Some major roads and streets, were deserted as well as markets, shopping malls and commercial banks did not open for business in Owerri, Imo State capital as President Muhammadu Buhari visited for the commissioning of some signature projects executed by Governor Hope Uzodimma.
The President’s visit coincided with the sit-at-home directive issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in solidarity with the detained leader of the pro-Biafra group, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, whose case came up for hearing recently.However, the heavy presence of security agents in strategic locations in Owerri, ensured a hitch-free visit. The Presid
Speaking while addressing some stakeholders at the Government House, Owerri, President Buhari said his administration had done ‘extremely well’ since its inception in 2015, but regretted that those who ought to say it are not doing so.
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The President, who was in the state to inaugurate three critical projects executed by Uzodimma – Phase 1 52km Owerri-Okigwe road, dualised 35km Owerri-Orlu road and the rebuilt Imo House of Assembly complex, said his administration has had some economic challenges, including dwindling oil prices, crude oil theft, insecurity largely posed by Boko Haram insurgency, among other insecurity challenges, but despite the hiccups, his administration has sailed on, accusing those who have the onus to highlight it of not doing so.
The President maintained that the Second Niger Bridge and provision of other infrastructure in the Southeast were eloquent testimonies of his administration’s commitment to the growth of the zone.
He recalled that when he visited the state last year, he appealed to the people to support Uzodimma, to bring progress to the state, expressing happiness that his advice was adhered to, leading to the infrastructural growth provided by the Uzodimma administration.
Earlier, Uzodimma said the roads were abandoned because of their topography, noting particularly, the Amucha-Njaba erosion area on Owerri-Orlu road, which the late former president Shehu Shagari, about 40 years ago, could not realise, but with Buhari’s support, has now been fixed. He also expressed joy that the Owerri-Okigwe road, under construction, traverses seven councils, leading to Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and other states.
Those at the reception for the President were the governor’s wife, Chioma Uzodimma; the Deputy Senate President, Omo-Agege; his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Idris Wase; deputy governor of Imo, Prof. Placid Njoku; Chairman of Elders Council of Ohanaeneze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; a former military administrator of Imo State/Foreign Affairs Minister, Maj.-Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd); former governor of Imo, Ikedi Ohakim; Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nana Opiah and former deputy governor of Imo, Dr. Douglas Acholonu, among others.