Make 2nd Niger Bridge our first palliative, JDPC tells Jonathan
From ALOYSIUS ATTAH, Onitsha
Thursday, January 26, 2012
The Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Onitsha Catholic Archdiocese, has appealed to the Federal Government to muster courage and construct the Second Niger Bridge from the proceeds of the oil subsidy removal.
Making the call in Onitsha, the Archdiocesan JDPC Coordinator, Rev. Martin Onukuba, said the reactions of angry Nigerians on the subsidy removal policy of the government was as a result of the betrayal of trust by successive governments in Nigeria in the provision of basic infrastructure and making life meaningful for the citizens He also regretted that the construction of the Second Nigeria Bridge had been a campaign gimmick by political office holders in the past while the present Niger Bridge had been over burdened. He therefore called on Mr. President to build and consolidate trust among Nigerians by taking firm decisions and matching words with action.
“The much talked about Second Nigeria Bridge has been a recurring issue for so many years and we don’t know whom to trust again. The most scandalous in the whole thing was the revelation that the contract was never signed in the first place even when a former president once came to flag off the project. This has been a promise and since we’ve heard it over and over again, we urge the government to now actualize the project. Let this be our first benefit from the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme.
“While we appreciate government’s plan to bring back railways, we also should think about this bridge first because if this is done, the people of South-east and Nigerians will give more support to government programmes.”
Also reflecting on the lessons learnt from the protest over subsidy removal, the cleric said it had shown that Nigerians were now more conscious of their rights and the power of their voices in a democracy. He, therefore, advised political office holders to perform because their mandate renewal during elections henceforth would be determined by their output while in office.