Our attention has been drawn to media publications to the effect that the Secretary of Uche Ogah/Orji Uzor Kalu faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State, Mr Perfect Okorie, is attacking President Muhammad Buhari and Minister of Trade & Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, over the definitive agreements entered into between the Federal Government and Abia State Government on the Enyimba Economic City.
While it is not our intention to defend Mr President’s capacity to review, approve and enter into agreements presented to him, it is important to place on record that the review of Enyimba Economic City Project was done over a period of two years by relevant federal government agencies and international investors who found merit in the project and copiously recommended it as meeting the best global standards for similar projects.
It is also instructive to note that long before the final definitive agreement with the federal government, the private sector promoters of the Enyimba Economic City had satisfied local and international conditions for the project to take off, including payment of license fee of $600,000, payment for the design of the city in Singapore at a cost of $1m as well as endorsement of local agreements with host communities of the project in the concerned local government areas of the state.
Enyimba Economic City is the single biggest investment project in the south east region of Nigeria since the end of the civil war and Abians, especially members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are proud that the project was conceptualised and pursued to this level by the PDP government of Abia State led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who is the Chief Vision Bearer and Promoter of the revolutionary project.
That the factional APC candidate in Abia State, Mr Uche Ogah, sponsored the unfortunate scathing attacks on President Buhari, instead of applauding the positive collaboration between the APC-led Federal Government and the state government, shows the extent that members of APC in the state hold the president in disdain. According to them, the president is vulnerable to being scammed and was indeed scammed.
The statement that “Ikpeazu can deceive President Buhari, not Abians who know the truth and cannot be hoodwinked” is an unfortunate and despicable commentary on the extent this band of political voyagers who are apparently running away from corruption trials hold the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria. We will rather leave the Presidency to address this attack on the leadership ability of Mr President even while recommending that Abians take note and do the needful by voting for PDP candidates in 2019.
Contrary to the statement of the Abia APC faction, there are no abandoned projects in Abia State as the Governor who has to date delivered more than 67 completed road projects is still actively working on 94 other ongoing ones including Faulks (Ariaria) Road, Aba Road, Umuahia, Osisioma Flyover and others. A visit to the project sites will confirm that contractors are on site delivering projects that will last for decades after the Ikpeazu administration’s 8 years tenure, unlike the fabled “Taiwan roads” constructed by the Orji Uzor Kalu administration which never survived one rainy season.
We wish to use this medium to also alert Mr President on the harm members of his party, APC, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Contractors of NDDC are doing to his image through poor execution of Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) road projects cornered by them and their proxies in the name of “attracting NDDC projects” to our dear State.
Mr President may do well to note that not even one of the so called NDDC road projects in Abia State survived 2018 rainy season as they have all failed and are now urgently requiring fresh rehabilitation. Nothing could be more deceptive than taking money from NDDC for projects earmarked for the state only to execute terribly poor road projects in the name of President Buhari and his party.
At no time did Governor Ikpeazu pledge to abandon PDP for APC and such thoughts must have been a figment of the imagination of those who do not understand the need for a state Governor to work with the federal government and its agencies even if across party lines to deliver dividends of democracy to the people. We therefore have no apologies to offer to those who place partisan politics before development and attempt to sacrifice the people’s prosperity on the altar of parochial sentiments.
The PDP in Abia State is proud of the good relationship between its leader, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and the current federal government which has positively yielded dividends for the people of the state. Those who have chosen to mischievously twist the essence of this relationship to mean any other thing and suit their selfish and narrow agenda must have been dwelling in political fool’s paradise.
We look forward to the coming visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to perform the groundbreaking ceremony for this project which is sure to deliver a minimum of 650,000 new jobs and support the rapid economic development of Abia State, South East region and Nigeria in general.
We sincerely appreciate the support of President Buhari, Minister Enelamah and others who have always supported this revolutionary initiative.
That the members of the shambolic Abia APC chose to attack President Buhari and the visionary Enyimba Economic City Project is yet another evidence that they do not mean well for the people of the state and must be resoundingly rejected in 2019.
Sir Don Ubani
State Publicity Secretary
PDP, Abia State