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Demolition: NRC Accuses Enugu Government of Frustrating Extension of Railway To South East

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From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu 

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) Authorities of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has accused the governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led  Enugu State Government of frustrating the Federal Government’s efforts towards extending  its standard gauge railway project to the South East geo-political zone of the country by demolishing some of its facilities in the state.

African Examiner reports that Enugu state government via the Capital Territory Development Authority, had recently demolished facilities of the (NRC) valued several millions of naira particularly at Emene area of the state, an action that has been generating sharp criticism from residents of the state.

Chairman of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, Mr. Josef Onoh, had claimed in a publication that some property belonging to the  Nigeria railway, especially in Emene, Enugu, were obstructing the ongoing rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, hence the agency proceeded to destroy some of such structures, including the railway land at Ukwuorji, last week.

Shortly after the publication, the Railway District Manager in charge of (East), Enugu, Mr.  Osidipe Olusoji, dismissed the claims, insisting that its facilities were not hindering work on the airport.

He, however, expressed shock on the action of the state government, stressing that the structures were destroyed at a time the Federal Government had redoubled efforts to extend the standard gauge railway to the zone.

According to him, “Now that the attention of the Federal Government is focused on this, the ECTDA is still unable to see what is coming, therefore, trying to frustrate the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He added: “For the avoidance of doubt, the railway land at Ukwuorji in Emene is not in any way obstructing the rehabilitation of the airport.

Olusoji, who equally decried the state government action said: “It may also interest the general public to know that the Ukwuorji area is in no way close to the airport in such a way that it will obstruct the airport rehabilitation. The land is not in the direction of incoming or outgoing flights from Enugu airport.” he stated.

However, the Enugu state government had claimed that it only destroyed shanties in the area obstructing the railway project and airport rehabilitation, stressing that it was not interested in the land belonging to the NRC.

Chidi Aroh, the state Commissioner for Information said: “We want a new standard gauge to be built just as we begged for the upgrade of the airport.”

The Enugu state government, it would be recalled, commenced massive demolition of perceived illegal structures including shops and residential buildings in parts of the state capital Enugu,  since 2019, a development that has rendered huge number of residents homeless, jobless and has continued to attract condemnation from different quarters.


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