The All Progressive Congress (APC) in the South South geopolitical zone and the Non Governmental Coalition for Environment have disagreed with President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State over the N700 billion super highway, deep seaport and other mega projects in the state, alleging that “it is a scam.”
Addressing newsmen yestrerday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, the Vice Chairman, South South of the APC, Hilliard Etta said: “When the President came here and broke the ground for the construction of the superhighway. I disagreed with my President. And I said I do not believe in this project. This project is a scam. I said so from the beginning and today, Nigerians are beginning to see that it was a scam. It was just a process of logging our woods and destroying the last rain forest in Africa for private profit because I cannot imagine where Cross River State would find N700 billion to build a road like that.”
The APC chieftain queried the siting of a rice city in Calabar “whereas Obubra, Yala and others in north and central districts of the state produce rice in large quantity.”
However, Governor Ayade who is not taking lightly opposition to the projects, blasted former Chairman of the state Forestry Commission and current chair of the NGO’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Dr. Odigha Odigha whom he sacked for allegedly selling wood, accusing him of unnecessary antagonism of the current administration in the state.
He had said the completion of the deep seaport and super highway projects would create 30,000 jobs and benefit Kogi, Nasarawa and Plateau states in respect of seamless movement of people and goods.
Odigha, while refuting the ‘shady deal’ claim for the umpteenth time, said: “I want development and we are craving for sustainable development. The super highway must not pass through the tropical thick forest and that is the only heritage we have of note. It is better advised that he pulled the super highway out of the precinct forest and leave the rain forest alone. That is what the world is saying.”