By Oginyi Ruth
President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances of winning the South-East part of the country in the 2019 general elections on Wednesday received a major boost as traditional rulers of Ebonyi State have endorsed him for the presidential election.
The monarchs under the aegis of Ebonyi Council of Traditional Rulers commended Buhari for his determination to tackle the insecurity in the country with the aim eliminating insurgents, Boko Haram and fight against corruption.
They made the commendation in Abakaliki when Buhari visited the traditional rulers during the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Rally in Ebonyi during which he had an audience with the Governor at the Exco chambers.
They said that as a result he deserves their votes irrespective of party differences.
The 140 Traditional Rulers, who spoke through the chairman of traditional rulers in Ebonyi Ezeogo Charles Mkpuma, also endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari re-election in the February 16th Presidential elections.
Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Charles Mkpuma, said the endorsement of Buhari’s return was born of the robust relationship he has with the state Governor, David Umahi.
He said, “We appreciate your dogged determination to maintain utmost security of the country especially your effort in eliminating Boko Haram and fight against corruption which has brought respect and integrity to the country among committee of nations.
“We believe that your robust relationship with our son the governor and your love for him and the state will surely earn you and only you, votes in Ebonyi state irrespective of party differences.”
He explained that, the traditional rulers are happy with the leadership of the governor, David Umahi, who has virtually touched every facets of human and infrastructural development of the state, adding “we the traditional rulers like other residents of the state have been rejuvenated and revived by the governor.
Mr.president while responding, commenced the governor for infrastructural development in the state, and assured that fund spent on the completion of the federal projects will be refunded after the review committee would have audited the projects.
According to him, Umahi told him during their short drive to the government house, that he had not received up to 40 percent of the funds spent on federal projects in the state, but assured him the monies will be refunded once the audit committee headed by the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, conclude its work.
He noted that his administration’s plan to invest in agriculture was deliberate, recalling that the First Republic was good in agriculture, because the land was abundant and grazing routes developed.
“But subsequently we got drunk with oil money and abandoned what kept us intact. But we are going back to that (agriculture).”
He assured the monarchs that the south east will benefit from second Niger Bridge when completed and it will affect you positively in moving goods and services.
The governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi said that the federal government’s agricultural programme have benefited the state immensely which has resulted in mountain of rice. He noted that the state has comparative advantage in agriculture and solid minerals.
Umahi thanked the President for approving the commencement of Ebonyi salt production.