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Hasty commissioning of Lagos-Ibadan Railway political says PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has chided 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 therefore 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.

National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement said, “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.”

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has chded PDP to address the floundering campaign and corruption baggage hallmarking its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and stop overheating the polity.

APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu in a statement said, “Nigerians have also watched in disbelief how the PDP without proof has consistently and vehemently pilloried state institutions performing various roles in the coming general elections.

From security agencies to our election management body, the PDP has spared none its barefaced lies. On a daily basis, the PDP has invented one lie after the other to discredit state institutions in the eyes of Nigerians and the international community. PDP’s ignoble actions are unhealthy for our electoral processes and a threat to our maturing democracy.”The PDP’s game plan is simple: Discredit the entire process before, during, and after the elections in order to make the final outcome a “nullity” in its own jaundiced eyes.

“The PDP must understand that all registered political parties are equal stakeholders in the coming elections; hence the PDP’s tired narrative that the entire election process is skewed against it should be seen for what it is – PDP’s admittance of defeat.
“The era of sham elections are behind us. The records of credible elections conducted since the APC took over the country’s governance are public knowledge compared to selections, impositions and fraudulent elections under the PDP.”We will continue in our progressive tradition in ensuring that elections are free, peaceful credible and every vote counts — The wishes of the electorate must prevail in all elections.

“Against this backdrop, we urge INEC and other state institutions responsible for different election duties to remain firm and focussed in the discharge of their legitimate roles. They must not be stampeded into taking actions that run contrary to the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

“Our free advice to the PDP is that it concentrates its energy to resuscitate its floundering campaign, which has seen majority of its governors tacitly and openly avoid supporting the presidential bid of the PDP candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar.

“Again, in the wake of the recent Reuters report that Atiku visited the US two weeks ago thanks to heavily paid lobbyists who aided the temporary suspension of a travel ban linked to decade-old bribery scandals and corruption indictments, we urge Atiku to come clean to Nigerians on his problems. This is the least he owes an electorate he wishes to lead.”

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