From: Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Thousands of indigenes of Ebonyi State from various communities, at weekend, converged at their various headquarters in the 13 Local Government Areas of the state to show support for the state government’s move to obtain $150 million loan for the Ring Road project.
Their action followed alleged suit filed by undisclosed petitioners opposed to the loan to stop it. The state government had approached the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Islamic Bank for the loan to enable her embark on the construction of the dilapidated road that would cut across eight council areas. The loan is said to be interest-free loan to be repaid over a period of 30 years.
But to register their support for the loan and disassociate themselves from the court action, the people converged to show solidarity to Governor David Umahi-led administration. They described the petitioners as enemies of progress and mischief makers who were hell-bent on thwarting the good thing that was about to happen to their areas.
All the thirteen council chairmen and various stakeholders in the state who spoke to newsmen who monitored the rally lent their support for the loan to enable the state government start work immediately on the roads.
At Onueke, headquarters of Ezza South council area, stakeholders and traditional rulers came out en mass to condemn in strong voices the actions of the petitioners, who want to frustrate the “laudable initiative of Umahi’s administration in intervening on the age long abandoned roads.”
Its chairman, Sunday Ogodo, assured the state government that his council was solidly behind all the moves by the state governor to secure the loan, which he said would greatly blossom economic activities and lives in the state.
The council boss therefore cautioned his people not to play politics with the future of the state, stressing that the governor has displayed enough commitment to transform the state.
Briefing newsmen in Abakaliki, the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, noted that the petitioners would soon been unmasked.
Kelechi said that the rally was evolved by the people of the state to show solidarity to the state governor for the good works he has been doing and also support the construction of the Ring Roads.
“We will like to know the petitioners in full. I have told you to approach the court. But very soon, we shall for the purpose of publication, give you the processes that were served on the Ebonyi State government where you will see the names of the plaintiffs who took the Ebonyi State government to court in respect to the ring roads.
“The ring road is very important to an Ebonyi man; whether you are from the Central, North or South because that ring road is a key to unlocking the economic potentials of the state” the deputy governor said.