Leaders of the South and Middle Belt Forum (SMBF), have berated President Muhammadu Buhari, over the $1.9 billion Kano-Niger Republic railway project recently announced by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
They, however, called on Nigerians to reject what they called the “squandering of our resources on another country.”
The SMBF in a statement signed by Chief Edwin Clark (South-South), Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South-West), Chief John Nwodo (South-East), and Dr Pogu Bitrus (Middle Belt), released on Friday, expressed their views.
The regional ethic leaders alleged that Nigeria’s resources would be used by President Buhari, to fund what they termed his “ethno-religious sensibilities” outside the country.
The statement read: “The announcement of the building of a $1.9bn rail from Kano to Niger Republic is one more reason that Gen 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 that Mr 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 the 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.”
Similarly, a leader of National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), General Theophilus Danjuma (retd), has described the government as insensitive for approving the project.
Danjuma said the approval of the $1.9bn by the Federal Executive Council to construct a rail line from Kano to Niger Republic, was not only insensitive but absurd.
Likewise, the Chairman of NCEF, Elder Solomon Asemota (SAN), who, in a statement, described it as a “questionable project,” said the only logical reason for the “absurdity” remained that Nigeria had been regarded as “a colony by the Fulani oligarchy in power.”