By Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
Environmentalist group, Rain Forest Resource and Development Centre (RRDC), has said that over a million indigenes would be affected if Cross River Super Highway project is executed.
The group accused Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State, of not complying with the law, adding that he was acting in violation of the oath of office he has sworn to uphold.
Odey Oyama, Executive Director of RDDC, stated this at a briefing in Abuja while, calling on the Federal Government to exercise caution in issuing out permit for the project.
According to him, “the superhighway is at variance to the rights of the people, it is counter productive to the people and this same people have a right to their resources. The government should make sure the conditions have been met”
Oyama urged the government to dualize existing roads in the state, pointing out that fixing and expanding the highway would not have any negative impact on the biodiversity of the last remaining tropical rain forest.
“We already have two federal roads existing in Cross River leading to the same destination, the Ikom/Calabar highway and the urban Okuni-Okoroba road, either of this roads could be updated to a super highway, why do a third road inside the forest destroying resources that constitute the Eco-Tourism programme of government,” he said.
Seun Onigbinde, who was represented by Tolulope Agunloye, Co-founder BudgIT, said that the state government owes $155 million of external debt and more locally.
He urged the federal government to consider any additional debt with caution so as not to bankrupt the state and ruin the future of coming generations.
He stressed that the state government should rather use its funds to preserve and enhance the ecological assets which boost other country’s economies.
“The state had recorded early success in attracting internal tourism flows, so it is obvious that this does not seem to be a priority now that a made in Nigeria renaissance is boosting local tourism,” he advised.
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