Posted by News Express | 13 October 2017 | 2,768 times
Igbo leaders on Friday stormed the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja with a long shopping list, which they presented to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The demands of the agitated people otherwise known as South-East geopolitical zone were articulated by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo. They include the creation of a new state for the South East, restructuring of Nigeria, federal projects in the zone, namely Enugu-Onitsha road, Enugu-Port Harcourt road and Aba-Ikot-Ekpene road, among others.
Nwodo also demanded urgent presidential interventions on the Enugu Airport, reticulation of the gas-pipelines in the South East and the standard gauge plan for railway construction.
Commending President Buhari’s achievements on security and the fight against corruption, Nwodo declared: “We are ready to work with you. We are determined to work with you. We know you are a decisive leader and we know God will continue to give you the wisdom to govern Nigeria.”
Responding, Buhari assured his guests led by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, that the region will benefit more from roads and coastal rail projects, which are of critical importance to the economy.
He declared that 2nd Niger Bridge, the East-West Road and the Coastal rail project, are receiving utmost attention from his administration.
The President said counterpart funding from the Chinese government would substantially fund these projects, which when completed will improve the welfare, well-being and economy of the people in the region.
“I know the Chinese are very competent in handling such projects and we will ensure that we get the money for the projects to take off.
“I thank you for articulating your demands and I want to assure that we are doing our best for the country. If we can stop people from stealing, then there will be more resources to put into projects that will create employment for Nigerians,” the President said.
Responding to allegations of under-representation of Igbos in his government, the President said: “I gave south-East four substantive ministers in the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, Science and Technology and Labour.
“Seven states in the North got Ministers of State and of the two Ministries headed by your sons, I cannot take any decision on foreign policy and investments without their input,” he said.
The President also promised the leaders that included governors and ministers from the region, as well as representatives from the National Assembly, that he will visit states in the zone soon.
“I want to assure you that I came into government with a clear conscience and I will also leave with a clear conscience,” he said.
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