Baraje resigns appointment as Nigeria Railway Corporations boss

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The embattled factional chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, has resigned his appointment as chairman of the Governing Board of Nigeria Railway Corporations.

In a statement signed  yesterday by the group’s National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said the resignation became necessary to avoid blackmail, and to concentrate forces on the nPDP structure.

“The National Chairman of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, today resigned his position as Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation Governing Board to give him room and time to manage the nPDP adequately and avoid any insinuation or plot to use the appointment of his NRC Chairmanship to blackmail or embarrass him in future,” he said.

 The letter of resignation which was titled: “LETTER OF GRATITUDE AND RESIGNATION OF APPOINTMENT AS CHAIRMAN, NIGERIA RAILWAY CORPORATION GOVERNING BOARD” and addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, was signed by Alhaji Baraje.

“I hasten to express my sincere gratitude to His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, through your good office for the confidence he placed in my ability to have appointed me to such an exalted position as Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation.

“His Excellency, Mr. President, will recall that this appointment came from his discretion in allotting some positions to our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, it is no longer news that there is an ongoing disagreement in principle between some top stakeholders of our party of which I am among on the one hand and the current leadership of the party on the other. This quagmire has upturned my belief in the present leadership of our great party and has consequently made my continued stay as the Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation Governing Board uncomfortable.

“Realizing that the position of the Nigeria Railway Corporation Chairmanship was allocated to the party and of which I am supposed to symbolize, I would appreciate if your good office could please convey to His Excellency, Mr. President, of my intention to relinquish this position with immediate effect because I can no longer represent the interest of the party whose leadership I no longer believe in.”

 Ealier, a vote of no confidence had been passed on Mr. Baraje by members of the board of directors, noting that his lack of concentration and inability to hold board meetings have affected the effective running of the board negatively.

 In a letter signed by Mr. E. J. Agbonayinma and addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan, and copied to Vice President Namadi Sambo; PDP national Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and dated November 6, 2013; the members said:

“We wish to inform you of the persistent inability of the Board Chairman to promptly convene Board meetings as prescribed by NRC Act. It is statutory for the board to hold a minimum of four (4) and a maximum of eight (8) meetings in every quarter of the year in order to effectively discharge the statutory obligation of the Board in line with the President’s Transformation Agenda.

 “It is of great concern that, the Board did not meet up to the minimum requirement in the last quarter and is yet to have a meeting in the new quarter which is almost coming to an end.

 “Alhaji Baraj’s  abandonment or refusal to convene Board meetings as prescribed and required by law has negatively affected the expectations of the Board in the discharge of its duties, thereby undermining the purpose of the Board, which is to bolster progress in the Railway sector.

 “It is also noteworthy to reckon that Alhaji Baraje’s refusal to participate in the just concluded Public-Private Partnership (PPP) summit organized by the Nigeria Railway Corporation and Ministry of Transport is an indication of further serious negligence of his primary responsibility to the Board.

 “We hereby, call on you Mr. President, to wade into these issues highlighted as a matter of urgency in order to restore normalcy in the running of the constituted NRC Board.”

 Before his resignation, the NRC was led by  Baraje, and has Alhaji Y.Y. Suleiman; Hon. Ibrahim Muhammed Gimi; Sqd.LDR. Mukhtar Gambo Ashu, rtd; Alhaja Atinuke Oyawoye; Hon Abdukareem Saliu; Alhaji Umaru Liman Suru ; Ogbu Emma; Wakili Aliyu; Ikwue Theresa ; Mohammed Kabir Abubakar; Iguo Minimah; Austine Nwachukwu; Chief Mike Ajinima; E.J. Agbonayinma, Abdullahi Jalo; Engr. Ahmed Muhammed; B.B Gafai; and Abdulkareem Saliu as board members.

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