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Imo State has witnessed frequent deadly attacks by gunmen suspected to be members of the outlawed IPOB.
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has said bandits and hoodlums would have overrun the state if not for the “swift” intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Uzodinma stated this on Tuesday after the commissioning of the dualised 36-kilometer Owerri-Orlu Road and the first phase of the dualised 53-kilometer Owerri-Okigwe Road in the state by Mr Buhari.
The president also commissioned the reconstructed Imo House of Assembly Complex.
“Your fast intervention helped to restore peace and order in our state.
“But for your timely, prompt and fatherly intervention through the security agencies, Imo State would have been overrun by bandits and hoodlums.
“For this, I also say a big thank you Mr President,” Mr Uzodinma said.
Just like other states in the South-east, Imo State has recently become a hotbed of attacks attributed to the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, which is agitating for a sovereign state for the Igbo-speaking people in the South-east.
Although the state government enacted a law which domesticated South-east security outfit, Ebubeagu, to complement the efforts of security agencies against insecurity, the attacks have persisted in the state.
The governor also expressed gratitude to Mr Buhari for accepting his invitation to commission the projects, saying the visit to the state, which was his second within one year, was an evidence of his love for the state.
He praised Mr Buhari for his “numerous” development projects in the South-east since he assumed office.
“You have demonstrated your love for Ndigbo through the completion of the second River Niger Bridge, a project that has been in the bucket list of Ndigbo for decades.
“Mr President I must tell you that since the end of the civil war, it is only under your administration that the federal government would do one project at a cost in excess of N360 billion. It has not been done by any government before 2015,” the governor said.
He said the president’s “encouragement and support” enabled him to complete the commissioned projects, which he claimed were ignored by successive administrations due to “their intractable and capital-intensive nature.”
‘I’ve done more than 105 roads’
Mr Uzodinma said his administration was still undertaking some infrastructural projects in the state, which would soon be commissioned, saying the government prides itself “as apostles of road revolution” given the number of accomplished projects in the state.
“In less than three years since I took over as the governor, this administration has done more than 105 roads across the 27 local government areas of the state,” he said. “Our goal is to leave Imo state far better than we met it.”
The governor said his administration refused to be distracted by rising insecurity in the state which he claimed was “politically-contrived” by his political opponents.
Ohanaeze’s message to Buhari
Meanwhile, the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo George Obiozor, has told Mr Buhari that the region was committed to the Nigerian project.
Mr Obiozor, a professor, spoke during a reception held in honour of the president at the new banquet hall, Government House, Imo State on Tuesday.
“I wish to reiterate and speak on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide — both home and in the diaspora — that our people are committed to the Nigerian project (and) that we desire a country that provides us the platform and opportunities to contribute our utmost best to the growth of our fatherland,” he said. “We seek justice, equity and fairness.”
The President-General also appealed to Mr Buhari to assist the region in addressing myriads of challenges facing them.
“Although our people are doing their utmost best to confront the plethora of challenges, the two that are of greatest importance to the South-east political zone are the issues of security and infrastructure,” Mr Obiozor said.