By Jimitota Onoyume, Warri
The federal government has flagged off freight services from Warri to Itakpe at the Ijevwu rail station in Udu local government area, Delta State.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in his address at the flag-off exercise yesterday enjoined the people to promote values of unity, stressing that nobody should use primordial sentiments to provoke a crisis in the area.
“We will not allow anybody to use primordial sentiments to incite the youths to foment trouble whatsoever over the location of well-intended government projects. After all, people from the immediate catchment areas are ultimately the highest beneficiaries, socially and economically”, Amaechi said.
President General of Ijevwu community, Chief Notoma Godwin in his speech earlier said it was wrong for the federal government to have named the rail station after late Chief Alfred Rewane, an Itsekiri, saying it offended the sensibility of the area since the station is in Udu local government area, not Warri.
He said it was also wrong for the federal government to have captured Warri as the location of the Rail station, adding that it is in Udu local government.
“The name of the Railway Station should reflect the sensibility of the people of Udu. Udu has its own monarch just as Warri has its own. Our sensibility should not be taken for granted. And we are making this submission for the sake of posterity”, he said.
Others who spoke at the ceremony were the Managing Director Nigeria Gas company ltd, Mr Seyi Omotowo who represented the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, the Chairman Governing Board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Ibrahim Musa. They all lauded the rail transport system, adding it is safe and economical.
” One trip of rail haulage of the NNPC pipes is equivalent to 32 trailers on the road. Rail freight services is cheaper, safer, faster means of cargo movement”, the NNPC boss said