PDP Berates Buhari over Hasty Inauguration of Lagos-Ibadan Railway

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National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan

Stop overheating polity, APC tells main opposition party

Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday chided President Muhammadu Buhari and the presidency for their planned hurried inauguration of the uncompleted section of the Lagos-Ibadan railway, describing the plan as ‘’a pre-election gimmick to hoodwink’’ Nigerians and create an impression of performance, when there is none.

On its part, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said it had watched with consternation how the main opposition party had in the last couple of week elevated falsehood to a high level and urged the PDP to stop overheating the polity.

In a statement issued yesterday by the PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party called on Nigerians to be very cautious of the project, insisting that its inauguration without completion and installation of critical components and infrastructure will be a great risk to lives and property.

‘’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 jeopardise 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,” PDP stated.

The main opposition party said while it welcomes any effort to reduce the pains of travelling between Iju, a suburb of Lagos, and Abeokuta, the planned premature inauguration 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.

PDP added: “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 inauguration of an unfinished project, just because elections are around the corner. Is it not preposterous that the Buhari administration wants to inaugurate a rail system without adequate provision of basic signal, communication and station facilities?’’

PDP said it is only one track that had been laid between Iju and Abeokuta instead of two, saying the president wants the world to clap for him for such ‘’mediocre’’ performance.

According to the statement, “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 over rail bridges and key crossings be built?

Meanwhile, as the 2019 general elections fast approaches, the ruling APC said it had watched with disquiet how PDP in the last couple of weeks had elevated falsehood and crying wolf into an ignoble art.

“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 election.

“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,” APC in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu.

The ruling party claimed that the PDP’s game plan is discredit the entire process before, during, and after the elections in order to make the final outcome a “nullity” in its own eyes.

APC advised the opposition party understand that all registered political parties are equal stakeholders in the coming elections, saying that the PDP’s tired narrative that the entire election process is skewed against it should be seen PDP’s admittance of defeat.

APC further stated, “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.’’

APC advised the PDP to concentrate 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, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.