The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has resisted plans to name the second Niger Bridge after President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group in a statement on Wednesday said the bridge should be named Achuzie or other accomplished Igbo patriots, and not Buhari.
Buhari’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, had disclosed that the Second Niger Bridge was named after the President.
A statement by IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said: “The attention of the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been drawn to the laughable plan by the Fulani-controlled Federal Government of Nigeria to name the second Niger Bridge after President Muhammadu Buhari by Fulani-controlled Federal Government.
“We wish to restate our position on this and reject naming the second Niger bridge after the name of a Fulani man who came to power and completely sidelined our people. Under his watch, our youths have been slaughtered by security agents with reckless abandon. Under his watch, terrorists masquerading as Fulani herdsmen have invaded our communities killing innocent men and women after destroying our farms with their cows. These jihadists have raped our mothers and sisters and spread insecurity across our land. How can a man who supervised all these pains on our people be rewarded with immortalising his name among us?
“IPOB is vehemently opposed to naming the second Niger Bridge after Buhari. The bridge should rather be called ACHUZIE BRIDGE or other accomplished Igbo patriots. No Igboman has been named after any big project in the north.”
The separatist group also dismissed claims by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola that its members tried to disrupt the construction of the bridge.
IPOB described the claim credited to Fashola as a lie.
He added: “Again, we want to debunk the allegation by Fashola that IPOB disturbed the construction of second Niger Bridge. This is another lie from the pit of hell. We want to challenge Fashola to substantiate his claims. Did IPOB in any way physical interfere with the construction of the bridge by either directly or indirectly hindering any worker either foreign or local handling the project? Fashola should know that we don’t have his time. He should face his job and not dare us because he is too little to dance to our music.
“South East has more credible names and more important persons who the federal government can name the second Niger bridge after. We have a galaxy of accomplished Africans like Chief Chinua Achebe the writer of (THINGS FALL APART), late Chu Okongwu the renowned economics and a simple man of his time, late Cyprian Ekwensi the author of African Night Entertainment, late Alexander Ekwueme former Vice President of Nigeria, late Chief Michael Okpara former premier of Eastern Region, late Dr Akanu Ibiam, late Mbonu Ojike, late Chief Kenneth Dike the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, late Professor Eni Njoku the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, late Dora Akunyili, late Dee Sam. O Mbakwe, late Achuzie, late Phillips Efiong and the living legend Chief Amaechi Mbazuruike.
All these names mentioned above are eminently qualified for the second Niger Bridge to be named after them.
“Second Niger Bridge was awarded in 1979 by the Shehu Shagari regime and since then no administration found it worthy to execute it but IPOB agitation for self-determination pushed this APC administration to reluctantly embark on its construction using the funds past Nigerian politicians looted and stashed away in Europe. We are aware of the condition given by a certain European country that they will only release stolen funds stashed away in their country if the funds will be channelled towards the construction of the second Niger Bridge. This is what compelled the Nigerian government to embark on the bridge project not out of love for the Igbo people of Biafra. We reject naming the bridge after Buhari when we have other better names.”