Afenifere faults Buhari on transport projects saving people from trekking

Says President’s claim on a prosperous Nigeria belies the reality

The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, chided President Muhammadu Buhari over his gloating on infrastructure his administration provided for Nigerians.

It said it was an indication that those in the corridors of power do not seem to be in touch with the present reality in the country.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, said that if not for the intervention of his administration on rail and road projects, “people, especially those from the South-West, could have been trekking from Lagos to Ibadan.”

BUT taking the President upon this claim, Afenifere said although the resuscitation of the Lagos-Ibadan railway was appreciated, it is a height of an unpardonable exaggeration to say that without it, people in the South-West would have been trekking.

In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi, the organisation averred that the number of people using the rail transport is very small compared with people using the road and that not many felt the impact when it was not available.

“In any case, assuming without conceding that the rail transport is so significant in the life of the people as painted by the President, what about several other routes in the South-West that have no rail system. So, why has the government not provided rail transport in all these areas so that people would not have to trek? And on the road that the President lamented its absence, whose responsibility is it to provide the road; is it not the government?” he asked.

Also recalling the President’s speech at the Sixth Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit in Doha, Qatar, on the same Tuesday where he was represented by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, Ajayi said Nigerians were hardly impressed by the President’s disclosure that his administration is now embarking on different initiatives, projects, and policies to enhance the performance of the oil and gas sector.

He said: “Why is the administration just embarking on these initiatives when it has just about 14 months left in office?”

“If the government truly believes in the pivotal roles oil and gas play in the lives and economy of the people, why should the prices of these commodities be all-time high now? Why are the refineries not working? Why not license modular refinery operators so that the commodities can be widely available? The reality on ground, therefore, makes one to doubt the sincerity of the administration in its policies, visions and claims.”

Afenifere spokesman added that the declaration by President Buhari that by the time he is leaving office in 2023, he will be “… leaving a legacy for a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria” also flies in the face of the present reality going by the rate of inflation, rate of unemployment, the level of mistrust and ethnic clashes not to talk of the unprecedented insecurity being experienced in various parts of the country now.”


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