Leading Civil Rights body-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has accused the minister of works Mr Babatunde Fashola(SAN) of being the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ against the person of President Muhammadu Buhari and attracting harsh criticisms for the president amongst the Igbo speaking people of Nigeria.
HURIWA which applauded the president for making a commitment during his recent state visit to Imo state South East of Nigeria to ensure that infrastructural imbalances and gaps suffered by South East of Nigeria is redressed before the end of his tenure in 2023, however has called on President Buhari to note that the minister of works is clearly the Leading cabinet level devil’s advocate against president Buhari in South East of Nigeria going by even his recent clear marginalization of South East amongst the benefitting region to get the federal government emergency roads maintenance and rebuilding initiative announced by Babatunde Fashola.
“We invite Mr. President to note that barely few hours that he made a landmark statement and policy commitment on balancing the infrastructural gaps in the South East of Nigeria, the federal minister of works left out South East of Nigeria in a huge roads repairs initiative thereby seeking to convince the 60 million Igbo speaking people of Nigeria that the current President suffers from IGBOPHOBIA”.
HURIWA quoted president Buhari as reading out a speech during his parley with Igbo leaders of thought in Owerri last Thursday in which the Nigerian president made the following affirmations as it concerns the wide chasm between South East and the rest of Nigeria in terms of roads, thus: ‘‘The fundamental thing about the Igbo people is that there is no town you will visit in Nigeria without seeing the Igbos being in charge of either infrastructure or pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, it is unthinkable for me that any Igbo man would consider himself not to be a part of Nigeria. The evidence is there for everyone to see that Igbos are in charge of Nigeria’s economy. Noting that no country could make any meaningful progress without the development of infrastructure, the President expressed regret that successive governments at the federal level contributed to the decay of critical infrastructure in the country. I firmly believe that when you get infrastructure right, Nigerians will mind their own businesses,’’ he said, adding that as a group, the Igbos stand to benefit more from the ongoing development of infrastructure in the country because ‘‘they are more enterprising.’’
Regrettably however, HURIWA said the minister of works Mr. Babatunde Fashola made a national announcement on imminent national roads repairs initiative but carefully left out South East in a bid to make Igbo speaking people to think that president Buhari hates Ndigbo. HURIWA also listed out minister of Labour Chris Ngige as another minister that has not told the President the truth about the state of federal roads in South East of Nigeria when the minister falsely claimed that the federal road connecting Anambra through Arondizuogu has been upgraded whereas all Federal roads in Imo State are in a serious state of disrepair.
HURIWA recalled that the Works and Housing Minister Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday directed the immediate emergency repairs on failed portions of roads affected by floods in five states across the country.
A statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mrs. Boade Akinola, said the minister gave the directive at a briefing in Abuja.
The affected roads for repairs include Ibadan–Ife road, Gombe–Bauchi road, Gombe–Darazo, Bauchi–Ningi, Bida–Lambata, and Tsamiya Bridge in Jigawa State.
HURIWA said the exclusion of South East of Nigeria amongst the beneficiaries is the practical application of APARTHEID ROAD POLICY AGAINST NDIGBO.