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Happy 82nd Birthday, Gen Ibrahim Babangida, The Significant Leader Who Gave Us The 3rd Mainland Bridge



The Oasis Reporters


August 17, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food delivery motor bikes are plentiful on the roads and the Third Mainland Bridge to the Island.






By Greg Abolo


One thought came to my mind as I was traveling on the Third Mainland Bridge on Monday, 14th August, 2023 from Ibadan to Lagos. The ambience and calmness of the waters under the long bridge sobered me up.



I was on that bridge for the first time after about a 15 year break and my thoughts went to General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, Nigeria’s one time military president who completed the building of the bridge that was commissioned into service on his birthday, August 17, 1990.

 

General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd).



Here’s a brief background on the history of the 11.8km bridge, which was commissioned in 1990 by the then Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, the longest of the 3 bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.



The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the others are the Eko and Carter bridges. ] It was the longest bridge in Africa until 1996 when the 6th October Bridge located in Cairo was completed.



The bridge starts from Oworonshoki which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi expressway and Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island.


There is also a link midway through the bridge that leads to Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba. The bridge was built by Julius Berger Nigeria PLC.


Phase one of the project was commissioned by President Shehu Shagari in 1980 and completed by President Ibrahim Babangida in 1990; it measures about 11.8 km in length.




So, early in the morning (I was in Lagos then) despite the initial morning rain, clerics of the Islamic faith and some government officials were at the Yaba intersection of the bridge to offer prayers and thank God for the new bridge, aimed at traffic decongestion, as well as to give thanks to God for the life of General Babangida. The event was beamed live on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). A full statue of the military president was erected there. I do not think IBB liked that. He modestly ordered that the statue be reduced to a bust. Well, he saw ahead.




As I was on the bridge, I noticed the reduced traffic on Lagos roads, including the bridge.

That would be a story for another day.

Meanwhile, the much that can be said here, is, kudos to good road maintenance that has occurred, and again, many Nigerians seem to have parked their cars at home. Petrol costs are rising.



Then I saw something else that wasn’t ubiquitous on Lagos roads some years back.


The avalanche of delivery motor bikes. They were many, almost uncountable, flanking us on both sides as we rode. It will be a story, also for another day.

But one little point first.


They were food delivery bikes. From the mainland to the Island. Food for workers who must rise before dawn to get to their various offices. It’s a completely new economy, maturing the food industry.



So, kindly order your food, as we wish the elder General, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, a happy birthday.

Hearty congratulations Sir !

Significant leader that knew much about Infrastructure and national plan for growth.


By Greg Abolo
Additional resource: Wikipedia

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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