Pure joy pervaded the faces of the people of Kotonkarfe in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi State on the reconstruction of the Agbudu bridge, when InsideStory crew visited the project site on Monday.
The Agbudu Bridge project, which had not gotten attention for several years, had cut people from surrounding villages off from their neighbors for several decades, this is after uncountable promises by elected representatives from the area, the people told our correspondent.
Shaibu Zakari Okofi, a resident of one of the surrounding communities said the bridge reconstruction project would improve the social and economic activities of the area as its delapidation has cut off ties among several villages.
He said his immediate community of Okofi, Adagima, Odidima, Ette, Ette Eyise, Okuhwa Ogwori, Adangere, Ugwo, Opkozogi, Umozo Ete, Orgbaji, Irenudo, Odah, Onumaye, Edimose, Okatubo, Ajitata and many more had been cut off from Kotonkarfe, the commercial nerve center of the area due to lack of road access.
The resident who added that Agbudu bridge serve many purposes for the people, thanked the initiative of an industrialist from the Local Government Area, Alhaji Abdulkarim Isah, the Wambai of Kotonkarfe for taking it upon himself to rebuild the bridge.
On her part, Amina Mustapha was full of gratitude and prayers for Wambai for thinking of giving some succour and sense of belonging to the people of the area by embarking on the bridge reconstruction.
She said the bad condition of the bridge had brought untold hardship to the people, especially the people of Okofi, who are largely into fish farming and usually needed access to swiftly transport their goods to the market in Kotonkarfe, but could not.
In her words; “Ask everybody in this area or from all the surrounding villages and even Kotonkarfe, the Local Government Headquarters. We have been totally cut off, but thanks to Wambai of Kotnkarfe, now we can take our farm produce to the main market and even to Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, which is also relatively close to us, with ease.
“Because of lack of storage facilities and other essential amenities in this area, we easily panic about the possibility of our goods getting spoilt, hence, we sometimes sell them very cheap and that has impoverished our farmers and other small scale businesses.”
Youth and women leaders from the surrounding communities, in their separate remarks, all described the gesture by Wambai as one that has ameliorated their problems, and prayed God to reward him abundantly.