No Official Comment Yet On Ramming Of Udu Bridge By Ship

By Frank Oshanugor

More than 48 hours after a video began to trend on the social media showing a big ship sailing towards the Udu Bridge near Warri in Delta State and almost ramming into it, no arm of government has officially commented on the incident.

The ship which looks more like an oil tanker with capacity to lift large volume of crude oil could be seen in the video sailing in a manner that suggested the Captain had lost control as the massive looking ship was heading uncontrollably towards the Udu Bridge that links Udu-Orhuwhorun-Ovwian-Aladja areas to the city of Warri.

Some bystanders on the water side could be seen and heard, screaming and raising alarm that the ship was heading to destroy the “only bridge that Udu Road has.” In their anxiety as the ship steadily made her way towards the bridge in spite of attempt by two Tug Boats painted in blue and white colours to form a wedge for the ship, the boys were yelling and asking nobody in particular to alert the Local Government Chairman.

The yelling became louder as the ship’s upper region came in contact with the bridge. The Tug Boats could not stop the ship from almost ramming into the bridge. The only saving grace was the low impact as the speed of the ship had highly reduced as at the time it got to the bridge.

Initially, it was feared that the impact could strike down the bridge built over forty years ago prior to the construction of the multi-billion naira Delta Steel Company Ovwian-Aladja in Nigeria’s Second Republic. The bridge has over the years served as the link access for residents and travellers between Warri city and Udu-Orhuwhorun-Ovwian-Aladja communities.

As at press time, neither the authorities of the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force nor other state security agencies have openly reacted to the trending video, to explain what happened. It is still a surprise how such a humongous ship could deviate from the normal navigable route to find her way towards non-sailable route for ships in that category.

Investigation by Atlanticnewsonline in Warri could not yield fruitful result with respect to the incident as nobody could authoritatively say something about the incident. The much we could gather from a few who spoke on the basis of anonymity was that the ship suspected to be used for oil bunkering was probably trying to escape arrest and incidentally found her way to the wrong direction.

Naval authorities in Warri area could not be reached but when *AtlanticNewsonline got in touch with the spokesman of the Delta State Police Command, Asaba, Bright Edafe; a Deputy Superintendent of Police, he confirmed haven seen the trending video but did not have any valid information with respect to the incident. He promised to investigate and get back to us.

Meanwhile, some residents of Warri and environ are wondering why such incident could happen and nobody has been able to come out with explanation to Nigerians who

have watched the trending video on what actually happened and possibly douse the tension such an incident may have created particularly with respect to the safety of

commuters along the Udu bridge. It is feared that the slight ramming of the ship on one side of the bridge could have some damaging effect.

The relevant authorities need to re-assess the strength of the bridge for further use.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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