Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye , Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
The Ebonyi Council of Traditional Rulers have endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari re-election in the February 16th Presidential elections.
This is even as President Buhari expresses satisfaction that the impact of federal government projects were being felt in Ebonyi State.
Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Charles Mkpuma, said the endorsement of Buhari’s return was born of the robust relationship he has with the governor, David Umahi.
He gave the assurance during an audience with the President at the Ebonyi State Government House In Abakaliki.
Mkpuma who commended Buhari’s determination to tackle the security situation of the country with aimed at eliminating Boko Haram and fight against corruption, said Buhari was deserving of their votes irrespective of party differences.
The monarch who spoke on behalf of 140 traditional rulers in the state said, “We appreciate your dogged determination to maintain utmost security of the country especially your effort in eliminating Boko Haram and fight against corruption which has brought respect and integrity to the country among committee of nations.
“We believe that your robust relationship with our son the governor and your loved for him and the state will surely earn you and only you, votes in Ebonyi state irrespective of party differences.”
Mkpuma, stated the traditional rulers are happy with the leadership of the governor, David Umahi, who has virtually touched every facets of human and infrastructural development of the state, adding “we the traditional rulers like other residents of the state have been rejuvenated and revived by the governor.
The monarchs later presents 1,000 yams and 1,000 bags for Buhari’s breakfast and lunch respectively.
President Buhari, on his part commenced the governor for infrastructural development in the state, assuring that monies spent on the completion of the federal projects will be refunded after the review committee would have audited the projects.
According to him, Umahi told him during their short drive to the government house, that he had not received up to 40 percent of the funds spent on federal projects in the state, but assured him the monies will be refunded once the audit committee headed by the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, conclude its work.
He also told the traditional rulers that his administration’s plans to invest in agriculture was deliberate, recalling that the First Republic was good in agriculture, because the land was abundant and grazing routes developed.
According to him, “But subsequently we got drunk with oil money and abandoned what kept us intact. But we are going back to that (agriculture).”
Buhari commended Umahi’s administration generosity in sending Ebonyi rice to Abuja which his extended family have been beneficiaries.
He assured the monarchs that the south east will benefit from second Niger Bridge when completed and it will affect you positively in moving goods and services.
He urged them that his second return will be of benefit to them as he will not be seeking a third return.
The governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi in his remarks said irrespective of some perceptions, the south east have benefited from federal government projects.
He added that the federal government’s agricultural programme have benefited the state immensely which has resulted in mountain of rice. He noted that the state has comparative advantage in agriculture and solid minerals.
Umahi thanked the President for approving the commencement of Ebonyi salt production.