ByÂ Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRIâ€”The firm currently handling the de-mining programme in the civil war affected States of Imo, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Ebonyi, Delta and Enugu, has threatened to abandon the stockpiles of the explosives already recovered.
The Chief Consultant of Humanitarian Demining, Dr. Bala Yakubu, dropped the hint,Â while briefing the press on the activities of the firm so far.
â€œWe are constrained. I had written the Federal Ministry of Defence that we lack funds to continue with this exercise and we might be pulling out,â€ Yakubu said.
According to him, â€œwe had sent in more than five letters to the Ministry, requesting and drawing their attention to our situation and the dangers inherent in our abandoning the stockpiles.â€
He said that one of the letters even invited the Minister of Defence to visit the field to see things for himself, adding that he was very sure that if the Ministry was to list some of its viable projects, â€œthis one we are doing ought to top the list.â€
Yakubu said he could not explain the sudden lack of interest by the Ministry of Defence, adding â€œthey had not bothered to come to look at what we are doing.â€ According to him, “if the authorities are not interested in what
we are doing, funds would not be made available for us to continue with the project.
â€œI cannot continue to run this project on loans and assistance from people. It is a project that must be done. We all know the dangers of abandoning stockpiles. It is more dangerous now than when they were under the ground,â€ Yakubu said.