They said the two companies should not be dragged into controversies, adding that Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan’s motion called for caution.

By Abdullateef Bamgbose

Reacting to the development on Monday, the National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike said Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan was right on her motion over the state of affairs in Ajaokuta Steel Company and the National Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe, both in Ebira land.

Okwu, who wondered whether the steel company and the National Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe, now belonged to Ebira people, and by extension Kogi State, said it was curious that anyone would stand to oppose the Senate’s decision to investigate all the issues surrounding the companies.

“We must state clearly that the investigative panel as constituted by the Senate is very apt and long overdue.

“It is curious that for years now, Ajaokuta Steel and the National Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe, which are national assets, have been left moribund, despite interventions by the federal government.

“One cannot take one’s eyes away from the fact that it is a collective asset belonging to the Nigerian people, just like the oil industry and every other national economic asset. It does not belong to Ebira land and by extension Kogi State, so the traditional rulers erred by their opposition to the decision taken by the Senate.

“The motion, sponsored by Akpoti-Uduaghan, which informed the Senate’s decision needs to be applauded and not vilified.

“It is a step in the right direction to salvage what is left of those invaluable assets,” he said.

The Igbo youth group further stated that any lover of the country should not take any step that was tantamount to giving backing to economic saboteurs.

According to the group, “it is clear that the enemies of the country have held the company down for years; they don’t want their age-long fraud to be exposed.

“We are afraid that they could be deceiving the traditional rulers, who may have issued that protest letter out of mistake and for not having the right information.

“What Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan has actually done is in the best interest of not just the host community but the entire country and we are solidly behind her and the Senate.

“The probe should be total and thorough; nobody should be spared; anyone standing on the way against the revitalising of that national asset should be exposed and those who may have committed any heist against the country via those companies should be made to pay back.

“There is no doubt that if the companies resume operation, they would guarantee jobs to teeming Nigerian youths and contribute to the nation’s GDP.

“This is why we are solidly behind Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan and the entire Senate on this,” Okwu declared.


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