President Muhammadu Buhari was full of commendation for Governor Hope Uzodimma on Thursday when he visited Imo State to commission some critical projects initiated by Governor Uzodimma since assuming office last year.
During his one day official visit to Imo State, President Buhari commissioned the phase one of the Naze/Nekede/Ihiagwa/Obinze link road, the balloon driven/flood control tunnel on Dick Tiger Road, the Egbeada By-pass road (now Iwuanyanwu Way) and the New Executive Chambers, all built by the Governor, promising to assist him do more.
Speaking to Imo people while commissioning one of the projects at Egbeada, the President commended the Governor and noted that what he saw was enough to justify the resilience and integrity of Imo State Governor.
He said Governor Uzodimma has shown he has been working hard to ensure that the people of Imo State have access to the best of dividends of democracy. “If there are no roads and security the people will do absolutely nothing.”
President Buhari added: “I have seen enough that justifies the integrity of your Governor. Your Governor’s ideas on road infrastructure and security coincided with my own and I assure you that at the centre, I will try and encourage Imo State within the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
President Buhari thanked Imo people for their moral support to the government as regards his visit and particularly for conducting themselves well to accord him a warm reception.
It was also an opportunity the President had to interface with leaders from the South East at a close door meeting.
During the interaction, President Buhari told the SouthEast leaders: ” I want to leave as somebody who stabilise the country, in the remaining 18 months.
“I will make sure within the system I will stop corruption. Today election are free and fair. I will try to keep myself as clean as possible.”
Earlier in his address, Governor Uzodimma who was excited over President Buhari’s visit expressed his profound gratitude to the Mr. President for honouring his promise to come to Imo State which he said “is a show of the President’s profound love for Imo people and their Governor.”
The Governor informed the President that the harvest of commissioning of projects built by his administration commenced in March this year and recalled that President Buhari was the first to commission two strategic roads virtually and expressed happiness that he was “here today (Thursday) in flesh and blood to commission more and equally important projects.”
The Governor said that “the request for the President to visit Imo State was not for the fun of it rather to commission some projects that are strategic, socially and economically.”
He explained that the Naze/Nekede/Ihiagwa/Obinze link road commissioned by Mr. President “is only an addition to the 46 solid roads including the Muhammadu Buhari Avenue which houses the Federal Secretariat that have been already commissioned.”
Governor Uzodimma took time to explain the reason for the balloon driven tunnel.
“The Balloon-Driven Tunnel at the base of Dick Tiger road which we are commissioning today, was built to check the flooding in the area and recover properties swallowed by flood in the last twenty years. The Tunnel is 2.5kilometers in length, 1.8 meters in diameter and between 0.9 and 11.5meter in depth with 94 manholes.”
Giving a clearer insight into the several infrastructure commissioned by Mr. President, the Governor noted that his administration is not checking flooding alone but also building infrastructure that will enhance the easy movement of people and goods in Imo State.
On the New Executive Chambers, the Governor seized the opportunity to inform the President that modern governance skills rendered the old Chambers obsolete and no longer in tune with contemporary lifestyle.
Leaving the President with words of solidarity, Governor Uzodimma expressed the commitment of his administration to the peace and unity of Nigeria which he said is “IRREVOCABLE” and highlighted that through the inclusive government of the Shared Prosperity which he runs, he has been able to accommodate every Nigerian resident in Imo State.
“The aim being to build a mini Nigeria in Imo State, where everyone has a sense of not only belonging but unfettered accommodation.”
Govenror Uzodimma pledged the sincerity of his administration to satisfy the yearnings of Imo people within available resources.
He sincerely thanked Mr. President for granting him listening ears over myriad challenges each time he approached him, and pleaded with him never to be tired of him any time he comes knocking at his doors for assistance.
At the close door meeting with South East leaders, Governor Uzodimma told President Buhari that the Igbo crave for a Nation where “justice and equity prevail.”
In their remarks, the South East leaders who spoke through the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide pleaded with President Buhari to facilitate the release of all Igbo youth detained by security agencies across the nation.
In an address read by Prof. George Obiozor, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the leaders reminded President Buhari that the Igbo are truely committed to the unity of the country. “Ndigbo in Nigeria are like fish in the ocean, no matter how rough the storm is, it cannot drive the fish out of the ocean.”
Prof. Obiozor who canvassed for sense of belonging for Ndigbo in the spirit of the nation’s founding fathers based on one nation, one destiny, said such can also be possible through devolution of power.
The leaders further demanded improved road , bridges, railways and ports infrastructure in the South East and reiterated that security of the South East can be better if state and zonal security structures are introduced to complement what is currently at the centre.