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Marginalisation: South East govs meet Yar’Adua

Posted by By LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2008/08/05 | Views: 1357 |

Marginalisation: South East govs meet Yar’Adua

The marginalization of the South East geo-political zone took the front burner in Abuja yesterday when the five state governors of the area confronted President Umaru Yar’Adua jointly with the stark reality of the situation and demanded a redress in the interest of equity, justice and fair play.

The marginalization of the South East geo-political zone took the front burner in Abuja yesterday when the five state governors of the area confronted President Umaru Yar’Adua jointly with the stark reality of the situation and demanded a redress in the interest of equity, justice and fair play.

Governors Theodore Orji, Ikedi Ohakim, Peter Obi, Sullivan Chime and Martin Elechi of Abia, Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states respectively held a closed door meeting with the president in his office during which they called a spade by its name.

For instance, the governors asked that the South East zone be declared an ecological disaster zone, expressing regret that successive federal administrations over the years had looked the other way while the natural disaster of erosions wrought incalculable havoc in the area.
“We believe that the time has come for this country to turn a new page where the ‘benign’ neglect of pre-selected portions of the entity is no longer the order of the day. In order to check this unmitigated calamity of gully erosion in the South East, we urge you, Mr. President, to declare the South East an ecological disaster zone,” they requested.

The chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Anambra Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, who briefed the State House correspondents on the outcome of their meeting and expressed satisfaction with the president’s reaction to the issue as well as his genuine concern for the reversal of the trend.
He told newsmen that the governors decided to channel their complaint to the president because in his position as the leader and father of the nation, he was better placed to right the wrongs, redress the injustice and give Ndigbo a sense of belonging.
Apart from the abject lack of infrastructure in the zone, Obi said the governors put forward the need for an additional state in the area to be at par with most zones of the federation in line with the general agreement to that.

They listed the Onitsha-Owerri-Aba road, the Enugu-Onitsha road, the Enugu-Port Harcourt road, the Enugu-Abakaliki road, the Enugu-Makurdi road and Oba-Okigwe road as requiring urgent attention, pointing out “there is absolutely nothing to write home about the federal roads in the South East”.
On the problem of water, the governors said no state in the zone could boast of a functional federal water scheme and urged the president to rehabilitate the abandoned federal water schemes in Aba, Abakaliki, Awka, Enugu, Onitsha, Owerri and Umuahia.

As for the Niger Bridge , the governors, Obi said, informed the president that it was gradually falling to bits, stressing that despite refurbishment done on it three years ago, the problem had persisted because the bridge had clearly passed its sell-by date.
“It vibrates and sways indiscriminately. No one can fathom the calamity which the indefinite over usage of this obsolete bridge portends,” he further pointed out.

Making a case for a second Niger Bridge, the governors requested the president to personally intervene “to see that the second Niger Bridge project is kick-started,” adding, “there is no doubt in any quarters whatsoever that a second Niger Bridge, apart from guaranteeing the safety of travellers across the River Niger, will generally promote the economic growth of Nigeria as a whole”.
On power, the governors lamented that the zone was short-changed in the new power infrastructure planned by the government to resuscitate the sector, stressing that least infrastructure had been planned for the region in spite of its vibrant socio-economic activities.

“The entire South east has only four power transformation stations, which are always completely over-loaded”, they said, pointing out that “these transformer stations do not supply up to 15 per cent of the energy need of the region”.
They also decried the absence of fuel depot in the south east zone, pointing to the perennial fuel shortages and extortionate pump prices in the area as direct consequences of this, adding “this is because neither the storage of large quantities of fuel nor the preservation of strategic reserves is possible where the depots are not functional”.
Obi said the president gave them a listening ears and also promised to look into their demands, requesting them to liaise with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) office for the rehabilitation of the Aba , Onitsha and Enugu water schemes.

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Comments (9)

Kim Worley(Greeley, Colorado, US)says...

I heard this in a song and had no idea what it meant. Googled it and this came up. Very Cool. ????????????????

Obinna(Newark Nj)says...

I want to know more meaning and significant of this name obidike in igboland

Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...