On the early hours of Thursday, March 5, the Students and Non Academic Staffs Union, (NASU) of the Federal polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, were protesting on the deplorable state of neglect, of the Ureje Bridge.
Also, the residents of the area joined the students over delays by the Federal government in reconstructing the Ureje Bridge located along Ado Ekiti – Ikare road, seven months after it collapsed.
The students expressed displeasure over the perceived abandonment of the project, in spite of the dangerous state of the bridge and assurances given by the Minister of Works, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola that the reconstruction will be done before the beginning of the rainy season.
Recall that the bridge had collapsed in 2019 following persistent flooding caused by torrential rainfalls.
The bridge had nearly collapsed before the government put up palliative measures to aid motorists pending reconstruction.
The bridge located along Ado-Ijan-Ikare road connects the capital city with Afe Babalola University and the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti.
In a statement jointly signed by the chairmen of the three polytechnic unions – Dr Bisi Olasehinde (ASUP), Dr Israel Ayeni (SSANIP) and Abubakar Sunday (NASU), the workers stated, “We are here as trade unions to embark on this peaceful protest to draw the attention of the Federal Government to the deadly condition of Ureje Bridge along the FPA Road in Ado Ekiti.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to declare the road as a death trap and that, as a matter of urgency; President Muhammadu Buhari should mandate the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, to instantly address the bridge’s reconstruction before the 2020 rainy season totally renders the bridge impassable.
“We want to say without mincing words that if the Federal Government failed to promptly heed our call, we would have no choice but relocate our offices to Ureje Bridge and further protest to the National Assembly for the sack of the Work’s Minister.
“This protest became necessary because of the failure of the Federal Government to attend to the situation of Ureje Bridge over the years.
“We are here to inform the whole world and remind Nigerians that during the last rainy season, Ureje Bridge claimed lives and destroyed property worth millions of naira and caused serious havoc to students and staff of FPA and ABUAD in particular and the people of Ekiti State in general.
“Unfortunately, the cries and complaints of the people to the Federal Government on the deplorable condition of the bridge had fallen to the selective deaf hears of the government.”
Expressing disapproval over the delay, some of the students display placards, “Oke Ureje is death track save us” “2020 Coronavirus bridge, we demand for an Anti-virus bridge” “the rain is coming when shall the construction begin”