The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chides the Buhari Presidency for its planned hurried commissioning of the uncompleted section of the Lagos-Ibadan railway, as a pre-election gimmick to hoodwink Nigerians and create an impression of performance, when there is none.
The party calls on Nigerians to be very cautious of the project as its opening without completion and installation of critical components and infrastructure will be a great risk to lives and property.
This planned commissioning of an unfinished project is a reflection of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s desperation to pad up its false performance record, for which Mr. President is prepared to jeopardize the lives of Nigerians.
The Buhari Presidency, which has displayed complete lack of capacity to improve or manage our railway, had resorted to appropriating the efforts of the PDP administration, as well as lying about their non-existent railway performance, just because the elections are around the corner.
While the PDP welcomes any effort to reduce the pains of travelling between Iju, a suburb of Lagos, and Abeokuta, this premature commissioning is a self-serving charade by the Buhari Presidency to hypocritically ingratiate itself to voters before the election, after which it will be shut down because it is not completed.
This, again, is another gimmick to beguile Nigerians with false performance indices, as they did in 2015 with fake promises.
The PDP notes that the Buhari Presidency, represented by the minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had in the last three years, turned the serious issue of railway to media jamboree with endless site visitations and issuing of disruptive instructions to engineers.
They want to plunge Nigerians into a disaster with the commissioning of an unfinished project, just because elections are around the corner.
Is it not preposterous that the Buhari administration wants to commission a rail system without adequate provision of basic signal, communication and station facilities?
Besides, only one track has been laid between Iju and Abeokuta instead of two and Mr. President wants the world to clap for him for such mediocre performance.
The Lagos station for this railway is at Ebute Metta and not Iju. When will the rail get there? When will the rail get to Apapa port? When will it connect Ibadan? When will the 13 overrail bridges and key crossings be built?
Moreover, when will the coaches, wagons and locomotives arrive? Where is the operating plan? Have they recruited and trained crews? Why are President Buhari and the APC seeking to celebrate when the main work is yet to be done?
It is instructive however to state that the Lagos-Ibadan railway project was conceived and initiated by a PDP administration, which also conceptualized critical policies and strategies for its completion only for the Buhari administration to corrupt the strategies leading to delays and distortion of the project.
We urge Nigerians to demand from the Buhari Presidency the money earmarked for the second track of the rail project.
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