Pan Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF), has demanded the immediate reversal of the naming of Agbo Railway station after former President Goodluck Jonathan, describing the action as meaningless and belittling to the person and status of the former president.
The Pan Niger Delta socio-cultural organisation said that It was worst that after the supposed honour, the government went ahead to name several other stations after other Nigerians. It stressed, that though it was understandable that all the various railway stations were named after other prominent and deserving Nigerians.
It however, maintained that if the gesture was truly an honour done to Goodluck Jonathan, then there would have been no reason, naming several other stations after numerous other persons.
In a press statement made available to journalists, by Honourable Ken Robinson, national publicity secretary of the organisation, on Sunday night, stated that the action was simply improper, incongruous and completely unacceptable that one of the several railway stations in the country would be named after former President Jonathan, more so, when no other former Head of State or President was named after a railway station.
PANDEF, demanded the immediate reversal of the naming of the Agbor railway station after the former president. It stressed that instead, a befitting national infrastructure should be named after him.
The statement reads in part, “Former President Jonathan deserves to be celebrated by this country, and nothing should be deemed too much, in doing so. We call on the former President to reject the dishonorable gesture.”
“The reality is that many of our young people only known what a railway station looks like from what they see in books, magazines and on television, because such infrastructures are completely absent in their areas.”
“The Lagos-Calabar Coastal rail line that was earlier touted by the administration, instead of the Coastal Road that was conceptualized by the Jonathan administration, seems to have been aborted like several other critical projects for the Niger Delta region. It is in the face of such circumstances that they are naming a mere railway station after the former president from the region. Of what significance is it?”
PANDEF maintained that if President Muhammadu Buhari sincerely wanted to honour former President Jonathan in terms of naming an infrastructure after him, it should be something befitting. The organization, wondered why the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Rivers State, would not be named after the former president? The first democratically elected President of Nigeria from the South South geopolitical zone.
The statement further reads, “The Port Harcourt International Airport is one of the nation’s five functional International Airports, including those in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, and Enugu. The Abuja International airport is named after Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe; that of Lagos is named after late Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed. And Enugu international Airport is named after Akanu Ibiam, who was Governor of the former Eastern Region from 1960 to 1966.”
“He is even more deserving knowing that the milestone upgrade of facilities at the airport, which was commissioned by Mr. President in October 2018, was initiated by the Goodluck administration.”