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APC says Jonathan is toying with Ndigbo

Osita Okechukwu

The opposition All Progressives Congress on Sunday accused President Goodluck Jonathan of toying with issues and projects that concerned the Igbo people of the South-East.

The APC allegation came ahead of the inauguration of the second Niger Bridge on Monday (today).

The party spoke through its spokesperson in the South-East zone, Mr. Osita Okechukwu.

Okechukwu said that whereas the APC was in favour of the immediate construction of the second Niger Bridge, the party frowned that the project was not being directly funded by the Federal Government.

The party recalled that the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, penultimate week at his palace, challenged the President for reneging on his promise during the 2011 presidential campaign to inaugurate the second Niger Bridge.

The APC statement read, “We are at a loss why President Jonathan, three years down the line, after making the promise to complete the construction of the much-treasured second Niger Bridge, never deemed it fit to include it in any of his national budgets.

“Accordingly, it is our candid view that the debt tilts more in favour of President Jonathan’s political campaign slush fund; because if the second Niger Bridge has found its way into any of President Jonathan’s national budget, Nigeria could have saved over N70bn through competitive bidding.

“For is it not a paradox that Lagos State government awarded 1.3km Epe-Lekki bridge of similar status to Julius Berger Plc and completed it at N29bn, while the same company without competitive bid got 1.8km second Niger Bridge at N117bn, a whopping difference of N88bn?

“APC South-East, regrettably, observes a trend where Ndigbo has become a toy to play with on President Jonathan’s hand. As he seems to have forgotten too early in the day that Ndigbo sacrificed our turn to be president of Nigeria in the nearest future on his altar, hence unwittingly created unsavoury relationship between Ndigbo and their contemporaries in the Nigerian political landscape.”

The party noted that the President had inaugurated with fanfare a non-operational Onitsha seaport, where no vessel had landed up to date.

It also claimed that the Enugu Coal-Fired Power Plant the President promised had become an empty promise.

The South-East APC also lamented that most federal roads in the South-East were either dilapidated or on “patch-patch” work by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency.

It added, “And now the President wants to leave a huge debt hanging on the neck of the people of South-East by borrowing a enormous amount in their name, forgetting the old English proverb, which admonishes that, he who goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing,”

“In sum, the least we expected our beloved President to have done as pay back was to instruct our sister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and our wife, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Ministers of Finance and Petroleum respectively, to fund the second Niger Bridge from the $10.8bn crude oil squandered fund, instead of hanging the cross of Shylock-Toll-Gate on our neck.”

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