The federal government has given clearer credence to the agitations of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) over instances of marginalization and negligence of the region as far as the present administration is concerned.
This was the general consensus of analysts that reviewed last week’s self assessment by the Federal Government.
The apex government, through the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had noted that some of the major federal roads in the 11 states of the two zones, constructed before the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, had not been given any form of attention till date.
Accordingly, he averred that the worst roads in the country were located in the South-South and South-East geopolitical zones.
Fashola vindicated the IPOB in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, headed by Senator Magnus Abe.
It would be recalled that part of the reasons why IPOB swayed opinion in the two regions recently which led to its purported proscription was discovery of the fact that government had continued to deny the regions equitable attention in the allocation of national resources including road rehabilitation, federal appointments and other issues that suggests marginalization in their views.
A number of Nigerians who discussed the minister’s presentation said Fashola only gave a little chunk of the factors that suggests regional imbalance in the policy, saying the best bet for the unity of the country is to accord the region similar advantages currently enjoyed by other zones including increasing the number states in the South East to at least six and equitable quota in the paramilitary circles of the nation.
Fashola told the senators that the N100 billion sourced through the Sukuk bond, was yet to be released to his Ministry to carry out 25 major road construction projects in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
In his response, Chairman of FERMA committee, Senator Abe, noted that senators who are the true representatives of the people were usually sidelined by heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government when mulling siting of projects.