Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 25 March 2015 | 4,475 times
The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday in Onitsha promised to build a toll–free 2nd Niger Bridge if elected into office on Saturday, vowing to also revoke the ongoing contract awarded by the present administration under Public Private Partnership (PPP), with provision for toll collection.
The APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, who was absent from the event, spoke through the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Audu Ogbeh, said it was not fair for the PDP government to be contemplating building a bridge in which users would be paying toll fees, when the country has the resources to build the bridge for the people.
According to Ogbeh, money for the building of the bridge would be saved from blocking the avenues of financial corruption that had in so many ways impoverished the country and her people by those in authority.
While pointing out that the present government has been spending nearly 90% of the country’s income on recurrent expenditure where the high corruption is embedded, Ogbe said that an APC government would ensure that the resources of the country were properly accounted for and used for the benefit of Nigerians.
He regretted that the economy of the South East geo-political zone has been on the downward trend because of the unfavourable government policies and promised that APC government would reverse the situation when it takes over power in May this year.
“The South-East cannot be overlooked. It is the place Nigeria’s industrial revolution will take place. We recall that many industries took off in this part of the country, but unfavourable structural adjustments led to the collapse of most of the industries. The APC sees South East as a strategic zone for the survival of Nigeria industrially, but with the present situation, it is very difficult for the industries to survive.
“APC believes that power must rotate among the geo-political zones and the best bet for the Igbos to occupy the office of the president of Nigeria is for them to support Buhari in 2015,” he noted.
He further noted that the whole of the South-East cities would be linked by rail, just as the party would also properly dredge the River Niger to make it possible for the business community to clear their goods in Onitsha.
Earlier in his speech, the Dr. Dozie Ikedife, who was the chairman of the town hall meeting said there is need for the Igbo to support Buhari because of their desire to return to the center of action in Nigeria.
“We need a toll –free 2nd Niger Bridge because no bridge in Nigeria is on toll. We hope that if Buhari comes to office on May 29, 2015, the bridge will be completed by 2018.
“Also, 32 years after the commissioning of Onitsha River Port, no ship has berthed there, just as the Aba Dry Port also commissioned several years ago has remained abandoned.”
He called on Nigerian leaders not to push the Igbo tribe out of the country as their actions tend to portray, and made a personal request on APC that he would like to see an Igbo president before he dies.
However, the event which was billed to start by 1pm started at 5:46 following the late arrival of the presidential campaign entourage.
Explaining reason for Buhari’s absence, former governor of Anambra State and senatorial candidate for Anambra Central, Senator Chris Ngige, said the APC candidate had to attend an urgent meeting with ECOWAS commission in Abuja, adding that he had to travel to Abuja after APC rally in Owerri as a result of the urgent call.
He said Buhari might still make it to Onitsha if time permits and apologised for keeping the people waiting for a long time.
•Photo shows prototype of the Second Niger Bridge.
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