CLAIM: Two bridges on Jebba-Mokwa-Kontagora Road in Niger State have collapsed according to a viral story.
FALSE: The bridges in question are very much intact. The story and pictures that went viral were from 2017 and 2018 stories. Publications show a bridge did collapse in June 2018 and had since been repaired the same year. However, there have been no recent reports of a bridge collapse in Niger state.
The story was to alert the public as it claimed the road was one of the busiest for commuting between the south and the north via Oyo and Kwara States. With the development, motorists and commuters are now left with just one route – Abuja-Lokoja expressway – to access the North, according to the alert.
Investigations by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) showed that the bridges reported to have collapsed are actually intact. More so, findings show that in 2017 as well as in 2018, the recent viral story and photos were reported both in major Nigerian dailies and social media
In June 2018, major dailies- Premium Times, Vanguard, The Nation and Leadership in their publications, reported the incident. The timeline followed reports on the collapse of the bridges, the warning by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the intervention by the federal government.
In the 2018 reports, the FRSC alerted the public over the collapse of a bridge after Mowo Junction on the Mokwa-Jebba road, due to heavy rainfall. The bridge is also located about one kilometre from Tatabu Bridge – a bridge that collapsed in 2017 – and was later fixed by the Nigerian government the following year.
The Mokwa-Jebba Road is a major transit route for travelers between Abuja and Ilorin. The temporary fixing of the bridge by the federal government alleviated vehicular movement on the Mokwa-Jebba road. Interestingly, the repairs actually occured in less than a 24-hour window.
The bridges in question are very much intact. The story and pictures that went viral were from 2017 and 2018 stories. In June 2018, a bridge did collapse but was subsequently repaired according to publications. However, there have been no recent reports of a bridge collapse in Niger state.
While it is important for citizens to actively condemn bad governance and the government’s history of providing inferior infrastructure, it is equally important (and morally right) to be careful not to spread false information about the government.