President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met South-East Leaders and Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Abakaliki during his two-day working visit to Ebonyi State at the newly built State Executive Council Chambers, Ochoudo Centenary City.
Addressing the Stakeholders, President Buhari applauded Governor Umahi and supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the warm reception and solidarity with his administration.
“I will like to express my gratitude to His Excellency, Engr. Chief David Nweze Umahi the Governor of Ebonyi State, also known as the Salt of the Nation.
“I also want to thank the Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Charles Mkpuma, and other Traditional Rulers who are custodians of our customs and Traditions.
“Today I witnessed and also commissioned some projects that were designed to upgrade the fortunes of the Ebonyi people.
“What I have seen since my arrival has given me a new outlook of the State from what it used to be like in 2017, what Umahi has done has elicited rivalry among States such that people are now holding their Executive responsible for delivery of democracy dividends.
He also cited the release of funds for the Solid Minerals Development Fund in the South East as part of efforts to swell the economy of the Zone.
President Buhari said the Federal Government was open to allowing the law to take its course in the ongoing trial of Nnamdi Kanu.
The President assured of his commitment to conducting free, fair, and credible elections in 2023.
Governor David Nweze Umahi thanked the President for coming to commission the litany of projects constructed by his administration.
“Let me on behalf of the entire South East thank Mr. President for coming, I thank you so much for the expression of love for Mr. President, I want to assure you that Mr. President would be here two more times before he leaves office.”
He commended the President for coming to commission his completed projects and for the takeover of the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu.
“The second Niger Bridge was a political brainwashing for our people, by October we would be going over that Bridge, we are very grateful, look at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, today we have a very wonderful Airport and I urge the South East People to speak out for the world to know what Mr. President has done for us.
“We are men and women of honours in this State and we do not forget favours done for us.
“We have gotten ourselves to a very pitiable situation, I never for once supported the IPOB approach, I never did.”
Governor Umahi called for zoning of the 2023 Presidency to the South East for the sake of equity and fairness.
“He is one of us and will continue to be one of us if the basis of asking for Presidency is zoned to the South East is on equity and justice and it is later zoned to South and our brothers in South-South and South-West lay claim to it, then where is the equity, where is the justice and where is the fairness.
“All those angling for one position or the other can only have it if there is Nigeria, so I enjoin Nigerians to embrace a little bit of Patriotism.”
Earlier, Secretary to Ebonyi State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala welcomed Mr. President and his entourage to the State and wished them journey mercies back to Abuja.
“I want to once again welcome Mr. President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari to Ebonyi State. On behalf of our dear Governor, I also welcome Igbo Leaders to the salt of the Nation.”
The National President, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor represented by Chief Peter Aneke, congratulated Governor Umahi for the massive infrastructural development in the State.
“We are happy to behold the wonderful friend of our Leader, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, we are happy to be here to give solidarity to one of our illustrious sons, His Excellency Engineer Chief David Nweze Umahi for his infrastructural achievements in Ebonyi State.”
The President General assured that the South-East would not support the break up of Nigeria but would stand for a united Nigeria where justice and fairness would be upheld.
On his part, the Chairman, South East Council of Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Charles Mkpuma appreciated the President for his love for the people of the South East region manifested in infrastructural projects embarked upon by the Federal Government in the Zone.
He called on the President to uphold the rotation of the Presidency to ensure that Ndigbo succeeds him in 2023.
Eze Mkpuma appealed to the President to use his good office to ensure unconditional release of incarcerated Nnamdi Kanu, assuring that negotiations were on to reconcile aggrieved persons in the Zone.
An elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu represented by Chief Mbazulike Amaechi solicited the unwavering commitment of the Federal Government to tackling insecurity in the Country and South-East Zone.
The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, South East, Reverend Father Abraham Nwali prayed for peace and security of Nigeria and the South East Zone.
“Our Nation is currently challenged with security and societal conflicts, we request that we embrace equity, fairness, and justice among all political parties as we approach a transition year.”
Reverend Father Nwali prayed to God to continue to strengthen the President to continue to saddle his responsibility to the benefit of mankind.
“I want to see peace in this country before I die, I want to see peace in the South East.”