The Indigenous People of Biafra has protested against the alleged move to name the Second Niger Bridge after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The group, in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, on Monday, rejected naming the bridge after Buhari, “because he came to power and completely sidelined our people.”
IPOB claimed that under Buhari’s watch, South-East youths were being slaughtered by security agents with reckless abandon.
It said the facility should rather be called the Achuzie Bridge or named after any other accomplished Igbo patriot, adding that no big project in the North had been named after an Igboman.
“Under his watch, terrorists masquerading as Fulani herdsmen have invaded our communities, killing innocent men and women after destroying our farms with their cows,” IPOB stated.
The group also denied the allegation of the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, that IPOB disturbed the construction of the Second Niger Bridge.
It said, “This is another lie from the pit of hell. We want to challenge Fashola to substantiate his claims. Did IPOB in any way physically interfere with the construction of the bridge by either directly or indirectly hindering any worker, either foreign or local, handling the project?
“Fashola should know that if not for IPOB that has ensured security in the South-East, the workers of Julius Berger would have run away from the site a long time ago. If the Second Niger Bridge is being done in the North, Boko Haram, Ansaru, ISWAP and the pampered bandits would have chased them away. That shows them that the South-East is more peaceful than the North.”
It also stated that sycophants in the Buhari regime derive joy in calling IPOB names in order to deceive the President.
The statement read in part, “The South-East has more credible names and more important persons, who the Federal Government can name the Second Niger Bridge after. We have a galaxy of accomplished Africans like Prof Chinua Achebe, Chu Okongwu, Cyprian Ekwensi, Alexander Ekwueme, Chief Michael Okpara, Dr Akanu Ibiam, Mbonu Ojike, Chief Kenneth Dike, Eni Njoku, Dora Akunyili, Dr Sam Mbakwe, Achuzie, Phillips Efiong and the living legend, Chief Amaechi Mbazuruike
“All these names mentioned above are eminently qualified for the Second Niger Bridge to be named after them. The Second Niger Bridge was awarded since 1979 by the Shehu Shagari administration and since then, no administration found it worthy to execute, but IPOB’s agitation for self-determination pushed this APC administration to reluctantly embark on its construction, using the funds past Nigerian politicians looted and starched away in Europe.
“We are aware of the condition given by a certain European country that they will only release stolen funds starched away in their country if the funds will be channelled to the construction of the Second Niger Bridge. This is what compelled the Nigerian government to embark on the bridge project and not out of love for the Igbo people of Biafra. We reject naming the bridge after Buhari when we have other better names.”