A civil society organisation, Peace and Media Advocacy group, PEMAG, has rejected the decision of the House of Representatives to probe rail projects under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration alleging that the action was based on ignorance, falsehood and armchair research findings.
In a press statement issued in Abuja yesterday by PEMAG National Coordinator, James Okoronkwo, the group asserted that after its thorough investigation, it discovered that the rail project under the last administration was a huge success and not a failed project as alleged because the last administration revived, resuscitated and modernized the rail project which was dead for over 30 years.
The group which was not opposed to any justified project probe was worried that the sponsor of the motion Hon. Solomon Ahwinahwi displayed falsehood and ignorance of the status of rail projects in his motion.
PEMAG stated that the construction of Idu (Abuja) – Kaduna standard gauge rail line had reached 90% completion level with 100% track laying rather than the 25 percent completion level asserted by the Honourable member and thereby misleading the House.
The group further stated that the Lagos – Jebba axis and Jebba – Kano axis of the western corridor Lagos – Kano rail line has been successfully rehabilitated while uninterrupted passenger and freight train services commenced on that route in December 22nd, 2012 against the falsehood that no tangible work had been done on the corridor.
Further more, Okoronkwo corrected the erroneous impression that no appreciable work was done in Zaria – Kaura Na moda corridor when in actual fact uninterrupted train services began in that route in February, 2015 after the successful completion of the rehabilitation of the track.
Speaking further, the group stated that it was falsehood to allege that only 3km of Port-Harcourt – Makurdi rail line had been completed with ballast when in actual fact the eastern corridor Port-Harcourt – Gombe had been fully rehabilitated with uninterrupted passenger and freight services operational in the corridor.
The group further stated that no feasibility study was done on track rehabilitation as falsely alleged but there were feasibility studies for standard gauge rail line criss-crossing the entire country in pursuance of the 25 years railway development vision of the country.
PEMAG concluded that Hon Solomon conducted armchair research which gave the House false and misleading information to initiate the probe.
Rather than waste legislative time and tax payers’ money on diversionary and frivolous probe, ‘ we urge members of the House Representatives to focus their attention of how to devise ways of strengthening and consolidating the gains of the rail projects and other economic and political issues bedeviling our country than wasting their precious time on mundane issues and fabricated lies that will lead them nowhere” the group stated.

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