The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has warned the Federal Government of Nigeria against the planned naming of the second Niger Bridge after President Muhammadu Buhari when completed.
The militant group also refuted the allegation by Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, that IPOB disturbed the construction of the second Niger Bridge, describing the claim as false.
In a statement issued yesterday by Emma Powerful, Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, the group alleged that Buhari watched helplessly, as terrorists masquerading as Fulani herdsmen invaded Biafran communities, killing innocent men and women, after destroying their farms with their cattle.
The statement reads:
“The attention of the global movement and family of IPOB under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the plan by the Federal Government to name the second Niger Bridge after President Buhari.
“We restate our position and reject naming the second Niger Bridge after a Fulani man who came to power and completely sidelined our people. Under his watch, security agents have been slaughtering our youths with reckless abandon.
“IPOB is vehemently opposed to naming second Niger Bridge after Buhari. The bridge should rather be named Achuzie Bridge or after other accomplished Igbo patriots. No big project has been named after any Igboman in the North.”
The group challenged Fashola to substantiate his claims with evidences of how and when IPOB disrupted or interfered with the construction of the bridge by directly or indirectly hindering any local or foreign worker handling the project.
“The South East has more credible names and more important persons, like the late Chinua Achebe, Chu Okongwu, Cyprian Ekwensi, Alex Ekwueme, Michael Okpara, Akanu Ibiam, Mbonu Ojike and Kenneth Dike, among others, who the Federal Government can name the second Niger Bridge after,” IPOB said in the statement.
The group recalled that the second Niger Bridge was awarded since 1979 by the Shehu Shagari regime and that since then, no administration found it worthy to execute it.
IPOB further claimed that its agitation for self-determination pushed the All Progressives Congress, APC, administration to reluctantly embark on its construction using the recovered funds past Nigerian politicians looted and stashed away in foreign countries.