A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Patrick Ifon has called on the Federal Government to extend its on-going rail project to the coastal areas of Eket and Oron in Akwa Ibom.
Ifon, representing Eket Federal Constituency, made the call while speaking with newsmen on Thursday in Eket.
He noted that the call had become necessary in view of the reports `in certain quarters’ that the proposed Niger Delta Development Masterplan had been distorted.
The lawmaker said that was unacceptable to the people of the state that the rail designed to pass through Eket to Oron had been removed, thus cutting out the entire Eket Senatorial District.
According to him, a situation of diverting the rail line out of Eket Senatorial District amounts to an act of injustice to the people of the area.
He charged the federal ministries of works and transportation to consider the economic importance of the rail line passing through Eket and Oron and its benefits to the oil installations and the proposed Ibom Deep Seaport located in the areas.
“Over 504, 000 barrels of crude oil, amounting to over 50.4 million dollars is been extracted from Eket Senatorial District in Akwa Ibom every day while the people live in polluted environment.
“A rail line which would have brought economic benefits to the people of Eket senatorial District, considering the strategic position of the district as the hub of oil and gas in the country, has now been diverted to pass through Uyo to Calabar. This is unacceptable.
“We cannot fold our hands and allow such injustice be meted on us as oil producing communities that bear the negative effects of oil exploration. The rail line must be restored, for the sake of justice and development,” he said.
According to him, “the bane of Nigeria’s development is the politicisation of the economy through uneven implementation of projects as well as policy inconsistency.’’
While condemning the continuous killings of innocent citizens in some parts of the north, the lawmaker called for the full implementation of community policing as part of long term measures to address insecurity in the country.
He said that traditional ruler and community leaders should play major roles in community policing and commended law enforcement agencies in the state for their role in the reduction of crime (NAN)