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The Federal Government has been given 10 days to finally fix the Yola-Gombe road which has suffered at least a decade of dilapidation.
After a virtual meeting on Thursday, a social media campaign, ‘##FIX YOLA GOMBE ROAD’ said, “We decided to give the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Ministry of Works under Barr Babatunde Fashola a 10-day ultimatum to mobilize back to site.”
The campaign said it would occupy Yola Airport, close down Savannah Sugar Company, and shut down the Gombe-Yola Road should the Federal Government not act as desired.
The particularly bad portion of the road stretches along the expansive Savannah Sugar Company Limited owned by formost industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the portion is famously known as Savannah after the name of the sugar growing and processing complex.
In a response on Thursday night, the Federal Government indicated that it would be unable to return contractors to site for a thorough job till the end of the rainy season.
A press statement from the Federal Ministry of Works, signed by Boade Akinola for Press and Public Relations, said, “The attention of the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing Engr. Abubakar D Aliyu, FNSE has been drawn to the publication on the social media on the failed portion of Gombe-Yola road.
“The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMW&H) is aware of the condition of the road and committed to repairs of the damaged portion.
“The portion had been adequately assessed, redesigned and the procurement process completed as an additional work to the subsisting contract for the rehabilitation of the road and FEC has approved.
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“The bad portion which is about 11km sits on clay soil called black cotton soil which cannot support traffic. The removal and replacement of this black cotton soil was not part of the original contract, but approval has been given by FEC to augment the contract to include the removal of the black cotton soil and replacement with stones and laterite.
“However, the contractor cannot embark on the removal of this clay until after the raining season. In the interim, the contractor is carrying out palliative works to keep the road motorable. The contractor is on site working even now.
“The contract awarded involves massive excavation of the soil and replacement with stones to make the road last long. We, therefore, appeal for patience and understanding of the citizens and other road users. Full reconstruction of the bad section on the road will commence as soon as the rain subsides.”