Akwa Ibom State Leaders Caucus have rejected the proposed citing of a nuclear power plant in the state.
This followed recent announcement by the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, to build two nuclear power plants in Kogi and Akwa Ibom states.
Speaking at a press conference in Uyo yesterday, they wondered why after warnings from the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] that Nigeria was not ripe to handle nuclear projects the country is venturing into it knowing the dangers associated with it.
Spokesperson for the group, Senator Anietie Okon regretted that no Federal industry has been sited in the area in the past 40years except now a nuclear power plant with extreme disaster potentials.
Accompanied by the people of Itu council area where the said nuclear plant is said would be cited, the people stressed that, Akwa Ibom people nay Nigerians remained opposed to the project because of the disastrous consequences always associated with the failure of nuclear plant.
“After proper examination of the pros and cons of the project, tapping the knowledge of experts on nuclear technology and related disciplines, we had no option than to brace up to oppose to the fullest and say empathically and without any question that it is not welcome in our state.
“Our opposition to the location of the plant in our state is not born out of ignorance of the benefits of the project, but more because of the peculiar experiences in our country and the disastrous consequences those failures of nuclear plants have brought to even more discerning climes.
“We ask ourselves what the fascination is with the project and what the intensions of the promoters are. These questions are asked bearing in mind that the International Atomic Energy Agency had warned that Nigerian does not possess the right competences to handle nuclear issues. Technical impact assessment at the international level also indicated that nuclear plant is not suitable for Nigeria for now; for obvious reasons.” He said.
According to them, government should through deliberate efforts explore other means of power generation which the country is endowed with and should have thought of resorting to nuclear only where all other alternatives had been exhausted.
Besides, they further observed that, the country should not feign ignorance of the fact that, even countries with well thought out plans for nuclear power, failure had always resulted in monumental disaster.
“This is a country not known for taking environmental impact assessment seriously; the slightest false-step in the nuclear project would result in monumental disaster. We do not want that disaster here in our state. It is one of the strongest reasons why the opposition to the location f the plant in our state is emphatic and would remain decisive.
“It bears mentioning here that in other countries where nuclear power has been used, it was basically because they had exhausted all the conventional sources and therefore found the nuclear option the readily available alternative. Even with available competences and expertise in those countries, they are today shutting down and reducing investments, in some cases to zero level in nuclear power.” He added.
Recounting the Chernobyl episode, they noted that, soil in those areas have remained poisoned and inhabitable, with women in those areas giving birth to monstrous looking creatures.
“Given the above scenario, one wonders what qualifies Akwa bom state for such a project. The state is small and compact and there is no distance across the state that is beyond 50kilometers. The state has a total land area of only 7,081 km2 with an estimate population of about five million persons. That spreads out to 706 persons per kilometer density which is one of the highest in the country. Where then will the plant be sited.” He queried.
Akwa Ibom state and indeed the country they noted is bedeviled with environmental hazards as a result of conventional extractive industries, oil spills and acid rains.
“That is why we are saying don’t come and poison our land. Don’t come and destroy our people. We can do without nuclear Power.” They concluded.

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