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Amaechi, Community Leader In Verbal War Over Naming Of Rail Station In Delta

Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation was embroiled in a hot verbal exchange with High Chief Godwin Notoma, President-General of Ujevwu community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State.

The verbal exchange was due to the naming of the Railway Station in the Urhobo community after Chief Alfred Rewane,an Itsekiri during the Nigerian Railway Corporation formally flagged off its freight services on its Warri-Itakpe Standard Gauge Railway Line.

The scene started with High Chief Notoma in his goodwill message at the event held at the Ujevwu Railway Station, he faulted the Federal Government’s naming of the Railway Station in Udu Local Government Area of Delta Central Senatorial District, an Urhobo Community after late Chief Alfred Rewane, an Itsekiri from Warri South Local Government Area, an Itsekiri enclave.

High Chief Notoma was of the view that the public asset (Ujevwu Railway Station) could have been named after an equally eminently qualified Urhobo sons or daughters, some of whom he said had fought gallantly for the emancipation of railway projects in the area.

The community President-General also kicked against identifying the location of the Railway Station as Warri insisting that Ujevwu is a prominent community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State just as Warri is domiciled in another Local Government Area.

According to High Chief Notoma, “the name of the Railway Station should reflect the sensibility of the people of Udu. Udu has its own monarch just as Warri has its own. Our sensibility should not be taken for granted. And we are making this submission for the sake of posterity”.

In his comments Amaechi, the Transportation Minister dropped off his prepared text when it came to his turn to address the gathering warning against anyone using the forum to aggravate inter communal tensions or clashes that can jeopardise Government’s projects.

According to him, “we will not allow anybody to use primordial sentiments to incite the youths to forment trouble whatsoever over location of well-intended government projects. After all, people from the immediate catchment area are ultimately the highest beneficiaries, socially and economically”.

The Minister specifically warned that government would not take lightly to a situation where communities degenerate to infightings against one another rather than rallying round and jointly protect development projects in their areas.

Earlier, Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) who was represented by Engr. Seyi Omotosho, Managing Director, Nigeran Gas Company Limited noted with delight that the official flag-off of haulage of NNPC line pipes imported for the construction of 614 kmx40″ Ajaokuta, Kaduna, Kano (AKK) GAS pipeline project inaugurated since June 30, 2020 would go a long way in cushioning the haulage problems of the corporation.

According to Kyari, “the maiden cargo rail travel championed by NNPC will further support the dream of an industrialised Nigeria through improved transportation of goods across the country. The benfits of freight services can only be imagined than described”.

While equating one trip of rail haulage of the NNPC pipes to 32 trailers on the road, the NNPC boss described rail freight services as cheaper, safer and faster means of cargo movement.

The NNPC Managing Director explained that the resolve by the Corporation to use rail option of haulage was propelled by the desire to mitigate all identified projects and safety risks to as low as reasonably practicable while delivering the project in the right quality and time.

Also , the Chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Ibrahim Alhassan Musa remarked that “the railways had propound impact on the initial socioeconomic development of Nigeria and will continue to substantially contribute to the railway corridor community development and the movement of passengers and freight in the most cost-effective, affordable, energy saving and environmentally friendly manner”.

Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governorof Delta State in his message charged all communities across the State wherever public assets are located to protect them jealously as if they are their personal proerties.

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