Collapsed Ureje Bridge: We won’t allow shoddy job from contractor ―Reps member

Following the commencement of work on the collapsed Ureje bridge in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency(FERMA), Honourable Femi Bamisile, has appealed to the contractor handling the rehabilitation project to deliver a quality job.

The former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, told the contracting firm, Dipcrest Nigeria Limited, to as a matter of urgency provide an alternative road to mitigate the hardship being experienced by residents and prevent a section of the metropolis from being outrightly excised from the capital city.

The Lawmaker representing Ekiti South Federal Constituency II added that creating alternative road became expedient owing to the strategic nature of the road to the survival of the state’s economy and its people.

Eminent Ekiti indigenous, including Chief Afe Babalola SAN, had condemned the sudden closure of the road by the contractor last week without providing a viable alternative, describing the action as inimical to the general wellbeing of the people.

The bridge, located along Ado-Ijan-Ikare collapsed last year due to persistent flooding, which sparked up series of protests when the entire Ureje, a suburb of Ado Ekiti and other council areas were cut off from the capital city.

Addressing newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, Bamisile said he had been at the forefront of the struggle for the rehabilitation of the bridge since it was submerged by flood in 2019.

He said the contractor cannot but deliver a quality job, taking cognisance of the hardship the people had experienced, particularly the death of some people and the multimillion property that was destroyed by the attendant flood.

Bamisile said, “Our people have suffered on this road since the flooding started two years ago. Lives had been lost and property damaged, so this rehabilitation is a big relief to all of us.

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“The residents of the area and the Afe Babalola University, which represents the second-largest employer of labour in Ekiti lost several millions of naira when the floor took over the bridge and hindered economic activities along that route.

“Considering all these plights, I appeal to the contractor not to disappoint the people by delivering to time and according to specification for the people’s means of livelihoods not to be crippled for too long.”

Bamisile noted the alternative road along Igirigiri road and Ado Ekiti Local government provided by the contractor was not motorable.

“The Contractor should work on some marshy portions on that road. It has to be graded because over 500 vehicles were trapped there on Thursday and this is unacceptable, ” he said.

On the protest being planned over the sudden closure of the bridge without alternative, Bamisile pleaded for understanding, saying such action will prevent the project from being completed in record time.

“Let the residents heed the advice of Chief Afe Babalola that protest is not the best option for now. But if the contractor fails to deliver good work or drag the job too long unnecessarily, then we can begin to take other alternative actions,” Bamisile stated.

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