Obasanjo excluded as Buhari names railway stations after prominent Nigerians
Yoruba elders hopeful of better recognition for ex-leader
Despite admitting that the current administration was implementing the master plan introduced by former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the development of Nigeria’s railway transport system, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, named stations after some prominent citizens, excluding the elder statesman.
Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, in a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Press, Eric Ojiekwe, submitted that the “deserving citizens have contributed to the progress and development of their respective communities and the nation at large.”
According to the document, the Apapa railway station on Lagos-Ibadan with extension to the Lagos Port Complex was named after Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Others are Mobolaji Johnson (Ebute Metta Station); Babatunde Raji Fashola (Agege station); Lateef Jakande (Agbado station); and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (Kajola station).
The beneficiaries also include Funmilayo Ransome Kuti (Papalanto station); Prof. Wole Soyinka (Abeokuta station); Segun Osoba (Olodo station); Ladoke Akintola (Omio-Adio station); Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Ibadan station); and Chief Alex Ekwueme (Operation Control Centre).
For the Itakpe-Ajaokuta/Aladja-Warri railway corridor, the recipients are Alhaji Adamu Attah (Itakpe station); Dr. Olusola Saraki (Ajaokuta station); Admiral Augustus Aikhomu (rtd) (Itogbo station); Brigadier General George Innih (rtd) (Agenebode station); Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro (Uromi station); Chief Tom Ikimi (Ekehen station); and Brig.-Gen. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia (rtd) (Igbanke station).
The rest were Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (Agbor station complex); Major General David Ejoor (rtd) (Abraka station), Olorogun Micheal Ibru (Okpara station); Chief Alfred Rewane (Ujevwu station); and Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe (rtd) (Railway Village, Agbor).
In the meantime, the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has said the Nigerian leader might be waiting for something more prestigious to recognise the Owu chief with.
Its Secretary-General, Dr. Kunle Olajide, who was speaking yesterday in Ibadan, asserted that Obasanjo had paid his dues, stressing that nobody could underestimate his role in the nation’s history.
He, therefore, congratulated the beneficiaries.
The scribe said: “He (Buhari) is looking for something more prestigious to name after Obasanjo. Otherwise, I don’t see why. He has been Head of State twice. We must remember that Obasanjo was the first Head of State on the African continent to hand over to a civilian administration.
“I don’t want to believe there is any ulterior motive there. I still feel perhaps he is waiting for something more befitting to name after him. Buhari must have something in mind to name after Obasanjo which has not been completed. I don’t think it is deliberate. “Obasanjo is part of history of this country. Nobody can underestimate his role in the history of Nigeria. Something must be in the offing for him.
“Tinubu too is part of history of this country. You cannot underestimate his role. He has had a very successful political career. For me, I think he merits being recognised. Osoba and others merit it. They should give them due recognition.”
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