The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra has criticised the Federal Government over its resolution to cancel the reconstruction of the eastern railway project.
MASSOB, in a statement in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Friday, by its leader, Uchenna Madu, accused the FG of deliberately marginalising the people of the South-East in infrastructural development.
The Federal Government had on Wednesday said it would not be able to complete the narrow-gauge eastern railway corridor before the end of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in May 2023, following the non-availability of the foreign loans required to fund the project.
In April 2022, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation commenced the construction of the 2044.1km Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge railway project, which the Minister of Transportation at the time, Rotimi Amaechi, said would stimulate economic activities in 14 states, including the five states in the South-East.
Amaechi had added that the laying of rail tracks might reach the Enugu State capital in September 2022, with the hope of completing the project before May 2023.
But while inspecting the progress of work in September, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, disclosed that the contractor in charge of the project, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, complained of incessant attacks on its workers around the Abia State axis of the rail corridor.
However, MASSOB said the FG had continued to use proceeds from oil deposits from the South-East to develop northern states to the detriment of the Igbo region.
“President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is not ashamed of the impunities they have committed and are still committing through various sectors of his corrupt administration. Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government speedily and rigorously developed the core northern states, and built and promoted modern railway transportation across northern states and Lagos State, including constructing a highway with money from crude oils from southeastern states.
“MASSOB also disagrees and rejects the report by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government that the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company workers are incessantly harassed by youths in Abia State. This Chinese construction company has not started its work in Abia State; even their workers are not in Abia State.”