Abuja - The House of Representatives on Thursday summoned the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, over the deplorable state of the Abuja-Lokoja Road diversion.
The House also called for the strengthening of bridges on federal roads in the country with “concrete barrier embankment” instead of aluminium rails.
The diversion in Lokoja, Kogi State, was created last month following the flooding of the main Abuja-Lokoja Highway.
But in a motion by a lawmaker from Kogi State, Mr. Sadiq Mohammed, on Thursday, it was observed that the emergency diversion was “impassable”, allegedly due to poor construction.
Mohammed told the House that commuters using the road to link the South-West and South-South parts of the country spent several hours on the diversion.
“The said emergency is not only bad but impassable as many users spend hours, days and nights to cross the road with just a little distance of about a kilometre,” he said.
Onolememen is to appear before the House and justify the funds expended on the diversion and why it has been unable to serve the purpose intended.
Lawmakers adopted a similar motion sponsored by a member from Edo State, Mr. Bello Osagie, who sought the immediate repair of the “Ovia River Bridge and other bridges in the country to safeguard lives and property.”
Osagie said over 268 lives had been lost on the bridge in recent weeks as a result of vehicles falling off the bridge.
The lawmaker cited the September 5, 2012 accident on the bridge, which killed “four lecturers of Igbinedion University, Okada.”
Osagie added, “More vehicles have plunged into the Ovia River since the incident of September 5 under similar circumstances.
“It is instructive to note painfully that on October 6, another 18-seater Toyota Hiace bus with full passengers also plunged into the river, leaving no survivors.”
He blamed the frequent accidents on the weak aluminium barricades on the bridge and other bridges in the country.
The House resolved to direct the minister of works to “quickly embark on work at the Ovia River bridge and other bridges to safeguard lives and properties.”