By Wole Mosadomi
It is now a difficult moment for transporters, commuters and motorists shuttling between the northern and southern parts of the country through Ilorin-Mokwa-Jebba road.
This is because the two major bridges linking the two parts of the country collapsed in the last two weeks as a result of torrential rainfall in the area.
One of the bridges is in Tatabu/ Gidan Moin along Jebba- Mokwa road while the other, Bokani bridge, is along Tegina-Makera road, both in Mokwa Local Government Area of the state.
Bokani bridge was washed off last week, forcing vehicles, especially trucks, to divert from Makera- Tegina road to Bida- Minna road.
Tatabu bridge, washed away, last Sunday night after a torrential rainfall, has left all categories of vehicles plying the busy road stranded for days while some trucks fell into the bridge but no life lost.
Some smaller vehicles were however lucky to escape from the spot after creating alternative routes through the bush to link the major road after the collapsed bridge while others diverted from Ilorin through Pategi to be ferried across river Niger to Bida Minna road.
Besides the bridges being washed away, the railway line, also along Tatabu village to Mokwa, was also washed away, thereby putting a stop to railway transportation between the South and the North.
Meanwhile, Ilorin-Mokwa- Jebba road had been in deplorable condition for several years.
The journey between Ilorin through Jebba to Mokwa, which should ordinarily take about two hours, had taken between four and five hours until last year when the contract to rehabilitate the road was awarded and work commenced.
Meanwhile the work has gone far but stopped meters to the Jebba bridge, and from this spot, the journey, which is less than 30 minutes, now takes about one and a half hours with harrowing experiences but, with the collapse of the Mokwa bridge, no vehicle can pass through from the southern part of the country to the North except through the bush paths newly created by motorists with the help of villagers along the routes but only the small vehicles can manage to pass through.
As a result of the development, there are now a long queues of tankers and trucks along Mokwa- Jebba road trapped as they cannot proceed on their trips or make a u-turn.
Motorists informed about the sad development are now forced to pass through Okenne-Lokoja-Abuja road to Niger state and other parts of the North which is by no means a longer and more expensive journey.