Jonathan’s Zero Allocation To Rivers State, A Declaration Of War, Says APC
The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned what it described as the non-inclusion of the state in the 2014 budget of the Federal Ministry of Works.
The party said the zero allocation to Rivers State was a confirmation that the presidency was at war with the state.
A statement issued yesterday in Port Harcourt by the Senior Special Aide on Media and Public Affairs to the interim state Chairman of APC, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, said the party was shocked that no provision was made for the state in the 2014 budget.
The party said: “We have learnt with shock and disbelief the zero allocation to Rivers State in the 2014 Budget of the Federal Ministry of Works. What this means is that Rivers State will not receive any federal government project this year!
“No one is deceived by the claim of the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, while defending the ministry’s budget on Tuesday before the House of Representatives Committee on Works, that neither the federal government nor his ministry was at war with the state. If that is the case, then what could have warranted the omission of the state from the list of states that will enjoy federal government presence in terms of capital project execution this year? If this is not war, then what is it?
“This is very sad and condemnable. It is simply unbelievable that President Jonathan could stoop so low as to direct the Ministry of Works to bypass Rivers State just because he has some differences with Governor Chibuike Amaechi.”
The party commended the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Hon. Dakuku Peterside, for staging a walk-out in protest against the zero allocation to the state during the defence of the Federal Ministry of Works 2014 budget.
The statement quoted Peterside, who represents Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency of Rivers State, as having said, ‘I decided to leave the budget session on discovering from the ministry’s details of ongoing projects and 2014 budget proposal that there was no single allocation for projects in Rivers State. The few projects listed in the state got zero allocation. For such criminal neglect, there is definitely more to this omission than meets the eye.’
The APC listed some projects that should attract federal attention and allocation to include the construction of Eleme Junction Flyover and dualisation of the access roads to Onne Port in Rivers State; access roads to Eleme Port Harcourt Refinery; construction of Bodo-Bonny Road with a bridge across the Opobo Channel and the rehabilitation of the Abalamabie (Allison Hart) bridge.
It accused the federal government of carrying out an economic war against the state.
“They have taken away the oil wells in Soku and given them to his (President Goodluck Jonathan) home state, Bayelsa. They have taken the ones between Oyigbo and Etche and given them to Abia. So, our resources continue to dwindle. We used to make between N19 billion and N20 billion; now we are doing N13 billion,” the party lamented.
It also said the federal government had refused to sign the necessary documents that would have assisted the state to obtain an African Development Bank loan to provide pipe-borne water for the state and refused to authorise the release of the two surveillance helicopters procured by the Rivers State Government at N30 billion.
According to Eze, “the refusal of the federal government to approve the release of these machines into the country that would have benefitted the entire Nigerians is a demonstration of how not to play politics with the life of Nigerians.
“With all these sad events it is now very glaring to any sound mind that Rivers State is being treated as a conquered state in a nation in which we are a key player,” he said.
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