May 9, 2014
Ola’ Audu, PremiumTimes
The bridge was reportedly bombed on Monday when the Boko Haram gunmen were retreating from the attack on Gamboru Town.
Members of the Boko Haram have detonated an explosive that destroyed a highway bridge linking Nigeria and Chad, security sources and witnesses said.
Hundreds of heavy duty trucks plying the Chad-Nigeria highway along Gamboru-Ngala Local Government conveying commodities from the two countries are now left stranded on either sides of the bridge.
Though residents say small passenger cars could still make it to either sides as the frames of the old bridge are left hanging in bad shape, traders lament the economic loss they stand to suffer not being able to transport their wares in the nearest future.
”The Boko-Haram is gradually caging us in, the bridge is the only one that links Gamboru from the other side of Borno and Nigeria as a whole; it has been destroyed. We are in trouble,” said a trader whose shop was completely burnt during the Monday attack on Gamboru that left over 100 people dead.
An official of the Department of State Security, SSS, in Maiduguri who confirmed the incident said “only small cars can risk crossing over the bridge; any truck or heavily loaded vehicle would definitely go down”.
The officer who spoke off the record said the bridge was bombed on Monday when the Boko Haram gunmen were retreating from their attack on Gamboru Town.
”The bridge is located between Gamboru and Logomani villages; the bomb has seriously damaged it; they detonated it on the bridge when they were retreating from Gamboru town as a reinforcement of our troops engaged them in shoot out”.
Traders whose wares are now trapped on the sides of the bridge now pay more for small vehicles to help them get their wares off the heavy trucks, and across the bridge.
”It is not only very expensive, but not every driver would want to spend an hour there because the Boko-Haram gunmen might strike any time in that desert route,” Bukar Awa’ana, a trader said.
He noted that even before the destruction of the bridge, trade merchants had lost millions of naira as a result of attacks on commodity trucks.
”The roads are in bad shape and trucks have to drive very slowly for days to get into Nigeria or out to Chad, and in the process, they suffer serious attacks, our drivers are often killed and the vehicles burnt with the goods in most cases”, lamented Mr. Awa’ana who travels between Nigeria and Chad for his business.