A coalition of Igbo groups, Igbo National Congress(INC) and Ohanaeze Youth Congress(OYC) have demanded the sack of the Managing Director of
the Nigerian Railway Corporation(NRC), Mr Adeseyi Sijuade for what they described as deliberate and gross neglect of the Eastern District(South-east and South-south) of the NRC.

The coalition also called for the immediate termination of a contract
between NRC and a Turkish company, ESER, which was hired to fix the district’s rail lines.

Rising from its meeting at Panafric Hotels Enugu, Biafraland, INC and OYC
expressed dismay that the railway management has deliberately and
grossly neglected the Eastern district of the NRC, using ESER, which
has failed to repair the rail lines after three years in a contract
they were meant to deliver after nine months contract.

The coalition also accused the railway management of refusing to
employ staff in the Eastern district, even after the Western and
Northern Districts have employed 500 staff each, and demanded
immediate recruitment of new staff to repair the rail lines.

Their press releases signed by Comrade Chilos Godsent, INC National President , and Comrade Zulu Ofoelue, it’s National Secretary; then Comrade Chukwudi Anachuna, president of OYC read in parts: “INC has watched with dismay the politicization in the execution of the Eastern District (South East and South South) railway track project which runs from Port Harcourt to Igbede by a Turkish contractor ESER, who has shown gross incapacity and incompetence in the handling of the
rehabilitation project, and the overt poor supervision over them by
the management of the NRC”.

“We are equally taken aback by the deceit in the commissioning and
opening of the Eastern District rail-lines when all is not yet in
place”.

“INC demands the termination of this contract with ESER and that the
rehabilitation of the track project be put in the hands of railway
workers who have proven to be way better managers over the years”.

“We therefore demand the sack of the Managing Director of the NRC for
deliberately showing poor commitment towards this project. It is
obvious that the management of the NRC are involved in some underhand
activities which makes them equally complicit in the shabby execution
of this project by ESER”.

“Its also noteworthy that the nine new train engines earlier bought to
be used in the Eastern District was eventually taken away to Bauchi
and Lagos by the orders of the railway top management inspite of the
concerted efforts of the Eastern wing of the Nigerian Union of Railway
Men (NUR),who protested this obvious marginalization”.

“Coupled with the above findings, the INC also noticed the glaring
imbalance in the staffing and recruitment of skilled and officers
cadres. We have information that while the Ibadan Zaria, Minna, and
Lagos have employed well over 500 workers of various cadres, the
Eastern district hasn’t recorded meaningful recruitment exercise and
we see this as a calculated ploy to relegate and marginalize the
people from this region from benefitting from this federal project.
And in the event of a future employment exercise, then would be
engaged as second fiddles in the grand employment outline”.

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