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Obasanjo Criticizes Ambode For Abandoning Lagos Rail Project

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Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has criticised former Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode for abandoning the Lagos light rail project while he was the governor of the state between 2015 and 2019.

“We borrowed to build a light rail in Lagos, embarked on the project and a succeeding governor abandoned the project for his full term of four years at 65 per cent completion when he should have started paying down on the loan,” Obasanjo said on Friday in Lagos as a keynote speaker at the “Why I am Alive” campaign.

Obasanjo also criticised Ambode of prioritising the construction of Oshodi bus interchange. The terminus was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari days before Ambode left office even though the project was not completed.

The formal construction of the rail lines began under Babatunde Raji Fashola, who is now Nigeria’s works and housing minister. He was succeeded by Ambode, who Obasanjo said abandoned the rail project that was almost completed.

State officials said, at different times, that the rail lines were a part of the blueprint for the development of the state. Ambode, who was kicked out by his own part after first term, was accused of abandoning the blueprint by his party.

On July 16, 2015, about two months after he came into office, Ambode assured that he would deliver the project to Lagos residents in 12 months.

That deadline fell on July 2016. However, five months after he promised to deliver the project in 12 months, he shifted the completion date to December 2016. But in November 2016, the governor made another volte-face, saying it would now be completed before the end of 2019.

The idea of developing a light rail network for Lagos was first muted in the 1980s but was resuscitated by former governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the early 2000s, while Obasanjo was also the president, with a formal announcement of its construction in December 2003.

The entire rail project was designed to run through various areas of Lagos, under a seven-line network codenamed: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown and Orange lines.

The initial $135m proposal was part of the greater Lagos Urban Transportation Project, which was to be implemented by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).

But a decade after, the Lagos rail project, despite its benefits to Nigeria is yet to materialise. Lagos State government said in August 2018 that the Mile 2-Marina section of the project will be operational in 2022.

“This light rail is important for the whole of Nigeria not only with respect for man-hours of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that would have continued to be saved but because such loans are federally guaranteed,” Obasanjo added.

“This type of situation was not in Lagos alone but variously in other states like Rivers and Cross River. And the problem is not limited to states.”

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PDP Reacts To Dethronement of Sanusi As Emir of Kano

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called the dethronement of Emir Muhammad Sanusi II, by the Kano state government a huge political blunder.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated that the timing of the action is worrisome.

The statement read: “The PDP however calls for calm and circumspection from all quarters, especially, given the security and political stability concerns in our nation.”

Recall that the State Government dethroned Muhammad Sanusi II over what it described as disrespect of lawful instructions from Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State and other lawful authorities.

Just few hours after he was removed, a new Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero, was immediately appointed by the state government as the 15th Emir of Kano to replace Sanusi.

The Peoples Democratic Party further noted the deposition of Emir Muhammad Sanusi II by the Kano state government at a time that the nation is battling worsening insecurity challenges shows the insensitivity and poor appraisal of core national stability issues by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

The PDP, however called for calm and circumspection from all quarters, especially, given the security and political stability concerns in the nation

 

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Women Exchange Blows Over Toilet Roll As Coronavirus Causes Shortage

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A video has surfaced online showing the moment three women physically assaulted each other over a pack of toilet rolls as Coronavirus causes shortage.

The incident, according to reports, happened in Australia as citizens of the country are stocking up on supplies just in case the worst happens and it is leading to altercations.

The video shows one of the women with a trolley stacked with packs of toilet rolls in a shopping centre and the other woman wanted only one pack but she wouldn’t agree.

As she also desperately needed some of the scarce product, she insisted to get one at all cost, resulting in an altercation and physical attacks.

The Australian police have charged the women over the fight.

More than 102 000 people have been infected and the death toll keeps increasing by the day.

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Former President Obasanjo Speaks On Removal Of Sanusi As Emir of Kano

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A former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has broken his silence following the dethronement of Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. Recall that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led governement on Monday dethroned Sanusi as Emir of Kano for being disrespectful to lawful authorities.

Reacting, Obasanjo in a statement he personally signed on Monday, said Sanusi’s dethronment was good and bad. According to him, the dethronment is good because Sanusi has paid the price.

The statement, which was shared by Senator Dino Melaye on Twitter reads, “I woke up this morning and after my morning exercise and meeting with my staff, I heard the sad and good news of your removal by the Executive Counicl of the Kano State Government.

“It is sad because it is underserved, it is good because you have paid the price. My prayer is that God should give you the fortitude and the courage to continue in the path that you have chosen for yourself in the best interest of our country and humanity.

“Please accept, Your Royal Highness the assurance of my highest consideration.”

Meanwhile, one of the sons of late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, Aminu Ado Bayero was immediatemy named as the 15th Fulani Emir of the state.

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