Femi Adesina: Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan built 2nd Niger Bridge with their mouths

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said that the three Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations since 1999 paid lip service to constructing the Second Niger Bridge.

He said this in the latest installment of his weekly column, “From The Inside…Fridays With Femi Adesina”.

Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan ruled the nation between 1999 and 2015, on the PDP platform.

Adesina’s comment came around the same time that the Federal Government assured that the bridge would be completed in 2022.

Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, gave the assurance on behalf of the Federal Government at the weekly State House media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Read Also: 2023: APC will win easily if Atiku is PDP’s presidential candidate – Adeyanju

Adesina praised his principal, Muhammadu Buhari, for energising the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to “fund critical projects round the country”.

Second Niger Bridge under construction
Second Niger Bridge under construction

He identified the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road, Apapa-Wharf road in Lagos, and Bodo-Bonny road in Rivers State as some of the road projects either being built or rehabilitated under the Buhari administration.

Adesina said, “As someone that hails from the western part of the country, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is my natural terrain. From Lagos to my homestead of Ipetumodu in Osun State used to take me two hours of steady driving. But as the road deteriorated, it became three, four, five, six hours. At a point, you only knew when the journey started, and not when it would end. I’d slept on that road a couple of times, after crashes and gridlocks ensued in the middle of nowhere, with the attendant security challenges. I also lost a sister on the road, a Professor of Dramatic Arts at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The tears have not dried six years after.

“Now, a completely refurbished Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is due for commissioning in months, rebuilt by a Fulani man from Daura, in Katsina State. Are some people not trying to sell the narrative that ALL Fulanis are herdsmen and criminals? What other Presidents from South-west, North-west, and South-south could not do, the so-called cattle rearer from Daura has accomplished. Holy Moses!”

Adesina added, “The big elephant. Second Niger Bridge. We know the story, after the existing bridge was built in 1965. Many governments had attempted to build a second one. For 16 years, three administrations of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) built it with their mouths. Whenever it was time for elections, they would go to the site with cutlasses and hoes (as if that was what you needed to build a bridge of such magnitude), but after collecting the votes of the people, they retrieved their hoes and cutlasses. Till the next election.

“The second Niger Bridge was conceptualized in 2005, an attempt was made to start work in 2014, but it was not successful. In 2016, under Buhari, the project roared to life. Funded under PIDF, the project is expected to be delivered in 2022, that year of massive projects commissioning. A Fulani man has made a difference, where all the others before him failed.”

 

 

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