Residents of Bitagi, a suburb of Mokwa local council in Niger State, believe they live in a separate world amid the government’s neglect and catastrophic floods that submerge their self-made wooden bridges linking the community to nearby villages.
“When it rains, the residents have to find alternative routes to ply because floods do take over our bridges,” Idris Abdullahi, a resident of the village told WikkiTimes.
Abdullahi believes the villagers would have been less worried if the roads connecting them with other villagers via Takuma — a neighbouring community — are motorable.
“Since rainfall has slightly stopped now, residents who attempt to travel out of the village will have a sad story to tell on the road,” he said.
NOT ONLY FLOODING
Abdullahi further explained that the community also suffers from water scarcity. According to him, villagers had to travel a long distance to fetch water from a stream. “The handheld boreholes in our community had stopped working for years,” he lamented.
As a deserted community, they also try to give a conducive environment for their children to learn, yet the roofs are being sacrificed to powerful winds.
“We built a clayed classroom for children to learn but winds blew off its roofs and later flood destroyed it,” he said.
Yahaya Muhammed, another resident, said the community is not a priority to the ruling class and “as such, we can not force them to site projects in our village,” he said.
A Universal Basic Education (UBE) school with only a classroom was later built in the village during the administration of the former governor, Mua’zu Babangida.
“We have been pleading with the government for about 15 years now, but our pleas fell on the deaf ears,” Muhammed told WikkiTimes.
Corroborating Abdullahi’s account, he said, “the two manual boreholes in the community had stopped working.
“The residents now opt for stream water which is often unclean,” Muhammed bemoaned. “The borehole water is better as it is neat and pure but the community has no option.”
Tsuyankpa Jibrin, the village of the community who spoke to WikkiTimes noted that the deplorable roads were good hitherto before flooding decimated them.
Citing the hardships posed by collapsed bridges, the monarch said many residents travel through Takuma village, a route that multiplies their travelling hours.
“I do urge residents to reconstruct bridges and fill the dug area with stones but it is beyond the community to rebuild the road,” the monarch told WikkiTimes.
He added: “I went to a company constructing roads and culverts in nearby villages to help us but saw none of them. Apart from the school, no single project from the government has benefited the community.”
Mohammed Suleiman, the Local Government Information Officer told WikkiTimes that the council will look into WikkiTimes’ findings and revert. Afterwards, the officer would neither respond to calls nor a text sent to him.