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Politics

‘Stop Exposing High-Level Ignorance’ — Sanwo-Olu Slams Rhodes-Vivour Over Claim Jonathan Funded Lagos Red Line Rail Project

Sanwo Olu Babajide and Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour 1

The 2023 governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, has said that former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration funded the Lagos Red Line rail project and not the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

recall that the first phase of the 37km rail project was commissioned by President Bola Tinubu last Thursday with an agreement for the second phase, which spans from the National Theater to Marina signed between Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Limited.

The project which started in 2021, sits on an already existing Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) facility.

The first phase, which is 27km, has eight stations from Agbado in Ogun State to Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba and Oyingbo.

To prevent human and vehicular interaction, 10 vehicular overpasses and pedestrian bridges have been constructed.

But reacting to the commissioning of the project on Monday, Rhodes-Vivour said that from the lines to stations to signals and bridges were all paid for by Jonathan’s government.

According to him, the only significant contribution of the Lagos state government to the project is the purchase of railcars.

The politician stated that he had earlier refrained from commenting on the launch of the project, but the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration of Sanwo-Olu has turned the project into political propaganda “laced with misinformation and false narratives”, therefore, compelling him “to set the record straight.”

“By 2013, there were already trains between Iddo/Apapa to Agbado/Ijoko with new coaches. Thereafter the Lagos state government approached the Federal government to use the federal line and instead of buying new railcars with guarantees, they bought two railcars that had been abandoned for 11yrs in Wisconsin State, USA for an undisclosed amount (of course, you know what that means),” Rhodes-Vivour said via his X handle.

“Also worth mentioning is that despite the series of false claims by the Lagos state government, the signal office, for instance, will be staffed and paid by the federal government. They claim that they laid 5km of rail to connect the Federal government line to Marina when in fact it is part of the Blue line from National Theatre/Ijora to Marina metro line, whereby passengers will switch lines where they intersect, and not a continuation of the standard gauge line as falsely portrayed.

“Everything from lines to stations to signals and bridges or tunnels had been costed and paid for by the Jonathan Goodluck administration since 2013. Hence, the most significant contribution of the Lagos state government to this project is the purchase of 11-year-old abandoned railcars at undisclosed fees. To be fair also, they put in quite some work in project supervision and collaboration with the federal government. For this, they deserve some commendation.

“Most importantly, citizens must realize that while it is important to acknowledge and even applaud transformational policy initiatives by the government, they must never forget that the government and the initiatives are funded by their taxes and commonwealth. They were elected to serve you and never to lord over you.”

Meanwhile, Rhodes-Vivour has come under heavy criticism from Sanwo-Olu’s aides.

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile, advised him to stay away from exposing his ignorance and misunderstanding of how the government functions.

“Please who would save our brother from his further deep dive into political oblivion, due primarily to lack knowledge, his acute shortage of intellectual depth to match the fast pace movements of the current handlers of Lagos State?

“For your information @GRVlagos, there’s absolutely nothing new in some of your assertions here-we have told Lagosians times without number that the Red Line is sitting on the existing NRC-FGN facility, carefully thought out and ingeniously executed by a thinking Govt.

“But I’d advise that you stay away from further exposing your high-level ignorance and misunderstanding of how government functions. If you need further information on the level of investment by Governor @jidesanwoolu’s administration in the widely celebrated and internationally acclaimed project, kindly write to us. Stop misinforming your followers,” Akosile said via his X handle.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant on New Media to the governor, Jubril Gawat, asked Rhodes-Vivour to provide evidence that Jonathan did anything on the Red Line rail.

“Man doesn’t know the difference between FG Stations (named after people) and Red Line Stations (named after the areas),” Gawat said with laugh emojis.

“The idea of kickstarting Red Line Rail started under Former President Buhari’s 2nd Term when Governor @jidesanwoolu got in and groundbreaking done on 15th April 2021.

“All compensations along the corridor are paid by the state government.

“NRC Ikeja Staff quarters demolished and rebuilt in Agege by the state government.

“You can show us evidence of Jonathan doing anything on the Red Line Rail.”

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