Reviewing and reflecting on the events of 5th and 6th May, 2022; the two days of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Ebonyi State reminds me of the historical quote of Les Brown who stated that, “The difference between setting a goal and achieving it is in having a good plan and working it.”
Another supportive quote was that of Brian Morris, “He (Walt Disney) was a man that achieved what he set out to achieve, proving that if you work at something hard enough, you will succeed at it.”
In summary, let me also quote President Muhammadu Buhari while commending Governor Umahi of Ebonyi Stated, when he stated during the visit, ” I am not surprised of the quality and standard of projects in Ebonyi State because the two-time governor of Ebonyi State is an engineer of repute.”
Based on the above quotes, let me reiterate that Engr. David Nweze Umahi, the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, is that man who has a dream and set up a plan on how to achieve it and by all records he normally surpassed whatever may be his dream so far emancipation and development of Ebonyi State is concerned.
His feats and wonders in Ebonyi State caused President Muhammadu Buhari to exclaim, “I am not an engineer by discipline but my eyes are very clear, even through my eyeglasses, YOU ARE AN ENGINEER WITH REPUTE; if you could achieve all these pieces of infrastructural revolution within less than eight years.”
For the avoidance of doubt, the aim of this treatise is to take a holistic look of, and reflection on, the two-day historical visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Ebonyi State from 5th to 6th May, 2022.
My Past Visits to Ebonyi State:
Before embarking on this treatise properly, let me reiterate incase some of you may have forgotten that on two occasions my good friend, Barr. Uchenna Orji, the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Orientation of Ebonyi State whom I christened the Orator of South East had invited me to monitor some of the feats displayed before the August Visitor and President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.
On those two occasions, what was exposed to me was just a tip of the iceberg of what was displayed before President Muhammadu Buhari for commissioning within three weeks of my monitoring. I could only monitor the 16 flyovers, the out-of- this-world King David University of Medical Science and few of the health facilities. My findings were all listed in my publications then.
The Major Aim of this Treatise:
My concern therefore in this attempt is to review and reveal some of the projects that were commissioned by Mr. President in which out of over 300 key projects executed by the man most people call the enigma of this dispensation, only 16 were selected to be commissioned by the peoples President on this special occasion of his visit.
The Two Day Historical Visit in Retrospect:
President Buhari, though a tested and reputed Army General, never had it so tough comparable to what he witnessed during the two days he spent without one minute rest. He thanked God that he survived the ingenuity of the man they call the Akuburaoaha of Igbo Land (The Wealth Possessor that touches everyone).
From the report made available to this writer through the report of Mr. Femi Adesina the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity; President Muhammadu Buhari on arrival flew straight from the Akani Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, with a presidential chopper to Uburu the hometown of Governor Umahi and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu the former Minister of Science, to inaugurate King David University of Medical Sciences, Uburu.
Before, I forget, Uburu is the only town in Nigeria to have produced a sitting Governor and a sitting Minster within the same period.
At hand to assist Governor Umahi to receive the People’s President were the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi,,
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo and his counterpart from Jigawa, Abubakar Badaru, plus other great personalities that included Dr. Kelechi Igwe the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Members of the National and States Assembly, traditional rulers, captains of industries, Stakeholders, etc.
The President commenced his two-day visit with the commissioning of projects at the state-owned King David University of Medical Sciences, Uburu, including a twin flyover, 12-kilometre dualised federal road from Mbu in Enugu State to Uburu, the University Building and the University Medical Hospital, facilities and equipment.
At his first stop in the State for the inauguration of the 700-metre length twin-flyover (also called King David’s University Flyover), constructed at the cost of N2 billion by the State government, President Buhari said:
”I am not an Engineer by discipline but my eyes are very clear, even through my eyeglasses. I am impressed with this performance and I know the projects will last. I congratulate the Governor on this feat and I am pleased to be associated with it.”
While in Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area of the State, the President also inaugurated the Cancer Centre at the King David University of Medical Sciences, built and equipped by the Federal Government under TETFUND.
Governor Umahi, who thanked the President for graciously approving the funding of the Centre, said the facility can rank with other centres around the world.
”It is in the same standard as Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and the State government also contributed to the project to bring it to completion,” he told the President.
He later proceeded to Muhammadu Buhari International Airport, Onueke via a Chopper. There, the president inaugurated the 5km dual carriage airport road and the airport’s Presidential Lounge.
The Governor announced that the tarmac and runway of the airport, built with concrete, had attained over 70 per cent completion, and would be ready the next month.
Other projects inaugurated by the president include the new Government House, the Centenary City and reconstructed St. Margaret Umahi International Market Complex, Abakaliki. The President also inaugurated the Aisha Buhari Wife of Governor’s Office Complex, Akanu Ibiam Lodge (new Governor’s Lodge), and Ebonyi House.
President Buhari was later hosted to state dinner by the Ebonyi State Government, on Thursday night. The next day, he inaugurated the Muhammadu Buhari Light Tunnel Flyover and Ebonyi Shopping Mall.
Mr President concluded his visit to Ebonyi with a closed-door meeting with South-East leaders in Abakaliki before departing for Abuja on Friday.