The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have rejected the idea of the proposed Second Niger Bridge being named after President Muhammadu Buhari.
Earlier this month, a media assistant to the President, Bashir Ahmad hinted on social media that the Bridge was going to be called the Muhammadu Buhari Bridge. A decision that IPOB have called “laughable”.
In a statement signed by the IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group rejected the proposed name. They also added that under Buhari’s watch, South-East youths have been slaughtered by security agents.
The statement read,
“The attention of the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the command and leadership of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the laughable plan by the Federal Government of Nigeria to name the second Niger Bridge after President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We wish to restate our position on this and reject naming the second Niger bridge after a man who came to power and completely sidelined our people.
“Under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch, our youths have been slaughtered by security agents with reckless abandon. Under his watch, terrorists masquerading as Fulani herdsmen have invaded our communities, killing innocent men and women after destroying our farms with their cows.
“These jihadists have raped our mothers and sisters and spread insecurity across our land. How can a man who supervised all these pains against our people be rewarded with immortalizing his name with a project like second Niger Bridge which is an important edifice in Igbo land.
“IPOB is vehemently opposed to naming second Niger Bridge after Buhari. The bridge should rather be called Achuzie bridge or named after other accomplished Igbo patriots. No Igboman has been named after any big project in the North.”
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The group also debunked an allegation by the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, that they had disturbed the bridge’s construction.
“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?”
The statement also mentioned what they described as more credible names and persons the bridge could be named after.
“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 who can be named after the bridge, like Chinua Achebe, the writer of THINGS FALL APART; Chu Okongwu, the renowned Economist and a simple man of his time; Cyprian Ekwensi, the author of African Night Entertainment; Dr Alexander Ekwueme, former Vice President of Nigeria; Chief Michael Okpara, former Premier of Eastern Region; Dr. Akanu Ibiam, Mbonu Ojike, Kenneth Dike the first Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan; Professor Eni Njoku, the first Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos; Dora Akunyili, Dee Sam Onunaka Mbakwe; Phillips Efiong and the living legend, Chief Mbazuluike Amechi.”