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Robbers On The Rampage As Lagos Collapsed Bridge Causes Gridlock

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Ijora-Olopa-Bridge
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Armed men have started seizing the opportunity of the gridlock being caused by the collapsed section of the Ijora-Olopa Bridge in Lagos to dispossess unsuspecting motorists and passers-by of their valuables.

PUNCH Metro reports that a portion of the bridge caved in on Tuesday and traffic was quickly diverted to the other lane.


The diversion, it was learnt, led to gridlock on the road.

Our correspondents who visited the area on Thursday gathered that hoodlums had been attacking motorists inside the gridlock, especially towards the evening.

It was further learnt that the miscreants target their victims’ phones, money and other valuables.

An eyewitness, who did not want his name mentioned because of fear of victimisation, said some hoodlums attacked a lady in the traffic with a knife and dispossessed her of her belongings on Wednesday.

He said other victims were saved by some soldiers who were passing by at the time of the attack.


The source said, “A lady was robbed yesterday (Wednesday) night. She was in her car and the armed robbers pulled out a knife to frighten her, and unfortunately, she was dispossessed of her belongings on the spot.

“The robbers used the knife to injure her on the face and she was soaked in blood.

“Four armed robbers in a tricycle also attempted to rob a man, but the attack was foiled because some soldiers were passing by. The robbers fled the scene on sighting the soldiers.”

Another road user, while corroborating the source’s claim, called for more caution while plying the road.

He also called on the government to speed up the rehabilitation work on the collapsed section.

“There is a need for total repair of the bridge. When walking or driving on the bridge, one must also be conscious so as not to be robbed,” he said.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, could not be reached for comment on Thursday as calls made to his mobile phone rang out and a message sent to his telephone had yet to be responded to as of the time this report was filed.

But when contacted, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Area ‘C’ Command, Surulere, Adedeji Afolarin, who spoke with PUNCH Metro, on Thursday, assured residents and motorists in the area that proper action would be taken.

“There is no problem. Thank you for the information. I will get across to the DPO that covers that area and necessary action will be taken,” Afolarin said.

An official of the Federal Road Safety Corps seen on the bridge told our correspondents that the affected section had been cordoned off and manned by officers to avert any danger for road users by directing them to the alternate routes.

He said, “Motorists that usually ply this road are being directed to take Iganmu Bridge. For motorists going towards Apapa, you just need to follow through Iddo. From Iddo, you move to Costain and from Costain to Iganmu Bridge and then straight down to Apapa. That is the only way for now.

“We have been here since we received the call on Tuesday, redirecting motorists who are unaware of the collapse to take alternative roads. You can see that we have demarcated the entire bridge from usage. This bridge collapsed on Tuesday between 9.30am and 10am.”

Meanwhile, our correspondents saw some engineers drafted to the scene to assess the situation.

The engineers, however, could not confirm when rehabilitation would commence on the collapsed bridge.


When approached, one of them said, “We don’t know yet when rehabilitation will start. We learnt about it yesterday (Wednesday).

“We have only come here to assess the cause of the collapse and take the report back to the office.

“It is after this that we will know when work will begin. But for now, we are only observing and measuring the cause. We cannot say when construction will start.”

The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency’s spokesperson, Mrs Maryam Sanusi, could not be immediately reached as of the time this report was filed.

But the Federal Government on Wednesday directed the immediate closure of the bridge “following the discovery that some miscreants have tampered with the major reinforcement elements of the deck from underneath which led to the failure of a section of the Bridge along Ijora Olopa Road, beside Water Corporation, Ijora.”

 The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, in a Press Statement signed by his Special Adviser on Communications, Hakeem Bello, identified the failed section as the Ijora-Olopa inward Ijora-Oloye–Apapa.

 According to the statement, roads leading directly to the bridge such as Costain inward Eko Bridge and Carter Bridge descent inward Ijora Oloye have, as a result, been closed to traffic.

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PRESIDENT BOLA AHMED TINUBU FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY 29 MAY 2023

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THE NIGERIAN IDEAL

My Fellow Citizens,

I stand before you honoured to assume the sacred mandate you have given me. My love for this nation is abiding. My confidence in its people, unwavering. And my faith in God Almighty, absolute. I know that His hand shall provide the needed moral strength and clarity of purpose in those instances when we seem to have reached the limits of our human capacity.

This day is bold and majestic yet bright and full of spirit, as is our precious nation.

As a nation, we have long ago decided to march beyond the dimness of night into the open day of renewed national hope.

The question we now ask ourselves is whether to remain faithful to the work inherent in building a better society or retreat into the shadows of our unmet potential. 

For me, there is but one answer. We are too great a nation and too grounded as a people to rob ourselves of our finest destiny.

This nation’s journey has been shaped by the prayers of millions, and the collective sacrifices of us all.

Tinubu Speech
Tinubu at Eagles Square for during his Inauguaration

We have endured hardships that would have made other societies crumble.

Yet, we have shouldered the heavy burden to arrive at this SUBLIME moment where the prospect of a better future merges with our improved capacity to create that future.

To the surprise of many but not to ourselves, we have more firmly established this land as a democracy in both word and deed.

The peaceful transition from one government to another is now our political tradition. This handover symbolizes our trust in God, our enduring faith in representative governance and our belief in our ability to reshape this nation into the society it was always meant to be.

Here, permit me to say a few words to my predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari. Mr President, you have been an honest, patriotic leader who has done his best for the nation you love. On a more personal note, you are a worthy partner and friend. May History be kind to you.

For many years, Nigeria’s critics have trafficked the rumour that our nation will break apart, even perish.

Yet here we are. We have stumbled at times, but our resilience and diversity have kept us going. 

Our burdens may make us bend at times, but they shall never break us.

Instead, we stand forth as Africa’s most populous nation and as the best hope and strongest champion of the Black Race.

As citizens, we declare as one unified people devoted to one unified national cause, that as long as this world exists, NIGERIA SHALL EXIST.

Today, Fate and Destiny join together to place the torch of human progress in our very hands. We dare not let it slip.

We lift high this torch so that it might shine on every household and in every heart that calls itself Nigerian. We hold this beam aloft because it lights our path with compassion, brotherhood, and peace. May this great light never EXTINGUISH.    

Our administration shall govern on your behalf but never rule over you. We shall consult and dialogue but never dictate. We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.

We are here to further mend and heal this nation, not tear and injure it.

In this vein, may I offer a few comments regarding the election that brought us to this juncture. It was a hard fought contest. And it was also fairly won. Since the advent of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria has not held an election of better quality.

The outcome reflected the will of the people. However, my victory does not render me any more Nigerian than my opponents. Nor does it render them any less patriotic.

They shall forever be my fellow compatriots. And I will treat them as such. They represent important constituencies and concerns that wisdom dare not ignore.

They have taken their concerns to court. Seeking legal redress is their right and I fully defend their exercise of this right. This is the essence of the rule of law.

Over six decades ago, our founding fathers gave bravely of themselves to place Nigeria on the map as an independent nation.

We must never allow the labor of those who came before us to wither in vain but to blossom and bring forth a better reality.

Let us take the next great step in the journey they began and believed in.

Today, let us recommit our very selves to placing Nigeria in our hearts as the indispensable home for each and every one of us regardless of creed, ethnicity, or place of birth.

My supporters, I thank you. To those who voted otherwise, I extend my hand across the political divide. I ask you to grasp it in national affinity and brotherhood. For me, political coloration has faded away. All I see are Nigerians. 

May we uphold these fitting and excellent notions as the new Nigerian ideal. 

My fellow compatriots,

The Nigerian ideal which I speak of is more than just an improvement in economic and other statistics. These things are important; but they can never convey the fullness of our story.

Our mission is to improve our way of life in a manner that nurtures our humanity, encourages compassion toward one another, and duly rewards our collective effort to resolve the social ills that seek to divide us.

Our constitution and laws give us a nation on paper. We must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding. Let us develop a shared sense of fairness and equity.

The South must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests are served when good comes to the North. The North must see the South likewise.

Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people. As your president, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all. 

In the coming days and weeks, my team will publicly detail key aspects of our programme. Today, permit me to outline in broad terms a few initiatives that define our concept of progressive good governance in furtherance of the Nigerian ideal:

The principles that will guide our administration are simple: 

1. Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law.

2. We shall defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country and our subregion.

3. We shall remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.

4. In our administration, Women and youth will feature prominently.

5. Our government will continue to take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies.

SECURITY 

Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.

To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security DOCTRINE and its ARCHITECTURE.

We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number. We shall provide, better training, equipment, pay and firepower.

THE ECONOMY

On the economy, we target a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment. 

We intend to accomplish this by taking the following steps:

First, budgetary reform stimulating the economy without engendering inflation will be instituted.

Second, industrial policy will utilize the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency.

Third, electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double and transmission and distribution networks improved. We will encourage states to develop local sources as well.

I have a message for our investors, local and foreign: our government shall review all their complaints about multiple taxation and various anti-investment inhibitions.

We shall ensure that investors and foreign businesses repatriate their hard earned dividends and profits home.

JOBS

My administration must create meaningful opportunities for our youth. We shall honour our campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy. 

Our government also shall work with the National Assembly to fashion an omnibus Jobs and Prosperity bill. This bill will give our administration the policy space to embark on labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.

Agriculture

Rural incomes shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products. A nationwide programme for storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage and waste will be undertaken.

Agricultural hubs will be created throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processing. The livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimize the perennial conflict over land and water resources in this sector.

Through these actions, food shall be made more abundant yet less costly. Farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less.

INFRASTRUCTURE

We shall continue the efforts of the Buhari administration on infrastructure. Progress toward national networks of roads, rail and ports shall get priority attention.

FUEL SUBSIDY

We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.

MONETARY POLICY

Monetary policy needs thorough housecleaning. The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.

Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.

Whatever merits it had in concept, the currency swap was too harshly applied by the CBN given the number of unbanked Nigerians. The policy shall be reviewed. In the meantime, my administration will treat both currencies as legal tender.

FOREIGN POLICY

Given the world in which we reside, please permit a few comments regarding foreign policy.

The crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in our immediate neighbourhood are of pressing concern.

As such, my primary foreign policy objective must be the peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent. We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones.

As we contain threats to peace, we shall also retool our foreign policy to more actively lead the regional and continental quest for collective prosperity.

Conclusion

This is the proudest day of my life. But this day does not belong to me. It belongs to you, the people of Nigeria.

On this day, Nigeria affirms its rightful place among the world’s great democracies. There, Nigeria shall reside forever. 

The course of our past and the promise of the future have brought us to this exceptional moment.

In this spirit, I ask you to join me in making Nigeria a more perfect nation and democracy such that the Nigerian ideal becomes and forever remains the Nigerian reality.  

With full confidence in our ability, I declare that these things are within our proximate reach because my name is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and I am the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

May God bless you and

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TRENDING VIDEO: Soludo Breaks Silence On Entry Denial At Tinubu’s Inauguration

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Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has broken his silence on the viral video which shows him being denied entry into the area where he initially attempted to seat during the Monday, May 29, 2023 inauguration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigeria’s new President.

In the about 30 second video, Governor Soludo can be seen trying unsuccessfully to convince security and protocol officials to grant him entry, following which he moves to the area to which he is redirected.

However, speaking through his Press Secretary, Mr Christian Aburime, Prof. Soludo said in a statement on Monday afternoon that what happened has been mischievously misinterpreted by his detractors.

The statement said: “The video shows Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo arriving the Eagle Square for the Presidential swearing-in ceremony in Abuja and was subsequently being re-directed courteously by protocol officials to the rightful position reserved for him at the other side of the VVIPs sitting positions.

“Redirecting invited guests to their rightful sitting position is neither an issue nor a condescending act.

“For the records, Governor Soludo remains one of the few Governors that was respectfully honoured and invited officially to attend the presidential swearing-in ceremony.

“Consequently, we call on the general public to disregard the trending video. It is pure mischief and deliberate act to mis-inform the public.”

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BREAKING: As SSS Blocks EFCC Officials From Accessing Lagos Office

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“They even placed an armoured tank just to scare us away,” one EFCC official told this newspaper.

Officials of the State Security Service (SSS) Tuesday morning prevented officials of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, from gaining access to their office in Ikoyi, Lagos.

As of the time of this report, all the EFCC officials at the office in Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, were prevented from accessing the building by SSS officials, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

“They even placed an armoured tank just to scare us away,” one EFCC official told this newspaper.

Sources in both agencies said there has been an ongoing rivalry between both agencies over the ownership of the building.

Details later…

Premium Times

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