2nd Niger Bridge: Buhari as Igbo’s best friend, by Chukwudi Enekwechi
Despite obvious criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by some South Easterners, it has finally manifested that under this administration, the people of the area will heave a sigh of relief in the aspect of infrastructural development.
Before his assumption of power, South Easterners had to put up with a litany of unfulfilled promises by successive Peoples Democratic Party administrations. The circuitous journey started with the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo who despite all pleadings for the construction of the Second Niger Bridge merely paid lip service to the peoples’ clarion call.
Till President Buhari arrived on the scene no serious deliberate effort was made towards the realisation of the project. The good news however is that President Buhari has approved the construction of the Second Niger Bridge as a national priority in the 2017 budget proposal.
What this implies is that once the 2017 appropriation bill is passed into law, full construction work will commence on the Second Niger Bridge, and sufficient funds have been provided to ensure its successful completion.
In the final analysis, the point must be made that despite the shenanigans of the PDP lords of manor about loving Igbos, President Buhari has demonstrated in concrete terms that his love for Igbos is real and unpretentious. For 16 years, South Easterners put up with a deceitful, self-seeking and rapacious crowd whose claim to leadership was based on god-fatherism, and links to Abuja overlords.
They failed to spare a thought for the long-suffering people of South East whose physical infrastructure had dilapidated to unimaginable levels. Rather they gloried in self-immolation and aggrandisement, preferring to pollute the atmosphere with their filthy riches, while at the same time abusing our sense of decency and tolerance.
With President Buhari’s emergence, the people will sing a new song as a Daniel has come to judgement, as he has exhibited large heartedness towards the people of South East. In a figurative manner, one can rehash Bob Marley’s popular song which says that your “worst enemy could be your best friend”.
This can simply be translated to mean that in spite of various misgivings against candidate Buhari during the elections by some Igbos; his proactive actions towards ameliorating the plight of the people are today visible. It is on record that no administration has gone this far in making deliberate efforts to address the infrastructural deficit of the South East geopolitical zone.
As a sign that the Buhari administration has a lot of goodies in stock for the South East it is pertinent to state here that the federal government under President Buhari has earmarked over seven strategic roads for complete rehabilitation in the zone. It is not in doubt that decayed infrastructure has remained the major militating factor towards the economic emancipation of the South East. This has also led to what many people from the area have termed as marginalization.
Without mincing words, this is the first time a significant attention is being paid to the infrastructural decay in the South East. Regrettably, despite the fact that the zone produced five Senate Presidents, SGF, chairmen of works committee in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively, it is puzzling that they failed to influence the repair of the roads in the zone.
It is therefore only reasonable that the people of South East should throw their weight behind the APC administration under President Muhammadu Buhari, as they embark on massive rehabilitation of road infrastructure in the zone.
Even as President Buhari undergoes medical check-up in the United Kingdom, the fervent prayer of all Nigerians, especially people of the South East is for God to grant him good health, long life and even a second term to be able to complete his assignment for all Nigerians.
It is indeed regrettable that despite the massive support the South East gave to PDP while their reign lasted, they merely took their support for granted, and deceived the gullible into believing that their destinies were intertwined. Unfortunately the zone had as their representatives, senators and political appointees, people with pecuniary interests who never understood the meaning of selfless service to their various constituencies.
Today, with the presentation of 2017 budget proposals by the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to the National Assembly, it is crystal clear that the Buhari administration is poised to make a difference in the lives of Igbos and Nigerians in general.
Of course, he is able to achieve this feat based on the fact that he is incorruptible, serious-minded, and does not play games with lives and welfare of the people he governs. This administration is action-packed, and the impact will be felt in different sectors, ranging from power, railway, roads, housing, health, science and technology, agriculture, internal security, social empowerment schemes, and fight against graft in public offices.
. Enekwechi, journalist and politician, writes from Abuja and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.