari to the deplorable condition of this road and the bridge.’’

‘’You know that almost everything that Nigeria benefits from is within us here: two refineries, petrochemical industry and of course, the oil and gas free zone. We’ve seen and you are also seeing what is happening here. It shows that we’ve been abandoned. ‘’

‘’The people of Rivers State have been abandoned. This is a federal government road and not a Rivers State government road.You see that the bridge is shaking and there is the tendency that any moment from now, the total life of people from this area will be cut off from this country,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Hon. Chinda said that the lawmakers would not relent in their protest until attention is given to the bridge.

According to him, “As our distinguished Senator has told us, those of us in the National Assembly have severally protested over the treatment of our people particularly concerning this bridge.

We know that this place is the spine of this country. If the country is serious with oil and gas, then the importance of this bridge cannot be overemphasized.’’

“All the refineries, petrochemicals company, fertilizer company, they are all behind us here including Onne Sea Port and Naval Training School.

To access these places, you need to go through this road, but because this is Rivers State, as usual, there is graveside silence to issues that pertain to Rivers State.‘’

‘’That is why, having brought a motion on the floor of the National Assembly, members have supported that the Executive Arm should quickly ensure that this bridge is taken care of to forestall incidence that might occur that would lead to loss of lives of Nigerians.’’ He stated.

Members of the Rivers Caucus in the national assembly who were part of the protest included Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Dekor, member representing Khana/Gokana federal constituency and Rep O. K. Chinda, member representing Obio/Akpor federal constituency.

Others were Hon. Awaji Inombek Dagomie Abiante, member representing Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro federal constituency;

Hon. Chinyere Igwe, member representing Port Harcourt federal constituency 2; Hon. Gogo Bright Tamuno, member representing Okrika Ogu/Bolo federal constituency and their counterpart at the State House of Assembly representing Eleme constituency, Hon. Igwe Aforji.

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