A group of elder statesmen have described the Kano-Niger rail project of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as a misplaced priority.
They wondered why government would be constructing a rail line into another country while abandoning infrastructure development at home.
The group consists of Ijaw Leader Edwin Clark, Afenifere chieftain Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Ohanaeze leader Chief John Nwodo, and Dr Pogu Bitrus from the Middle Belt.
The group said in a statement in Lagos that building a $1.9 billion rail line from Kano to Niger Republic showed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to Nigeria is only limited to 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 Mr President is loyal to a different civilization which he is abusing his leadership of Nigeria to promote,” it added.
The group noted that the rail project is being promoted at a time the Calabar-Lagos rail that is of great economic importance has been abandoned.
It added: “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.
“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.
“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”. We must reject this squandering of our resources on another country.”