MY POSITION ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STANCE ON BONNY-BODO ROAD PROJECT.
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press.
you all know that the Bonny-Bodo road project is not new to us the host communities and Nigerians.
You are aware that on 1st March 2017, I moved a motion on the abandonment of construction of the Bonny – Bodo Road Project. Also recall that on 8th of June 2017, my brothers at the Senate supported the move by a motion sponsored by Distinguished Senators George Sekibo and Osinaka Chukwu Ideozu.
You all also are aware of the maximum cooperation and peaceful atmosphere promoted and championed by the King, his Majesty, the Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of Ancient Grand Bonny Kingdom in ensuring the smooth commencement of the much lingered project.
While all critical stakeholders are gearing up for the project, I was taken aback by the Federal Government of Nigeria’s threat to withdraw funding for Bonny-Bodo Road, sighting insecurity and communal differences by our sister communities as was carried by the “Punch Newspapers of 23rd February” credited to the Honourable Minister of Power, Works & Housing, His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fashola.(SAN).
I see this as a clear act of sabotage by Julius Berger Plc and the Federal Government. This same Julius Berger has been in Bonny for well over two decades and carried out several projects. I cannot remember any occasion when security challenges affected their operations.
I have strong evidence that Julius Berger has been disrupting the peace of the Community and creating an atmosphere of rancour in order to sabotage the project and short change our people without minding the economic benefits to our people, our cooperate citizens and the entire country.
The Federal Government should not make Rivers people and Nigerians believe that there is an orchestrated plan to create problem in our neighbouring communities and deny us this project. It was this same government that has unleashed all kinds military operations never before known in our history. These operations include “Crocodile Smiles” in the Niger Delta, “Python Dance” in the South East, “Lafiya Dole” in the North East and very recently, “Cat Race” in the Middle Belt. Despite all these shows of military might, the Federal Government is still complaining of security challenges and attempting to use that excuse to deny the host communities in particular and the national of this very important project. This is to say the least, very laughable and at same time mind boggling. Are they telling us that government is not capable of her delivering on one of its cardinal constitutional roles of providing security for the lives and properties of the governed?
If this road was to be sighted in some other part of the country, would the government be threatening fund withdrawal? Now that the project is in the Niger Delta region, the FG wants our people, who have suffered deprivation, despoliation and degradation of their environment, to provide security for the project.
let me inform, that bonny kingdom under his majesty King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, CON, JP, Perekule XI Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of Ancient Bonny Kingdom, has been peaceful and had maintained mutual co-existence with all her sister communities and cooperate bodies. The king in collaborative efforts with NLNG has set up high-powered committees saddled with responsibilities of midwifing the processes of smooth start and maintaining enabling environment which so far has performed creditably well.
Julius Berger Nig Plc, with the active connivance with FG, wants to play god by chasing shadows. God cannot be played by mere mortals neither would our people be short-changed by the politics of Julius Berger Nig Plc and FG.
Nigerians and the world should be note that Federal Government of Nigeria and Julius Berger Nig Plc have perfected plans to scuttle the much desired Federal Bonny-Bodo Road. Our people would not condone this shadiness as well are determined to pursue its completion by all available legitimate means.