No Blackmail Will Stop Proposed Light Rail Project, Says Kano Govt

From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano

Kano state government has reiterated its readiness to continue with its planned light rail project within the state metropolis, describing the opposition of the project by the Kwankwassiyya Movement as a “blackmail” not capable of stopping the project.

The AUTHORITY reports that at a Press Conference in Abuja on Monday, spokesman of the Kwankwassiyya Movement, Comrade Abdulssalam Aminu, condemned the proposed light rail project, and threatened to sue Kano state government if it continued with the project.

In a swift reaction to the position of the Kwankwassiyya Movement on the project,
Kano state government said there is no going back on its intention to access loan for the construction of Light Rail Transit Project in Metropolitan Kano.

A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, and made available to journalists on Monday, said the proposed light rail is, “a project conceived after due consultations with major stakeholders in the state.”

Kano state government also inisisted that the light rail project, “apart from other benefits, is designed to expand commercial activities, and ease transportation of agricultural goods and services across the state for the benefit of the good people of our dear state.”

The Statement indicated that, “no amount of criticism will deter the government from carrying out laudable projects that aim at transforming Kano to a Mega City.”

Malam Garba added that, “ealier, Aminu Abdulssalam, running-mate of the defeated Peoples Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections, who has now taken another job as the spokesman of the Kwankwassiyya Movement, addressed a Press Conference in Abuja, where he made an attempt to discredit the dynamic initiative of Kano state government, which initially covers a total of 75.02 km, but has now been reduced, in view of its capital intensive nature (considering the economic realities occassioned by the COVID-19 pandemic), and the need to ensure a well-planned execution.”

He pointed out that, “since the foreign loan has already been approved by the China Export-Import Bank, government would go ahead with the projects and the state lawmakers have recommended the contractor Messrs CR18G-CRCEGJV to commence with lot I which starts from Dawanau Graiins Market-Bata, being Phase I of the project and to be completed within 20 months.”

Malam Garba further stated that, “all the due processes are being followed which include getting approval from the state House of Assembly and clearance from the relevant federal agencies and the National Assembly.”

He said, “the Kwankwasiyya position on the project is not in any way surprising considering that the movement never appreciate any thing no matter how well thought out by the APC administration in Kano.

“The Kwankwassiyya Movement, which has been overawed by the uncommon achievements of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje administration in all facets of development, and particularly, the initiation and execution of mega projects, is now afraid of its shadows. They have embarked on a smear campaign in a desperate move to bring the state government into disrepute.”

Malam Garba, however, insisted that, “no amount of blackmail will stand as stumbling block for the APC government to initiate people oriented policies and programmes in the overall interest of the state.”

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