The Member representing Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Dr. Henry Archibong has declared the proposed nuclear plant in the area as federal government’s plot to wipe out the people.
He has vowed that members of his constituency will vehemently oppose the federal government’s plan to construct a nuclear power plant in Ikot Ebom Itam, Itu Local government of Akwa Ibom State.
The lawmaker said with its high profile corruption, Nigeria cannot even manage less complex facilities like hrdro-electric plants and gas turbines, let alone nuclear plant with its complexities.
Speaking with Independent in Uyo on Wednesday, the lawmaker who expressed disappointment that no stakeholder from the area was consulted, described the intent as deliberate plan by the federal government to undermine the sensitivity of the people.
“Management of less complex facilities like hrdro-electric plants and gas turbines in this country has been far from satisfactory, i wonder how they can successfully manage a nuclear plant,with all its complexities. The risk related to the management of nuclear materials and waste is too high.”
“I think they are simply trying to come and destroy a group of people they think do not have a say, otherwise they should have asked for our opinion before taking the first step. They just feel we are just animals they can come in and destroy”.
He cited the health hazard related to nuclear material as one of the many reasons his people rejected such project.
Citing the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 1986 as a constant reminder of the clear and present danger associated to nuclear plants and materials for instance, he criticized the Federal Government and the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) for embarking on such sensitize project without adequate survey or Environmental Impact Assessment.
“The immediate and long term effect of exposure to nuclear materials is something the people of itu cannot contend with, and we reject in entirety, the proposed plan to construct a nuclear facility in this area.” he said
Also speaking again the proposed project which Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was reported to have been recently signed between the federal government of Nigeria and Rosatom of Russia, the chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Itu LGA, Barr Etetim Onuk described the project as anti-people and vowed to oppose its realization.
Onuk however called on the federal government to reconsider other human and environmentally friendly projects for the area, as the area is both rich in aquatic and agro-based resources.
It could be recalled that the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), in 2016 announced that it has entered an agreement with Rosatom of Russia to cooperate on the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of its first nuclear facility in 2025 to produce 1,200mw of electricity with plan to increase installed capacity to four nuclear plants producing a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts by 2035.
In the first phase of the project, two plants were proposed to be located at Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State and Geregu in Ajaokuta local government area of Kogi State