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Nigerian govt threatens to sanction hostile communities

The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that it will henceforth stop projects in communities that embark on vandalism of properties sited in their places.President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday when he inaugurated and handed over a shoreline protection and land reclamation project in Ekeremo Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

Buhari said that the project was built by the ecological funds office of the Federal Government for the Aleibiri community in the local government.

The president, who was represented by Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that such acts of vandalism were inimical to growth and development of rural communities.

He spoke against the backdrop of the recent looting of the skills acquisition centre by members of the community at Kaima in Kolokumo/Opokuma Local Government Area, prior to its inauguration.

“Henceforth, communities will not benefit from new projects from the Federal Government if they continue to vandalise or fail to take proper care of projects sited in their communities.

“But, communities that protect and take ownership of Federal Government projects sited in their communities will continue to attract more government attention in development projects allocation,” he said.

The President described coastal erosion as a major challenge affecting all the communities in the state and appealed to other coastal erosion-prone areas in Bayelsa to be patient as the government could not do all of the projects at the same time due to limited resources.

He assured them of his determination and commitment to the development of the entire country, no matter how remote the areas might be.

In his speech, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, commended the cordial relationship that existed between the contractor and the people which made it possible for the project to be completed on time.

The community leader in the area, Chief Michael Dimi, who spoke on behalf of the benefiting community, lauded the Federal Government and assured that future projects would be secured and supported by the people.

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