Amaechi dancing on dead victims’ graves, says group

Amaechi dancing on dead victims’ graves, says group

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…Minister absorbing self from train tragedy unacceptable

A group, Kaduna Communities for Social Justice, on Wednesday, descended on the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, over his comment asking Nigerians to ‘contribute to the cost of treating’ the survivors of the Monday night Abuja-Kaduna train attack which left eight dead and scores of passengers unaccounted for.

The comment by the Minister, according to the group, was tantamount to dancing on the graves of dead victims while adding to sorrows for the living.

The leadership of the group led by its President, Muhammadu Adamu, and Secretary, Peter Musa, at a media briefing in the state capital on Wednesday, expressed deep grief over the loss of lives, injuries on victims and the abduction of many citizens, including women and children.

Adamu, while reading from a prepared text titled, ‘Kaduna train tragedy: Amaechi, a huge disappointment for a bleeding North,’ noted that the Minister distancing himself from the train tragedy under his watch was unacceptable.

He said, “The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, terribly disappointed a bleeding North and the entire federation by positioning himself for 2023 presidential elections and audaciously distancing himself from the Abuja-Kaduna train tragedy that happened under his watch.

“Without much being said, the killings and abductions that happened on that train and in various places kept many of us in deep grief that is only worsened by the minister’s statements that is tantamount to dancing on the graves of dead victims, while adding to sorrows for the living.”

According to the group, it was disheartening to note the speed with which Amaechi hastened to use the tragedy to absolve himself of a team decision by the Federal Executive Council, tactically lay the blame at the feet of both the President and Vice President, while also pushing for a N3.7 billion railway surveillance contract for a company that lacked everything required to undertake such project.

“Kaduna State government under Governor El-Rufai had asked the minister to stop operating the trains after 5pm, based on security reports, and the minister confirmed that he knew of security threats before asking for the N3. 7 billion contracts, adding hints that FEC’s collective decision to disapprove of his contract proposal should be blamed.

“Mogjan Limited, which Minister Amaechi highly favoured for this specialised contract, was registered by a couple living in a Flat 1, Block 1 along Calabar Street in Area 7, Abuja, with RC Number 365567 on September 29, 1999, and our findings indicate that the company appears to be positioned as a middleman to collect huge payments for deployment of security equipment, while a company in the United Kingdom does the job.

“Following the train tragedy, only Sheikh Nuhu Khalid, Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters Mosque in Abuja, has lost his job but others far more deserving of immediate sack or resignation hold on to their jobs.

“Under Amaechi’s watch, the corruption at the Nigerian Railway Corporation is such that on the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train, 398 tickets were sold, 372 ticket holders boarded but head count on board was 970!

“It is terribly appalling that, while the blood of victims on that train was yet to dry up, Minister Amaechi used the site of the tragedy to reportedly ask Nigerians to ‘contribute to the cost of treating’ the survivors of the attack; he also found the moment to be oddly appropriate for thinking about profitable contracts for a middleman company with no relevant track records.

“Now, considering his uninspiring disposition, Mr. Amaechi or an Amaechi presidency (God forbid!) may as well become the worst legacy of insensitivity that any administration can bequeath to Nigeria if President Muhammadu Buhari ever allows such antithesis to overtake the populist mission that his administration once promised Nigerians,” the group stated.

The PUNCH had reported that in the wake of the attack, the minister had claimed to have warned of possible attacks on the rail line and tracks that could lead to loss of lives and property before the Abuja-Kaduna terror attack that claimed lives on Monday.

Amaechi, while briefing journalists after the visit, expressed dissatisfaction over the incident, which he claimed, could have been averted with relevant digital security equipment in place.

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