17th July, 2012
After the Apete bridge win Ibadan, Oyo State, southwest Nigeria, was washed away by flood, residents cut off from the city, have resorted to move across the rivers by canoes.
The canoes were hurriedly constructed by youths in the area who capitalised on the situation to make quick money.
The canoe paddlers charge individuals crossing to the other side which takes a few minutes N50.
One of the canoe operators who was having a field day and is happy about the money he was making, said: “I will make the money that I need to go to hajji here. This is a good business that everybody should be praying for. It is really open heaven”.
Meanwhile, members of the Oyo State security outfit codenamed ‘Operation Burst’, have cordoned off the river bank to prevent people falling into the river.
As at the time P.M.NEWS visited the area, the joint patrol team comprising soldiers, policemen and members of the Civil Defence Corps were seen at the river bank preventing residents from getting close to the river or attempting to take a makeshift wood pathway initially created for the pedestrians.
Also, traders who were trading close to the bridge have been driven away.
Some students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan are not cooperating with the security operative as some of them insisted on passing through the risky pedestrian pathway.
As a result of the collapse of the bridge, the authorities of The Polytechnic, Ibadan have closed down the school temporarily for a week and advised the students not to cross the bridge for any reason until it is reconstructed.
In a statement issued yesterday by the school’s spokesperson, Mr. Soladoye Adewale, it was announced that there would not be lectures or test until the school authorities ascertain that movement around the area is safe.
He noted that the decision became necessary because the majority of the residents of Apete are students of the institution.
Also, for failing to complete the bridge before the rainy season, the state government has revoked the contract for the construction of the bridge, promising that a new contractor would move to site within 24 hours, after due process must have been observed.
The commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Yinu Akintunde who disclosed this said that the slow pace of work on the rehabilitation of the bridge had forced the state government to revoke the contract.
He said that the state executive council had mandated his ministry and that of Planning and Urban Development to come up with a new proposal on the possible and urgent ways of putting all the damaged bridges back to use as soon as practicable.