PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has begun a serious of dialogues with several Igbo leaders led by Enugu State governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in an attempt to find a lasting solution to claims of marginalisation by the southeast geo-political zone.
Since President Buhari assumed office last year, the southeast has become volatile amid allegations that it is marginalised when it comes to appointments and federal presence. Also, the arrest of Radio Biafra director Nnamdi Kanu has fuelled calls for the southeast to secede from Nigeria and recreate the defunct Republic of Biafra.
With large demonstrations held earlier this year calling for the break-up of Nigeria, the federal government has decided to engage in dialogue with Igbo leaders to address the problem. On assumption of office last year, Governor Ugwuanyi vowed to leave no stone unturned to raise the living standards of Enugu State people following the goodwill he enjoyed during the electioneering campaigns.
Last week, at the Nike-Lake Resort Hotel in Enugu, the venue of a federal government organised town hall meeting, he charged President Buhari to redeem his campaign promises to the people of Enugu. Accompanied to the meeting by members of the state executive council, the governor revealed that the appeal became imperative, following the sustained poor power supply in the country.
Governor Ugwuanyi said: “I recall the president’s campaign promise to revive the coal mines in Enugu and utilise it to generate electricity. Coal is a major energy source in some countries of the world and we have it in abundance in the state, so if this is done, it will directly or indirectly create jobs for millions of Nigerians.
“Work at the Ada Rice Farm Irrigation Project started by the federal government in the state in 2007, has since stopped at the site. This project is critical and important to the state government, following efforts to diversify the economy and make the country self-sufficient in rice production.”
He thanked Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture for bringing the town hall meeting to the zone. Governor Ugwuanyi said he was convinced that the presence of these ministers will help usher in the new vista of development for Enugu State and other parts of the southeast region.