Approved $1bn For Military Hardware: We Need Same Funds For Niger Delta – IYC


Following the recent approval of $1 billion by President Muhammadu Buhari for the military to buy equipment to combat Boko Haram in the north, the Ijaws in Niger Delta, yesterday kicked against the Federal Government decision without recourse to legislative approval, saying Niger Deltans needs same approval of funds for the implementation of the Niger Delta development master-plan.

The Ijaws, under the aegis of Ijaw Youth Congress said “if the executive arm can on its own approve such amount of money to prosecute the much defeated Boko Haram sects then we see no reason why Niger Delta region should not get lion share of the slush funds”.

IYC, speaking through its National President, Pereotubo Oweilaemi, said there is no justification for the release of such funds to combat Boko Haram sects whom the government had previously declared defeated.

The statement reads, “is there anything that the Federal Government is not telling Nigerians? IYC smell a rat in this shoddy plan to spend taxpayers’ money on this fruitless venture.

“To us in the Niger Delta region, the money said to be approved by the President for the Boko Haram crisis is a smokescreen. There is more to it than meet the ordinary eyes”.

“President Buhari should use the money to address other critical sectors in the country. In the Niger Delta, we have several projects littered in the region that are begging for government’s attention.

“The growing silence on part of the Federal Government, constitutes more threats to peace in this country. The Ogoni clean up exercise is still a mirage, the Escravos Gas City project has been tactically abandoned by this Government. The Federal Government is owing NDDC billions of Naira.

While advising the Federal Government to revive the moribund deep sea ports and dockyards in Burutu and other coastal towns in the region, the Ijaws further cited the coastal highway road project awarded by the Yar’Adua government which according to them needs $1 billion for its take off and the East West Road project which is still begging for completion, are projects that will not only generate income to the government but also guarantee peace in the region thereby boosting the economy.

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Senior Writer

Bura-Bari Nwilo lives in Port Harcourt, in Nigeria. He is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness – a book of stories.

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