Magnus Eze, Enugu
South East Governors, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and other Igbo leaders will today meet with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa.
Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, told newsmen after the pre-visit meeting in Enugu on Monday that the visit was to deliberate the welfare of their people with the President.
Daily Sun reliably gathered that top on the shop list to the President would be the delayed reconstruction of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu which was shut down since August 24, 2019.
There have been concerns over the non-commencement of work given that the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, prior to the closure of the airport, had promised that the job would be finished for travellers to use it during the yuletide.
In fact, two Igbo organisations; Igbo Renaissance Forum (IRF) and Oke Ndigbo categorically accused the Federal Government of intentionally delaying work on the airport to give room for its downgrade by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Former chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi and former President of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazulike, have begged the Federal Government to treat Ndigbo fairly by keeping to its December date of concluding repair of the airport.
Uwazulike who said the continued closure of the airport with no work going on there was the extension of marginalisation of the Igbo in Nigeria wondered why the Federal Government had not adopted the same approach and speed it deployed in rehabilitating the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, which was even concluded before the stipulated time. Igbo Renaissance Forum (IRF) also demanded that the Federal Government should treat the repair and upgrade works at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu like they did with other airports.
Other pressing issues affecting the region which would feature prominently at the meeting include seeking the Federal Government’s endorsement of the joint-security arrangements of the five Governors to stem spate of insecurity in the region; eastern dry port, and dilapidated infrastructure especially the Enugu-Port Harcourt and Enugu-Onitsha highways.
Our investigation showed that their request might not be much different from what they presented when they met with the President November last year as the situation had not improved. For instance, the issue of exclusion of the South East in the command and control structure of the nation’s security forces has not been redressed.