By Nimot Sulaimon
Buhari Media Organisation says that only hypocrites will condemn the Kano-Maradi rail but keep mute over the Enugu-Bamenda highway.
As the motivation and philosophy behind the Kano- Maradi rail project are the same as that of the 403-kilometre highway linking Enugu to Bamenda in Cameroon.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, it would be sheer hypocrisy for anyone to condemn the rail project but remain silent on the highway project in the South.
“We find it strange that many people, including opposition elements who saw everything wrong with President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of a rail project linking three States in Northern Nigeria to a border town in the Niger Republic, are unusually silent about the government’s decision to stick with the 2007 agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Cameroon.
“But for us, the same economic factors that the Buhari administration took into consideration in committing itself to the $1.96bn standard gauge rail project are not different from the decision to link one of the major cities in Southern Nigeria to a city in Cameroon.
“It is also important to note that 11 out of the 12 stations on the route are in Nigeria with the terminal point at the border town of Maradi which is 622 kilometres from Niamey, the capital of Niger while the highway into Cameroon will terminate within 300 kilometres of Yaounde, the capital city.
“The Enugu to Bamenda highway will drive a lot of economic activities in several Nigerian communities in the South, up to the border with Cameroon, but it is only the rail project that has the potential of opening up a vibrant export route into our landlocked neighbours, especially as it is to be linked to the Lagos-Kano rail line which already has an extension to the Apapa Ports via the Lagos-Ibadan rail line.