Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) built the Second Niger bridge with ”mouths” for sixteen years the party was in power.
The presidential spokesperson said this in an article titled, ‘INDABOSKI! If Only For 2nd Niger Bridge, This Country Won’t Ever Forget Buhari’, released today February 18.
Adesina noted that despite the trauma and travails users of the River Niger bridge passed through, the administrations before that of President Buhari used the construction of the Second Niger Bridge to cajole people to vote for them and then abandoned the project shortly after they win the election.
According to him, when politicians want the votes of South Easterners as elections approach, ”they go and offload shovels, pickaxes, wheelbarrows, cutlasses, and others at the site, as if that is what is required to build a bridge of that magnitude.”
“Built-in 1965, the artery between the South East, South-South, and the rest of the country has become grossly inadequate, and torture to navigate at peak seasons.
“There was a year travelers even spent the night on the bridge. There is a long history to the building of a second bridge over the River Niger, and it had over the years become a tool of false promises, lies, and propaganda.
“When politicians want the votes of South Easterners as elections approach, they go and offload shovels, pickaxes, wheelbarrows, cutlasses, and others at the site, as if that is what is required to build a bridge of that magnitude.
“After they’ve got the votes, they come to remove their miserable implements. Goodbye basket, I’ve carried all my apples. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) did it for 16 years, building the bridge with their mouths.
“Then came Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military head of state, as civilian President. He promised to build the bridge. It didn’t happen in eight years.
“About five days before he left office, Obasanjo flagged off the project, to cost N58.6 billion, and handed it to his successor, Umaru Yar’Adua. No action in the three years that the administration lasted. Understandably so, for Yar’Adua was infirm.
“Then came Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who even at a point added Azikiwe to his name. He promised Heaven on earth, saying he was a South easterner, and he would build the bridge. During a Town Hall meeting on August 30, 2012, in the region, he said what would he claim he had done for his Igbo brethren, if he didn’t build the bridge.
“Later, Azikiwe disappeared from Jonathan’s name, and the Second Niger bridge disappeared with it. All that happened in the about six years that the administration lasted was a Federal Executive Council approval for final planning and design of the bridge. All motion, no movement.
“And then came the man from Daura, a Fulani, with no affinity with the South East. He didn’t make promises, he didn’t boast. He just went to work quietly.
“From September 1, 2018, without fanfare or swashbuckling, action started on the Second Niger bridge. Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister for Works and Housing, was the chief executioner. Doggedly, he and his principal set to work. And here we are today. What has defeated many military and civilian administrations is now reality in our country.”