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BARELY two days after Ogoni Youth Federation staged a warning protest on the Aleto-Akpajo Bridge in Rivers State, a section of the bridge along the East-West Road, cave in on Thursday causing a serious gridlock.

This is as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria said it could no longer guarantee the supply of petroleum products as a result of the incident.

It was gathered that the section of the bridge collapsed around 2.15pm, as cars, buses and heavy duty trucks could not access the road a leading to major companies in Eleme Local Government Area of the state.

The bridge leads to the location of the multi-billion naira investments, including the Indorama, the Port Harcourt Refinery Company, the Onne Oil and Gas Free zone, which houses the Nigeria Ports Authority, Customs among others.

The Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in Rivers State, Dr. Joseph Obelle, confirmed the incident.

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Obelle, in a voice message to our correspondent, said, “Motorists are using just one lane, thus causing serious traffic. Going forward, we want to say that we cannot guarantee steady supply of petroleum products anymore.

“The reason is that this bridge is one of the most critical and busy roads in Nigeria. A road leading to both the Federal Lighter Terminal and the Federal Ocean Terminal, linking a big fertilizer plant like Indorama and Notore in Onne, Port Harcourt Refinery, name them.

“We will not allow our petroleum products and facilities (to move). A truck of product is worth between N8m and N9m. We cannot take that risk with this state of the road. So, we are hereby calling on Niger Delta Affairs, our brother and leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to release funds to the contractor.”

Reacting to the bridge collapse, the President-General of Ogoni Youth Federation, Legborsi Yamaabana, reiterated the subsisting 14-days ultimatum that the Ogoni youths gave to the Federal Government to mobilize contractors to completely reconstruct the bridge.

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