HURIWA carpets Buhari, South East politicians over alleged deceptive commissioning of Enugu Airport

Posted by News Express | 1 September 2020 | 1,190 times

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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari “for deceiving the people of the South East by going ahead to commission the Akanu Ibiam International Airport which renovation works have not even reached significant proportion or percentage”.

HURIWA also dismissed as sycophantic rhetoric, the praises heaped on the President by some “political nitwits” of South East over the commissioning exercise which is “a ruse to deceive the gullible people to believe that the Federal Government is up and doing with delivering the needed infrastructures that will enable economic growth to take place.”

The rights group said while conceding that the renovations of the only International Airport serving Nigeria’s most travelled population is a good thing, why do we have to praise the President as if he personally bankrolled the project.

“Far from it, the services and projects delivered by political office holders are done from the resources of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We are disappointed that the Airport was shut down for over a year for renovation and was supposed to have been completed since April, but the Federal Government failed to keep to their words and even when the re-opening was deferred, it has still emerged that the strategic components that should make it standardized are yet to be installed.

“Yet, over 60 million South Easterners were deceived into believing that the government at the centre has completed the renovations for which a paltry N10 billion was approved whereas the National Assembly said the same government has spent N60 billion to renovate the fence at the University of Maduguri in Borno state,” the rights group noted.

Also commenting on what it called “the gullibility of politicians from the South East,” HURIWA said: “The idea that elected politicians of South East extraction are falling on themselves in their sycophantic gambits to outperform each other towards pleasing the ‘powerful’ President Buhari over the yet-to-be-completed renovations works at the Airport, shows that there is a deep deficit of leadership in the South East and should be a pointer for the people who will vote in subsequent elections to look beyond the momentary bribes of bags of salt, rice and wrappers to search for leaders who have strong will and greater peoples friendly character to be elected.”

HURIWA wonders why it took the same government less than two months to renovate the Abuja International Airport, build brand new road to Kaduna Airport and renovated Kaduna Airport to take in flights coming to land in Abuja, but the Akanu Ibiam International Airport was shut for over a year but almost all of the strategic components to enhance safety and standardised services at the Airport are yet to be installed and yet Nigerians of Igbo extraction are made to venerate the President as if they are not part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“As of today, only the runway of the Akanu Ibiam Airport is fully ready which means only local flight can resume.

“The night landing equipment is yet to be fixed. Which means, just like before, no flight can use the airport at night. For now.

“Neither the cargo terminal nor the international terminal building has been completed.

“In a nutshell, the renovation of the International Airport is still continuing even as they have declared it open for use. Most of the facilities required for international operation are yet to be fixed.

“According to the authorities, the entire renovation will be completed before the year runs out.”

HURIWA therefore condemned the haste in pouring rain of gratitude to President Buhari for failing to fully renovate the Airport even one full year after it was shut down and Nigerians were told it would be finished in few weeks.

The rights group said the people must evolve the culture of demanding accountability and transparency from their elected politicians if truly the country wants constitutional democracy not to collapse.

It noted that praising government officials for using public money to build public assets is one way of bringing into being a very dangerous and lawless dictatorship of the strong African ruler which is antithetical to everything Nigerians hold so dear as lovers and builders of a democratic nation.


Source: News Express

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