Hundreds of facebook users have besieged President Goodluck Jonathan’s facebook page asking him the reason he broke his promise to release funds to clean up poisonous Lead in Zamfara State.
On Thursday, two rights groups, Human Rights Watch and the Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network, NYCAN, called on the public to prevail on Mr. Jonathan to release the said funds.
“Unless the promised funds are released immediately, cleanup of the contaminated areas won’t be able to start until after next year’s rainy season, leaving thousands more children at risk of death and permanent disability,” said Babatunde Olugboji of Human Rights Watch.
Over 400 children have died from the lead poisoning, according to Mr. Olugboji, and thousands more are in dire need of medical attention.
The rights groups said that government’s failure to release the promised funds has left thousands of children with lifelong disability in the worst lead poisoning outbreak in recent history.
After the groups’ request on Thursday, hundreds of comments telling Mr. Jonathan that ” Children are dying and your government’s failure to act is putting more children at risk” surfaced on his page.
In his last facebook post, Mr. Jonathan’s had pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with his “transformation agenda.”
“Last year, you entrusted me with your mandate by voting for me to emerge as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I continue to hold that mandate in trust for you and future generations of Nigeria.
“Over the past year, this administration has been working on fulfilling the promises I made to you during the campaigns. Many of those promises will take time to come to fruition…,” Mr. Jonathan wrote on his November 1 post.
The comments on the Zamfara lead poisoning were put under Mr. Jonathan’s last post.
“I know you’ve got a lot of difficult tasks to tackle in the next year, but the Zamfara cleanup is one that has a proven solution and you have the funds to solve it. Respect your citizens by cleaning up toxins,” read one comment on his post by Elyse Leonard.
Another post by M Ahmet Nermin read “#Lead poisoning in Zamfara State, Nigeria, killed 400+ children and left thousands more with permanent life-long disability. In May, President Goodluck Jonathan pledged $4,000,000 to clean up the lead contamination. Today, that money is nowhere to be found, and thousands of children remain at risk of death and disability. #childrights.”