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$1.9bn Rail to Niger: ‘We must reject squandering of our resources on another country’

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$1.9bn Rail Niger: 'We must reject squandering of our resources on another country'

Say Buhari committing such amount to another country when Nigerians are being punished with fuel price increase and electricity tariff shows that he is loyal to a different civilization

By Henry Umoru

LEADERS of thought, Elder statesmen from four of the six geo-political zones of the country, under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum have taken a swipe at the Federal Government for approving the award of contract for the development of the proposed Kano-Katsina-Jibia to Maradi rail line in Niger Republic and to Dutse, the capital of Jigawa, for a total cost of $1,959,744,723.71, inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT.

In a signed statement, the leaders of the Middle- Belt, Ndi- Igbo (Ohaneaze, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, South-South and Afenifere, the groups who called on Nigerians to in all its ramifications, reject what they described as a squandering of the nation’s resources on another country.

According to the leaders, President Muhammadu Buhari committing such an amount to another country at a time Nigerians are being punished with atrocious prices of petroleum and electricity prices confirms that President is loyal to a different civilization which he is abusing his leadership of Nigeria to promote.

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The statement was signed by former Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark for South; Chief Ayo Adebanjo for southwest; John Nwodo for southeast; and Dr. Pogu Bitrus for Middle Belt.

The statement titled, “Kano-Niger Rail: Buhari commitment to Nigeria doubtful”, read, “The announcement of the building of a $1.9bn rail from Kano to the Niger Republic is one more reason that Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to Nigeria is no more than the resources he can take from the country to fund his ethnoreligious sensibilities outside the country.

“Committing such an amount to another country at a time Nigerians are being punished with atrocious prices of petroleum and electricity prices confirms Mr President is loyal to a different civilization which he is abusing his leadership of Nigeria to promote.

“This project is being promoted at a time the Calabar-Lagos rail that is of great economic importance has been abandoned.

“We wonder what explanation the Minister of Transportation will have to give to the people of South-South for abandoning such a project while committing to the wasteful project to Niger.

“It is not lost on us the absolute lack of integrity of this government in lying to us that the rail is being constructed to the border when Maradi is over one hour to the border of Niger with Nigeria.

“This insensitive project is one more reason different nationalities in Nigeria should ask Buhari serious questions on his overt submission to those he shares civilisation with outside this country at the expense of those he deceives to be “fellow Nigerians.

“We must reject this squandering of our resources on another country.”

Vanguard

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