Ebonyi: Gladiators Struggle for Attention as Buhari Visits
Political gladiators in Ebonyi State Nigeria are seen jostling for attention of President Muhammadu Buhari who is on a working visit to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controlled the state.
The State Governor, David Umahi (PDP) and the Minister of Science and Technology of All Progressive Congress (APC) are brothers from the same clan but they are known political foes.
But on Buhari’s visit, Onu and Umahi seem to have put their differences behind, taking up the most important assignment, which was to get the president’s attention. Any of the camps that Buhari favours is likely to have federal support as the 2019 general elections come closer.
There were speculations that Buhari might shelve his visit to the South-East Nigeria for a second time as a result of threats by the separatist group, the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) which demanded that Buhari should not step into the region.
But the president defied the threat and went to the region. Reports say Buhari received a rousing welcome in Abakaliki, capital city of Ebonyi State.
Lately, the governor who is also the Chairman of South-East governors’ forum has shown political interest in Buhari, calling on him to contest for the second term as the president in 2019.
Political watchers however see Umahi’s moves as political manoeuvre to check Onu’s popularity both at the federal level and at the state level.
Buhari is in the state to commission some projects carried out by Umahi.
Umahi had told newsmen: “We have three numbers of twin flyovers that is built across the African trans-atlantic road running from Enugu to Cameroun passing through Ebonyi State.
“So we have to build three twin flyover to decongest traffic on that road, each of the twin flyover is 700 metre length.“We have completed two and the third one is 80 per cent done, Mr President will commission the two.
“We also have a mall what we call Ebonyi mall that is modelled after the famous Dubai mall.’’He stated that the president would lay a foundation stone for the mall during the visit.
“Also we are building a tunnel that dovetails into a flyover that is parallel to the existing flyover, that particular junction that is called Akanu Ibiam junction.
“We want Mr President to lay the foundation stone and that flyover bridge will be named after Mr President and we are sure to finish that project in the next 12 months.“Mr President will also come back, he will be commissioning it when he comes back for his campaigns”, he said.