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NGO decries infrastructural decay, high rate of insecurity in Kogi

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Kogi based non-governmental Organisation, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA) has decried the high level of infrastructural decay in Kogi State with attendant dire consequences on the citizens.

In an elaborate statement issued by the Executive Director of the NGO, Hamza Aliyu in Lokoja on Saturday and made available to CAPITAL POST, he stressed that infrastructure in Kogi State have totally collapsed, regretting also, that government of the day was doing nothing to arrest the ugly trend.

He said, it was horror in the last one year in terms of insecurity, amid other social malaise, wondering the so-called effectiveness of government of the day, even as Lokoja residents were worst hit.

The statement reads: “The recent happenings in the State have seriously called to question the effectiveness of the government in protecting the lives and properties of the citizens.

“The levels of insecurity, conditions of our roads, quality of our education system, healthcare system, and social protection services have all seemly deteriorated in the last 1 year, with no visible discernable strategy for arresting this.

“The most disturbing of this is the level of decay of our roads within the State. The worse of these are roads leading to and out of the State Capital Lokoja. The Kabba Junction-Barracks roads and the Crusher Zone 8 road have become death traps for motorists.

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“These roads are the major access to Lokoja for travelers coming from both the Western and Eastern Senatorial Districts and National travelers from the South East and South-South of the Country. It is unimaginable that the Crusher-Zone 8 road (Hassan Usman Katsina way) also links the headquarters of the other 2 Arms of Government (Judiciary and Legislature).

According to him, last Wednesday’s Tanker inferno was avoidable, if the government was on the beat, lamenting the huge loss of lives and properties.

“The Felele–Nataco expressway has become a death trap with almost a bi monthly occurrence of deadly truck accidents.

“The latest which happened on Wednesday 23rd September 2020, has been nicknamed black Wednesday with at least 24 citizens-men, women, school children, students, families,- consumed in an avoidable inferno caused by failure of government safety systems that should have been working to protect them.

“A family of 6 (father, mother, 3 children and an Aunt) all consumed in the inferno. To add to the insult, hoodlums have ransacked the shops of the deceased and his wife barely 48 hours after their demise. This is unacceptable in a democratic government that was elected by the people.

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“The Ganaja road has become the poster boy for this administrations inability to provide infrastructure for its people. The decay has eaten so deep that at best of times only a portion and section of the dual carriage way was accessible to motorists.

“Heavy duty vehicles that pay taxes to the state, have contributed to the death of the road. The annual flooding which has become worse this year has finally cut of the road and the communities from the rest of the State capital.

“That road is a major artery connecting the Eastern Senatorial District of the State and the South Eastern Zone of the Nation to the State capital. It should be a road that showcases the state and its capital as it is the first point that visitors see and experience.

“It is very unfortunate that the State Government uses the excuse that some of these roads are federal roads as such the states do not have the resources to construct them as there will be no refunds.

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“This logic does not support the fact that the people who use these roads are citizens of Kogi State, whose mandate the Government is suppose to implement.

“The 24 fatalities on the Felele-Nataco road are citizens of the State. The properties destroyed belong to citizens of the state, who through the existence of that road, have paid taxes running into millions of naira to the State.

“There is no how the State will not recoup any investment it makes in constructing these roads. Same goes with the Ganaja road and the Kabba junction Barracks road.

The frequent loss of lives and properties to fire outbreak has exposed the rot in our fire safety management. The inferno on #BLACKWEDNESDAY on the Felele-Nataco road could have been mitigated to a large extent if the fire service had been effective.

“The recent fire outbreak at the famous PEE LINKS SHOPPING COMPLEX in Lokoja, which is meters away from the Federal fire Service Office, is a show of shame for the State fire service, resulting in the loss of properties worth billions of naira.”

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