Reps probe Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway contracts

House of Representatives in a rowdy session over new fuel price at the National Assembly in Abuja …. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO<[/caption] • MOSOP accuses lawmakers of endorsing injustice

The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Committee on Works to investigate the nature of contracts and concession arrangements on the Second Niger Bridge and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.Following this, they urged the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to include funds in the 2018 budget for the completion of the projects.

Solomon Maren (PDP, Plateau State) said that unless the projects were completed, commuters would continue to experience difficulties in transportation.

According to him: “The House notes that contracts for construction of the Second Niger Bridge and reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway have continued to feature in the annual budgets without any seeming signs of their completion or the amount required to do so.

Mohammed Sani (Bauchi State) said it was necessary to ascertain whether the projects were concessioned or subsumed under direct funding by the federal government.It was later established that Lagos-Ibadan road was under concession while the Second Niger bridge was not.

Ruling on the motion, Lasun heeded the prayer, asking the Committee on Works to investigate the nature of the Contracts and concession arrangements and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

The lawmakers similarly urged the Armed Forces Council and the Federal Ministry of Defense to halt the plan to stop admission of Combatant Female cadets into the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA.Omosede Igbinedion (PDP,  Edo) said that the media have been awash with stories of such plan.

She said the plan was against the affirmation action for women, urging the military to reconsider their position.The Committee was given four weeks within which to conclude its assignments and report back to the House for further legislative action.

The House also commenced investigation into N 1.3 trillion intervention funds of the Federal Government’s National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) assessment initiatives.

Meanwhile, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) says the description of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others as ‘’duly considered and endorsed’’ is an act of endorsement of injustice by the House of Representatives.

They said the position of the House on the execution of Saro-Wiwa and others in 1995 indeed frightens the Ogoni people and re-enforces their fears that Nigeria remains uncommitted to social justice.

MOSOP Publicity Secretary, Fegalo Nsuke, said while Ogoni people are not bothered about the House setting aside a motion to honour Saro-Wiwa and others, they are however, shocked at the position taken by the lawmakers on the Ogoni executions as it does not only mislead the public but also places a big question on members’ perception of law and justice.

“We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate perception and strongly express our displeasure over this position which to us is an anti-Ogoni stance taken by the House of Representatives on the unfortunate killing of our leaders in 1995.’’

It is indeed pitiable that today’s parliamentarians do not remember that Saro-Wiwa was not only executed, his body was also burnt with acid. To these parliamentarians, could this shame be part of their understanding of “duly considered and endorsed” he said.

MOSOP declared that it was quite contemptuous for the House to describe the execution, which caused global outrage, and suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth as “duly considered and endorsed.” 

They further that, it was regrettable that a sham trial that led to the execution of Saro-Wiwa and others was considered to have passed due process by the House.

Nsuke said the 1995 hangings, which was described by former External Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, as State murder, remains one of the darkest and most painful history of the Ogoni people. But even in death, the Ogoni people still hold Ken Saro-Wiwa in very high esteem and as a people with very long memory, they cannot so easily forget the circumstances in which the Nigerian authorities killed these innocent nine on November 10, 1995. According to him, Ogoni people reject every mockery of their sacrifices for the people.



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