A pro-Biafra group, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), has kicked against the decision of the Federal government to cancel the construction of the eastern railway project.
The Federal government had recently said it would not be able to complete the Eastern Railway Corridor Project before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in May 2023.
According to the government, the foreign loans needed to fund the project were no longer available.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, who spoke after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on December, 21, said, “The truth of the matter is that, if there was a promise to deliver this line before the end of this administration, this promise is no longer feasible because funding has been a major challenge for this project.”
Reacting to the development, MASSOB accused the Federal government of marginalizing the South-East.
MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, who spoke in Owerri on Friday, December 23, said the Federal government was not being fair to the people of the region.
According to MASSOB, funds realized from oil deposits in the South-East region had been used to develop northern states, to the detriment of the Igbo.
The separatist group also rejected a report by the government that workers of the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), which was to handle the project, were constantly attacked by youths in Abia State.
According to Madu, the construction firm had not even started work in the state.
“The leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra has disagreed with the Nigerian Federal Government on its resolution to cancel the construction of the eastern railway project with an excuse of no money to fund the project.
“President Muhuammadu Buhari-led Federal Government speedily and rigorously developed the core northern states, built and promoted modern railway transportation across northern states and Lagos State, including constructing a highway with money from crude oil from Southeastern states.
“They showcased their hypocritical tendencies against the eastern region with reckless abandon. It is totally hypocritical and unacceptable that there is no money to fund the Eastern railway project,” Madu said.
MASSOB emerged in the late 1990s as a leading body of agitators seeking the actualisation of an independent Biafra nation.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) grew out of MASSOB and has become very influential even after the Nigerian government proscribed it as a terrorist group in 2017.