I was travelling from Abuja to Adamawa State; I left Abuja on Wednesday 25th 2021 in a bid to catch up with a lot of programmes ahead of me. It was a journey that was supposed to last for 12 hours, that’s like travelling a whole day, crazy isn’t it? Yeah crazy you would say. For those traveling along that road knows that it has not always been easy plying the road.
What bothers me on that road is the bad state of the roads. Despite the huge funds government purportedly claims to spend on infrastructure, when you see that road you would wonder whether road is not part of the infrastructure. Agreed over the years, the road has witnessed some rehabilitation; but the usual Nigeria that has no maintenance culture of course it appears we are going back to the old ways where a journey of one hour translates to four hours.
The said road is estimated to take about 12 hours plus about 794 kilometers almost close to 1000 kilometers. That tells you how far the road is, but with the distance, if the road is good the length of journey would be drastically reduced. Also, the poor nature of the road contributes to the length of time it takes to travel that route. We journeyed from Jos down to Bauchi and from Bauchi, we headed to Gombe. Before reaching Gombe at a place called “Tasham Turmi” the road was blocked and we had to come down from the vehicle and walk down. What caused the blockage? The road was already eroding and I remember very well that January I noticed that the road was getting bad, yet it was abandoned until now that they are trying to do damage control. I trailer nearly fell there. This leaves me with a question, Where are the funds for the roads? With all the billions the administration is borrowing and yet these roads are so bad? I remember asking a fellow passenger and he told me, “they always go by flight, how are they supposed to care about the state of the roads?” And I couldn’t help but agree with him.
One thing I notice about Nigeria is that, when it comes to maintenance, we are zero. Nobody will care until the situation is very bad to the point that it is involving souls then we will hypocritically show that we are doing something. How can we be this callous? How could we not have cared? A country that has so nourished us and all we could do is to abandon it and fail to rehabilitate the few infrastructures we have left? This is not fair. It is important that we cultivate the habit of maintaining the infrastructure that we have: Of course, if we don’t, who do we expect to do for us?
The situation of that road is so bad and becoming very dangerous to commuters and therefore very pertinent for the government to pay attention to all these roads to avert impending destruction of lives and property which is very shameful and disgraceful. Whatever it takes, government should channel their energy in rehabilitating those roads as they are not looking good at all. As if that was not enough, the road from Lafiya to Savannah sugar Company is another eye sore, and these are federal roads which need to be attended to. In this 21st century, I think we have gone past the level of bad roads being the giant of Africa. It is such a crying shame! The most shameful of this is the fact that, for the past 20 years or so, Numan – Gombe road has been under repairs and that seems to be unending repairs. The question is, when are we ever going to do things right? It is high time someone is held to account for funds spent on such projects that yields no result.
I therefore call on the federal ministry of works and housing to look into the plight of commuters with a view to fixing the bad roads not only that of Gombe to Bauchi, but across the country.
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