The Anglican Bishop of the Niger, Rev. (Dr.) Owen Nwokolo, has frowned at what he described as politics of retrogression being played over the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, calling on the Federal Government to rather take up its constitutional responsibility and expedite action on the orchestrated project without further delay.
Bishop Nwokolo who is also the Chairman, Christian Council of Nigeria, (CCN), Anambra State Chapter, expressed the indignation during a monthly briefing of journalists in his office at Bishop’s Court, Ozalla Road, Onitsha.
The Bishop who underscored the strategic and economic importance of the bridge said it is expected to play key role in the economic and social lives of not only the easterners but also the entire country and wondered why unwholesome politics should be played over so important a project.
Nwokolo explained that the project was so annoyingly delayed because the federal government has not yet deemed it as serious, adding that since it is now clear that the old bridge is gradually deteriorating and can no longer carry the present traffic load, the Federal Government ought to have stepped up the construction of the second one.
While saying that the delay cannot be as a result of fund, the Bishop explained, “Nigeria has both the human and natural resources to build the bridge. The South-East states, themselves, by the virtue of their economic contribution through their mineral resources merit the project. Why then the delay in building a bridge meant to serve the east and Nigeria in general?”
He recalled that the first bridge was built under six months, between 1964 and 1965 and regretted how the second one has remained on the drawing board for over two decades.
He therefore called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, fast track the commencement and completion of the said bridge in record time not only to give the easterners a good sense of belonging but also to remove the feeling of marginalization among the South-Eastern States as well as reduce the untold hardship being experienced by the users.