Nigeria News

Standard Gauge Rail: Running Old Vision In Modern Time

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Nigeria News takes a look at the takeoff of the standard gauge train in Lagos.

I have refused to celebrate the standard gauge railway line because it is long overdue. Of course, it is a welcome development but ought to have been done before now by past governments.

It is always good to run with a man of vision rather than a man of ambition and mission. The late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande had the vision of what they wanted Lagos and Nigeria to be but because of ambition and mission of the past military leaders, including Gen. Muhammadu Buhari at that time, the dreams of these great minds were subjugated.

Dozens of narrow minded leaders had succeeded in imposing themselves on the country for years without having any idea of what to do except to oil their personal aggrandizement.

If Jakande had succeeded on the metro line, successive governments would only need to build on it by creating maintenance policy to retain such a megacity project.

Lagos and Federal Government by extension would not have directed the funds on the standard gauge but in some other areas, such as education and health sectors.

The vision of great thinkers like Awolowo and Jakande was stopped abruptly by a man who was on a mission, however, it is good that Buhari is seeing now what Jakande saw 36 years ago.

But it is painful that the metro line will still have to wait as the government now concentrates more on interstate standard gauge rail. What we ought to have achieved almost four decades ago, a meagre of it was celebrated on Friday.

This is how visibly the military leadership, including Buhari, had slowed development down and thrown this country into a perpetual third world because of their selfish agenda.

For 36 years no government thought it wise to rekindle the vision of our forefathers until yesterday when one of those who stopped it finally woke up from his own dream. We ought to have passed this level, yet we celebrate old vision at the time other climes are flying on cable.

Yes, Buhari is trying to retrace his steps, this should not stop the public from censoring his past deeds, which in so many ways contributed immensely to the backwardness of this country.

Many will argue that at least, Buhari is doing what other governments have failed to do, the situation at hands goes beyond the person of Buhari but the harm the military has done against the country.

One would have expected the Peoples Democratic Party that ruled for 16 years to reinvent the metro line idea, it never did but came up with the frame work on the standard gauge, which has now become the APC baby.

Lagos has remained one of the self-acclaimed megacity that does not operate on an intermodal transport system. The blue and red line being put in place by the state government will take another four years to complete if the Federal Government will ever support it.

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