Second Niger Bridge Built With Abacha, Ibori Loots - HURIWA Warns FG Against Tolling
By Chinedu Echianu in Abuja
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Thursday, carpeted the Federal Government over its planned tolling of the almost completed 1.6 kilometers long Second Niger Bridge which links Anambra and Delta states.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the project was funded with taxpayers’ fund returned in the form of loots recovered from former Nigerian military leader General Sani Abacha and former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
The group said tolling the bridge, which is about to be the only road with toll gate in the whole of Nigeria, is an injustice not only to Southern Nigeria but to the entire country as the bridge is for use for both southerners and northerners alike.
HURIWA argued that the returned $332.4 million Abacha loot from the United States and the £4.2m Ibori loot paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria by the United Kingdom are the stolen commonwealth of all Nigerians which should be used on essential infrastructure for the betterment of the entire country.
Onwubiko therefore insisted that it is unacceptable that the Second Niger Bridge will be tolled upon its completion after decade-long stalemate on the project.
Recall that the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Channels Television on Wednesday, said that the temporarily opened Second Niger Bridge will be tolled with the same model as the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.
The Bridge was opened to traffic from December 15, 2022, to January 15, 2023 to ease the experience of travelers during Yuletide break before the final delivery date of May 2023.