Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba
The umbrella body of South East youths, Coalition of South-East Youths Leaders, COSEYL, has threatened to hit major streets in the region to register their displeasure with the perceived shoddy execution of the track-laying of the all-important Aba/ Port Harcourt railway line by the Chinese construction giants, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation CCECC.
In a statement issued on Thursday January11, 2024 in Aba, signed by its President General Comrade Goodluck Ibem and made available to the media, COSEYL demanded the return to site of the construction outfit within the next three days to complete its contractual obligations to the good people of the South East, or prepare to face protest march of monumental proportion.
The threat to lock-down major cities comes against the backdrop of earlier claims of completion of the laying of tracks on the 64 kilometers rail line by Mr Fidet Okhiria, a Director with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, a few days ago.
COSEYL, while not only rejecting claims of completion of work, also alleged poor execution, use of substandard materials and a total disregard for both national and international best practices by the Chinese firm in its handling of the project.
“We want to draw attention to the fact that the job given to the CCECC for the laying of tracks on the Aba/ Port Harcourt rail line has not been completed contrary to claims by the firm and officials of the NRC.
Apart from its non-completion, the execution is of the lowest standard with inferior materials deployed.
The shoddy nature of the job as executed by the CCECC has continued to pose serious challenges to Aba residents, mostly motorists and other road users who are forced to spend hours in excruciating traffic jam along all routes connected to the rail lines,” the youths body noted.
According to the group, the primary aim of the project which is to make life easier for the people have been defeated by the very poor job delivered.
“We’re therefore calling on the CCECC to go back to work and ensure a satisfactory completion. But if after three days our demands are not met, the youths of the South East will embark on massive protest marches, which will only be called off when all CCECC’s contracts in any parts of the region is revoked, ” COSEYL stated.