$1.9bn Kano-Niger rail: Buhari’s commitment to Nigeria doubtful, say Southern, Middle-Belt leaders

Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) on Friday said building of a $1.9 billion rail from Kano to Niger Republic as announced by the Federal Government is one more reason to doubt President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the country.

SMBLF said this in a statement entitled: “Kano-Niger Rail: Buhari’s commitment to Nigeria doubtful,” and jointly signed by Chief Edwin K Clark for the South- South, Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South-West), Chief John Nwodo (South-East) and Dr. Pogu Bitrus (Middle-Belt).

The leaders, while denouncing the move, said that committing such a huge amount to another country at a time Nigerian citizens were being punished with hike in prices of petroleum products and electricity tariffs confirmed that he was loyal to a different civilisation which he had been abusing his leadership of Nigeria to promote.

Besides, the leaders noted that the rail project was being promoted at a time the Calabar-Lagos rail that is of great economic importance had been abandoned, wondering what explanation the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, would offer the people of South-South for abandoning such a project while committing government resources to what they termed “wasteful project.”

“The announcement of the building of a $1.9 billion rail from Kano to Niger Republic is one more reason that General Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to Nigeria is no more than the resources he can take from the country to fund his ethno- religious 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 the president is loyal to a different civilisation 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,” SMBLF said.

The Southern and Middle-Belt leaders, while rejecting the defence offered by the Buhari government that “the rail is being constructed to the border and not to Maradi, further said that “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.'”

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NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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