President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his campaign promise of addressing the infrastructural challenges confronting the South East zone of the country.
He made the pledge in Abakaliki during a reception held in his honour at the Government House. He noted that the Igbo remained an integral part of the country.
He said that “the 2018 Budget captures several strategic projects in the region which include roads, power, agriculture, social services, among other.”
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.
“We are the most populous country in Africa with over 300 ethnic groups as our diversity is unique among nations of the world.
“I thank the citizens of Ebonyi for their warm reception and hospitality since my arrival which has made me happy to be in the state.
“I also commend the State Governor for his numerous infrastructural strides some of which I have commissioned,” he said.
He also paid glowing tributes to former Governor of Eastern Region, Akanu Ibiam while unveiling the statue the State Government erected in his honour.
“Ibiam was a great Nigerian whose contributions and notable record in humanitarian work – free primary education advocacy and rural development – have been inspirational to all.
Governor David Umahi, thanked the President for the visit, noting that it confounded those who doubted the possibility of his visiting the state.
“We assure you we will redouble our efforts to meet the rice needs of the country,” he said.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to solve the lingering boundary disputes between Ebonyi and its neighbouring states such as Cross River and Benue.
The President was conferred with the traditional title of Enyioma 1 (Good friend) of Ebonyi by the state Traditional Rulers Council.
The state government also offered the President 2, 000 bags of rice, 2, 000 tubers of yam and white horse in appreciation of his visit.