The National President of the Heavy Duty Drivers Association, Mr. Uchenna Nebuwa, has expressed that drivers, including members of the association, are avoiding the second Niger Bridge due to security concerns. Nebuwa shared his concerns with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), highlighting the presence of criminals along the bridge and the Obosi-Owerri axis of the road.
According to Nebuwa, hoodlums, armed robbers, and kidnappers have taken over the route, making it unsafe for drivers and commuters. He called on the Federal Government to enhance security measures to protect lives and property, urging them to address the failed portions of the Obosi-Owerri road, which has resulted in significant losses of vehicles and goods estimated to be over N20 billion.
Chukwuemeka Olekpe, Chairman of the Great Tippers Association of Nigeria, Anambra Chapter, echoed similar concerns about the security situation, emphasizing that armed robbers and kidnappers have instilled fear among drivers, leading them to avoid using the second Niger Bridge.
Additionally, commercial bus driver Paul Osakwe stated that the bridge has become a lonely and insecure place, making it risky for drivers and passengers, particularly during nighttime. He urged the government to consider installing lights on the bridge to improve security conditions.
The Engineer in charge of the bridge, Mr. Seyi Martins, attributed the low usage of the second Niger Bridge to security challenges in the South-East region. While the primary mandate was to construct and open the bridge to ease traffic, the security issues remain a significant concern for drivers and commuters.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr. Mahmuda Mamman, previously inspected the vandalized part of the bridge and called on security agencies to enhance security measures in the area and surrounding regions.