An Igbo group known as Aka Ikenga has expressed displeasure over the suspension of work on the second Niger Bridge, describing it as an unpleasant development which does not promote the economic interest of the people in the region.
In a statement issued by its President, Goddy Uwazurike, the group said the suspension of the private public partnership project would greatly affect economic activities in the South-south and South-east regions respectively.
The group noted that the nascent industries in these regions will definitely suffer from the suspension due to heavy reliance on the bridge to ease transportation problems.
The Igbo group also berated President Muhammadu Buhari over his appointments of key officials, describing them as “frightening.”
It urged the president to ensure that this irreparable exclusion of Ndigbo is revised.
The statement read, “Are we still practising democrasy as enshrined in the constitution? Does section 14 still operates or has it been expunged? Federal character is central to the progress of this country,
“We have received the news of the suspension of work on the second Niger Bridge with incredulity. We the members have scanned through all the news media and realised that what has been a rumour for some time now is a reality. We heard the rumour is that the second Niger Bridge will never see the light of day. We doubted it but today, the threat has become a reality.
“We make bold to ask why this public private partnership project will be suspended. After all, the money from federal government is very small. Why do these nefarious men, these nattering nabobs of negativity continue to pull down anything good that will happen to the South-east and South-south.
“We would like to state here that the economic burden that would be lifted off the shoulders of the people in these two zones and indeed Nigerians is mind boggling. The country will rely on this bridge for transportation. The nascent industries in these zones will rely on this bridge and so will the north and south trade that are currently bogged down in Onitsha Head Bridge.”
The group further explained that despite the call by the public for the construction of the bridge which was a private and public partnership project, “the people of Nigeria have consistently asked for this bridge but the federal government, in its wisdom, condescended to the level of public private sectors joint participation, the first in this country. Even at that, the federal government’s contribution is small.”
“The enemies of the people have decided to suspend this project for the flimsiest reasons, indeed for very ridiculous reasons. Those who are sitting on this project should be reminded that the Nnamdi Azikwie said that ‘no condition is permanent,” The group said.