An urgent letter to Babatunde Fashola
In a nutshell, Third Mainland Bridge was built by Julius Berger Nigeria PLC and was commissioned in 1990 by the then Military-President of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland. The other bridges in this nexus are the Eko and Carter bridges. Third Mainland Bridge is one of the longest bridges in Africa.
The bridge starts from Oworonsoki. It links the Apapa-Oshodi expressway and Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and terminates at the Adeniji Adele intersection on Lagos Island. On this important road is another link through the bridge to Herbert Marculey way in Yaba, Lagos.
I remember writing a piece on this national emergency in my last visit to Nigeria. But nothing seems to have been done. This piece along with the ongoing viral video is an urgent and a clarion call to your ministry and to all authorities in Lagos and Nigeria in general to repair the shaky bridge.
Third Mainland Bridge is becoming another avoidable trap for untoward disaster (God forbids). Now, the viral video is a sacred representation of the imminent danger and avoidable calamity waiting to happen. It is also a warning to all commuters and the authority concerned in the management of one of the comatose infrastructural amenities in Nigeria.
The ramshackle or shaky Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, Nigeria is a deathtrap. It should be critical and impetus on the Federal government through your ministry to begin a forensic examination on the feasibly dilapidated and aged bridge.
The importance or function of the Third Mainland Bridge to alleviate the chaotic transportation of Lagosians cannot be overemphasized or underestimated. The rigors and very high traffic or “hold-ups” the 29-year-old bridge endure daily is terrific and unimaginable.
Sir, the efforts of your Ministry and the Federal government to provide good roads in Nigeria are not farfetched, and it is commendable. But it is sad that Nigeria is increasingly becoming a nation in search of her true identity.
While a small portion of the population do not know what they want, the efforts of the majority working for a just society are being dwarfed or thwarted by the amplification of lethal lies, deceit, and naughtiness of the cyberborgs and national saboteurs.
It is a known fact that Nigeria is under intensive care. The collective thought process of some people is aligned on the road to nowhere! It is obvious that only a determined and consistent effort of the administration you serve can save the nation from comatose and self-ruination.
Meanwhile, when corruption blooms in a community, the inhabitants and innocent people in that society become victims. The inefficiency or efficiency; and adequacy or inadequacy of its administrators will be feasible to discerning minds to see. This is what is being captured in the viral video. The viral, sad and terrifying video was taken by a Nigerian hero and concerned citizen on his commuting on this obvious famished bridge.
Recently, some lives were lost in a needless inferno in Ibadan when impoverished citizens were scooping petrol (gas) from an abandoned rickety big truck (tanker) on the road. These poor fellow citizens were parts of the sacrificial lambs for a nation in the trance of generational sins.
A mental excursion on the Nigerian roads from Zafara, Onisha, Umuahia, Kaduna, Lagos, Sokoto, Daura, Abakalikiand other unrecognized remote and suburban areas in Nigeria will reveal that they’re in sorry conditions.
In addition to bad roads in the bedeviled country are Kidnapping, armed robbery, killing and maiming, official corruption, abject poverty, opportunism, ignorance, religious hypnotism, and other social vices.
Yes, sir! Your well-informed person knows that “conscience is nurtured by truth!” In the absence of a just society, and without insignia of truth, the people suffer. The society of the hapless will become a lawless society.
In a dysfunctional community where collective conscience is warped or dead, life becomes short, brutish and nasty. Our beloved country is going through a crisis of conscience and moral turpitude. Only the good and conscientized ones will hearken to the concerned calls to engender an egalitarian society.
As a former administrator of Lagos state, your antecedents are your everlasting credentials, and they speak for themselves.
Your hard work to see a new Nigeria can never go unregistered. The good people of Nigeria notice your indefatigability with archived minds. We will continue to encourage people like you to continue to work for the good of the nation.
Those of us who believe in your honesty know that you will bring all necessary machinery in motion to mobilize resources from the Federal government. This long bridge must be immediately repaired.
Third Mainland Bridge is a very important nexus and flyover in Lagos state metropolis. We count on your efforts and vision as the Federal Minister of Power, Work, and Housing to urgently hear and pay attention to the cries of the concerned people.
Thank you, sir, in anticipation of this clarion and concerned call.
Yahaya Balogun wrote from Arizona, USA.