By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Despite the viral video released by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), warning President Muhammadu Buhari not to visit South East region, the president commenced his two-day visit to the region from Ebonyi state where he expressed displeasure over the state of infrastructures in South East.
Buhari visited the region barely 24 hours after IPOB threatened to unleash mayhem should the president and his team ignore their warning, stating that if the visit is not shelved, it would lead to bloodshed, as members of the group would go on the rampage.
The President, who arrived Abakaliki, Ebonyi state on Tuesday to the warm embrace of crowed who thronged venue of the commissioning ceremony for the N2 billion flyover bridge built by the Ebonyi state government on the African Trans-Saharan Highway from Enugu-Cross River-Cameroon.
He also unveiled the statue of Dr. Akanu Ibiam and was also conferred with the traditional title of Enyioma 1 of Ebonyi (Good friend) by the state Traditional Rulers Council.
While commissioning the projects, the president stressed that residents of the region remain integral part of the country, pledging his determination to urgently address the infrastructure deficit and related challenges confronting the south-east.
According to the president, his administration would fulfill all promises made to the south-east zone during leaders of the region’s visit to Abuja recently.
“The leaders raised several concerns on the condition of roads and other infrastructure in the region and I want to assure that we will deliver on all our promises. The 2018 budget captures several strategic projects in the region which includes roads, power, agriculture, social services, among other areas,” he said.
Buhari noted that his visit to Ebonyi was an affirmation of his government’s commitment to achieve a united Nigeria for the benefit of all citizens.
Meanwhile, the President extolled the virtues of late former Governor of the Old Eastern region, Dr Akanu Ibiam, describing as a great Nigerian whose contributions and notable record in humanitarian—free primary education advocacy and rural development have been inspirational to all.
Earlier, the state governor, David Umahi, noted that Buhari’s visit confounded those who doubted the possibility of his visit to the state, stating that the Buhari-led administration had assisted the state in boosting food security, harnessing mineral resources and others.
“You have assisted us in becoming a force to be reckoned with in agriculture especially in rice production as we assure to redouble our efforts to meet the rice needs of the country,” he said.
Former Ebonyi state governor, Sam Egwu, who spoke on behalf of the stakeholders, thanked God for restoring the president’s health and granting him the strength to continue piloting the country’s affairs.
“We urge you to ensure the conversation of the state College of Education Ikwo to a federal institution and solving the lingering boundary disputes between it and neighbouring states such as Cross River and Benue,” he said.