*ridiculous increase in transport fares by 50%
By; DAHIRU SULEIMAN, Dutse
The persistent flooding ravaging Jigawa State within the last one month has cut- off the state from seven states, in the wake of breaking down of over thirty inter town and state roads and bridges, claiming 98 lives, as well as brought about slight increase in transport fares by almost fifty per cent.
Least amongst the broken town inter state roads and collapsed bridges are Birnin-Kudu- Gwaram- Darazau- Adamawa State.
Others are broken down bridges of Gada- Hukumar in Takai LGA of Kano State over a year ago, unattended to by the federal government being a federal highway linking Kano to Jigawa, down to seven North Eastern states in the country, Birnin-Kudu- Basurka Gombe- Borno, Taraba route, among others.
Investigations by New Nigerian has revealed that commercial drivers plying Dutse- Bauchi – Adamawa route have to divert by over 120 to 170 kilometres, risking their lives while following dangerous routes.
Mal. Ibrahim Adamu, a regular commercial driver plying Dutse- Bauchi road sought the Jigawa and federal government assistance in re- fixing the broken down federal roads and collapsed bridges to ameliorate their untold hardship due to diversion.
According to him, “the diversion costs us much in terms of fuel consumption and risk of lives as we are following dangerous routes as far as kidnapping and social upheavals are concerned”.
Asked whether such difficulties warranted the increase in transport fares on commuters, he said, “we are forced to make slight increase by fifty per cent due to increase in fuel consumption and road distance”, saying that before, with the fuel of between six to seven thousand Naira, they could convey passengers comfortably to Bauchi as against fuel of twelve to fifteen thousand Naira presently.
Other route fares increased, include Kano- Dutse, N900.00 as against N700.00 before, while Dutse to Hadejia, N1,200 as against N1,000 while Gumel was N1,000 from Dutse as against between N700 to N800.00 before.
The flooding affecting 17 out of 27 local government areas, displaced hundreds of thousands of households, rendering them homeless with deaths, among other destruction of massive foodstuff and large consignments of over a billion Naira farm produce.
Most of the displaced persons cried out following shortage of foodstuff, water and good shelter as majority were scattered in isolated places as interim IDP camps without an enabling environment of good security, good water and ventilated environment.
One of the persons who pleaded on anonymity said, “since the collapse of our village Karnaya due to heavy downpour, we were left here on Karnaya- Kano Highway by the road side unattended to in form of receiving good treatment on the side of either the state government nor Dutse LGA in terms of food supply, water, and habitual environment to live, leaving us dying in starvation, hunger and diseases.”
Another spokesperson, Mal Shehu Karnaya was quoted as saying, “we only heard over the radio that some Jigawa influential personalities who have assisted us with money and food, but we are yet to receive such gestures.”
But for Alh. Sani Yusuf Babura, the Jigawa State Executive Secretary, State Emergency Relief Agency, “presently, we’re preparing on how to support our affected flood victims with food materials, beddings, among other basic needs as we did earlier in the beginning of the flood.”
According to him, there are about 47,450 people who are displaced as a result of the flood, while about 98 people were reported dead.
Earlier, most of the affected victims of the worst hit areas chided their leaders and political appointees for negligence and concern in rendering support to ameliorate their hardships, indicating that, “Since the occurrence of the massive floods about a month ago, neither our Governor Badaru Abubakar, nor our Reps, Senators, among other political appointees visited us, nor to offer us assistance of foodstuff, or provision of hygienic shelter, leaving us dying to starvation, hunger and diseases”.