Southeast coalition rejects Eastern Narrow Gauge railway line

… Says it’s an insult to Ndigbo

By Damian Duruiheoma,
The umbrella body of all the youth organizations in the Southeast geopolitical zone, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), has rejected the Eastern Narrow Gauge Railway line billed for Port Harcourt to Maiduguri railway line.

The coalition described as an insult to Ndigbo and the southern part of the country for the federal government to build a Standard Gauge Railway line from West to the North down to Maradi in the Niger Republic another country entirely while the Eastern part of the country got a second class Railway line (Narrow Gauge).

In a statement issued by the President-General, Hon. Goodluck Ibem and Secretary, Comrade Kanice Igwe, the coalition said that no society that knows its onion would build a better railway project in another country while building a second class railway project (narrow gauge) in her own country.

“Does it mean that the Niger Republic now has more rights than the Eastern part of Nigeria? What has the Southeast done to deserve such unfair treatment from her government? Why is the Niger Republic receiving more attention from the federal government of Nigeria than Nigerians? This marginalization of the people of the Southeast must stop forthwith.

“The eastern part of the country produces oil and gas which is the major source of revenue to the federal government and deserves to be given the best treatment in projects and other prolific government activities. The federal government’s action amounts to chasing away the hen that lays the golden eggs when it’s time to share the eggs.

“The proposed eastern narrow gauge rail line is economic sabotage of the states the railway line will pass through. It sounds absurd for the federal government to develop the economy of the Niger Republic when its own citizens who are the main owners and beneficiaries of the resources are suffering. It is an aberration for a child whose father produces clothes to go naked. The federal government has provided clothes for other people when her own children are naked. What a shame.”

The group, therefore, rejected the narrow gauge railway line and demanded a standard railway line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.

“We call on the federal government to review the contract terms and award a Standard Gauge Railway line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.

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