By Tunde Johnson, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the people of South East region that his administration will ensure the timely execution of roads, power and other projects in the region.
A statement by Femi Adeshina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, said that President Buhari gave the assurance in Abakiliki, capital of Ebonyi State while being hosted by Ebonyi State Leaders of Thought and Traditional Rulers at a meeting in Government House during his visit to the state.
“My presence here today is a demonstration of our strong belief in the unity of Nigeria. As the most populous country in Africa, with over 300 ethnic groups, our diversity is unique among nations.
“When I met with leaders from the South-East last month in Abuja, they raised several issues of concern, including the state of the roads and infrastructure in the region.
“I want to assure you that we will deliver on our promises.
“Our 2018 budget includes many strategic projects for the region in the roads, power, agriculture and other sectors,” Adesina quoted Buhari as saying.
He averred that the President had earlier inaugurated the 14.5km Abakiliki-Afikpo Federal road constructed by the Ebonyi State Government.
The President also inaugurated the 700-metre length of the dual flyover over the Trans-Sahara route running from Enugu to Cameroon, and the Senator Offia Nwali flyover, all in the state capital.
In addition, he performed the foundation stone-laying ceremonies of Ebonyi City Mall, another flyover and road tunnel named after him.
The President also unveiled the statue of Sir Akanu Ibiam, a former governor of the old Eastern region, whom he described as “a great Nigerian whose notable records of humanitarianism, advocacy of free primary education and rural development will continue to be an inspiration to all.’’
President Buhari, who commended Governor Dave Umahi for his vision and commitment to the development of the state, also thanked the traditional rulers led by Eze Charles Mkpuna, for conferring him with the chieftaincy title of Enyioma 1 of Ebonyi (Trustworthy Friend of Ebonyi).
At another event with South-East traditional rulers led by Eze Eberechi Dick, the President was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Ochioha Nd’Igbo (Leader of Igbo people).
Earlier in an address presented on behalf of Ebonyi elders, Sam Egwu, a former governor of the state, appealed for more Federal presence in the state, particularly the conversion of College of Education, Ikwo, to a Federal College of Education..
He also called for urgent intervention by the Federal Government to curb intra-communal clashes and cross-border disputes in the region.