2024 budget: Include S’East in special projects for insurgency hit communities, group begs FG

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By Olugbenga Salami

Apex Igbo socio-cultural youth group, Ohanaeze Youths Movement, has urged President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly to help include the affected South East communities by insurgency in the 2024 budget special intervention projects.

President Tinubu had on Wednesday presented N27.5trillion 2024 budget estimates before a joint session of the National Assembly, tagged ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’.

At a press conference in Abuja, the group urged them to help the Igbos by including in the budget special intervention projects for insurgency worst-hit South-East communities.

Speaking on behalf of the group, the Secretary General, Nwada Amaka Ike, reminded Mr President that over 40 per cent of the communities and villages in the South-East have been burnt to the ground as a result of insurgency.

This, Ike, in his speech, titled: “Save Our Soul (SOS): On Our Knees Request From Igbo Youths For Extension Of Renewed Hope Intervention Projects And Programmes For Insurgency Worse Hit Communities In The South Eastern Part Of Nigeria”, lamented has led to the destruction of critical public infrastructure in the communities and villages.

The listed communities include, Urualla, Osina, Uzi, Obodo-uku, Ndi-Iheme, Isiokpo, Akokwa, Umualoma, Ntuke, Umuchima, Obioha, Umuobum, Umueshi, Umuakam, Umuago, Amanator, Umuma-Isiaku, Ugbelle, Ndi Akaeme, Ndi Imoke, Izuogu, Ndiuche, Isiekenesi, Dikenafai etc

“We present our compliments to you and your entire Executive Council Members. We write firstly to congratulate you on victory at the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal and the subsequent affirmation of your electoral victory by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Your victory at the polls and affirmation of same by the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria goes to show your acceptability by a vast majority of the people of Nigeria. We therefore, say a big Congratulations Mr. President.

“Secondly, we are elated by your successful presentation and laying of the 2024 Appropriation Bill of 27.5 trillion naira, before a joint sitting of the two Chambers of the National Assembly on Wednesday 29th November, 2023. This further goes to confirm that you are indeed the Peoples’ President.

“Mr. President, we write to make a passionate save our souls appeal for the extension of the Renewed Hope Intervention Projects to communities and villages in the South East that are the worse hit insurgency prone communities in the south east of Nigeria.

“As you are aware Mr. President, over forty per cent of the communities and villages in the South-East have been burnt to the ground as a result of insurgency in the South-East.

“The insurgency has led to the destruction of critical public infrastructure in the communities and villages that make up the South-East. Markets have been burnt down, schools and hospitals destroyed, feeder roads and electricity infrastructure completely vandalized.

“Your Excellency, we both humbly and strongly plead that you give our request a most compassionate consideration that will help in alleviating the sufferings of the people of these communities. This will go a long way in fostering the Renewed Hope Agenda of your administration in the South-East,” the group stated.

The group, however, commended President Tinubu for the timely presentation of the 2024 budget estimates.

It also hailed the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, over his speech calling for focus on people’s welfare and infrastructure in the 2024 budget, expressing optimism that the chairman House Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Abubakar Bichi, will, as an all-inclusive leader, ensure that the passage of the Appropriation Bill is seamless.