6th September, 2021
By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari is set to inaugurate 20 projects executed by the Ebonyi State Government to uplift the quality of life of the people.
Governor Dave Umahi disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of a closed-door meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
He did not state when the projects will be inaugurated.
But Buhari is due in Owerri, Imo state on Thursday. It may well turn out to be a two state visit.
Umahi revealed that the projects ready for inauguration by the president in November include roads, medical centres, malls and bridges.
The governor commended Buhari for the execution of mega projects in the South-Eastern part of the country, saying such projects, when completed, will have a great impact on the people of the region.
He said: “I came to see the President and thank him very highly for the number of mega projects that he is doing in the South-East.
“The second Niger bridge is fast becoming a reality. Each time we visit that bridge location, it is always like a dream and so we the people of the South-East are very grateful to the President for this.
“We also thank him for the award of the Eastern corridor of the railway line. This is a project that is going to fast track the commercial activities of our people.
“I recall that when I was in school, I used to join train from my state, Ebonyi to Maiduguri, where my brothers were staying for my holidays. Mr President is about restoring that hope. We are deeply very grateful.’’
The governor also lauded the president for introducing a fertiliser programme that would help the country attain food sufficiency.
“Let me point out that without the effort of President Buhari through this fertiliser initiative and other programmes in the agricultural sector, it would have been a very difficult time for this country.
“And so, that project is supposed to produce a large set of granules to enable us to produce fertilisers to serve the South-South, South-East and part of North Central.
“Mr President has already approved the funds and released them to the Solid Mineral Development Fund. But part of the requirement is that there must be SPV integration or private sector initiative.
“They have applied to Mr President for approval through the Chief of Staff. So we had to remind Mr President,” he said.
On the continuous adherence to the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the citizens of the state despite its suspension, Umahi identified fear of the unknown as a reason for the citizens’ action.
He said: “Well, I think is not more or less complying to the directive of IPOB or no IPOB, suspended or not suspended. It is a question of fear. You know, the easiest thing to do is to carry a weapon and kill somebody, and that’s what happened in the past.
“And that’s why, you know, some people in South East are afraid of coming out. Even if you go now to the street and say that… or you hold AK47, you will see everybody will desert the street.
“So it’s not a question of compliance. It’s a question of fear.
“The security agencies can have enough personnel in the South East. You’ll find out that no South East man wants to miss a day of work. They like to work, they are into trade, commerce, and they want to earn their daily living.
“So this is something that the nation must know, and it’s something that security agencies must know.’’