The controversial removal of Lagos-Calabar Rail Project from the 2016 Appropriation Bill has been linked to the 2019 general election.
The spokesperson of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Osita Okechukwu, stated this at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja during a parley with journalists yesterday.
Mr. Okechukwu, imputed that those opposing the project were doing that because of their political calculations for 2019.
The zonal APC spokesman said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we of the South East zone of APC do not subscribe to the insinuation, that those opposed to the project are afraid of the political gains Mr. President will make in the South East and South South.
‘’They allege that if the project sails, coupled with his success on the war against corruption and containment of insurgency, he will be unstoppable. Hence the fear that the two zones may support him in 2019, given the political value of the project.”
Urging the National Assembly not to throw the baby away with the bath water, the party said: “The welfare and prosperity of Nigerians far outweighs political gains.
To erase this ungodly insinuation, we once more appeal to the National Assembly not to be caught in the political cross-fire.” The South East Zone of APC therefore appealed to the National Assembly to let the Lagos-Calabar Railway Project be, saying, “as we have listened carefully to all the cacophony of voices, none has condemned the project as irrelevant or building bridge to nowhere. Let the blame game stop and let the project be. The controversy over the project is uncalled for and an ill-wind which blows no one good.
“Our appeal is anchored on the truism of millions of employment opportunities and economic prosperity which the project will engender. We need projects like the Lagos-Calabar rail to create massive employment and revamp the economy.
More so, when the reality is that both the executive and legislative arms are on the same page on the project, then it is of urgent national importance.
“We also understand that the Lagos-Calabar Project is in the China-Shopping List of President Muhammadu Buhari, for Nigeria’s infrastructure renewal.”
This being the case, what kind of message are those opposed to the project in the National Assembly sending to the Chinese government if they continue to bicker over mundane procedure? Is it sabotage ?”