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Enugu: Governors and other political leaders in the South East met at the Government House, Enugu yesterday and resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the welfare of the region.

Addressing journalists after the meeting, the Chairman of the South East Governor’s Forum, Engr David Umahi said that details of the meeting which is expected to hold on Thursday, will be revealed when they return from the visit.

“We have resolved that we are going to meet with Mr President for the welfare of our people in the South East. When we come back, we will give you the content of our meeting with the President.
Other governors present were Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State respectively.

Other Igbo leaders include Chief Nnia Nwodo, President General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Sen. Victor Umeh, Sen. Jim Nwobodo, Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma and Bishop Callistus Onaga.

The meeting may not be unconnected with the ultimatum issued to the South East Governors last week by the Igbo Renaissance Forum(IRF), a Pro Igbo pressure group, urging them to urgently call a meeting, in order to ensure the prompt and efficient completion of work on the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
In a statement signed by Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka (Oyi of Oyi II) , the International Coordinator, Igbo Renaissance Forum (IRF) had urged the Governors to urgently call a meeting over the issue.
“We are calling on the South East Governors to convene an urgent emergency meeting to find ways to get the job done and satisfactorily within the shortest possible time to save the region the economic losses and the rigors occasioned by the closure of the airport”
Also, the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe called on the Governors to fund the airport rehabilitation, to save the people of the region from further ordeals since the Federal Government seemed not to be forthcoming with funds for the project.
Surprisingly, the Governors failed to mention the airport in their press briefing.
However, feelers reaching us indicate that the issue is top on the agenda of their forthcoming meeting with Mr. President.
Bowing to public pressure, they resolved to prevail on the President to approve alternative Sources of funding the project. If that fails, they shall pool funds and ensure the prompt rehabilitation of the airport.
The IRF statement reads further:
“It is rather befuddling how none of these individuals took a closer look at the issues that made Enugu Airport a death trap by Aviation industry standards in less than six years, leading to this current shut down that has plunged the South East deeper into economic repression.
IRF also raised an alarm over the choice of contractor for the project:

“For posterity sake, we would like to state that this current closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu is because of badly badly executed job by the same contractor, PW that has been awarded the contract again on Friday, the 13th of September, 2019.”

The Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation Hon. Nnolim Nnaji a few days before the closure of the airport on the 24th of August expressed concern over the planned closure of Enugu Airport, noting that it would have adverse effect on the socioeconomic well-being of the South East.

In his own words, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji made pronouncements to the effect that there was something fundamentally wrong in the manner that the Enugu Airport runway collapsed. He said, “by my investigation, a standard runway should have a life span of thirty years so if that runway could collapse under six years some people have to give us explanations”

Further more, the group demanded that the Federal Government of Nigeria should treat the repair and upgrade works at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu like they did with other airports.

Finally, IRF put all those involved in the sleaze and shoddy job of the airport in the past regarding its intention to unearth all their dirty deals:

“We are using this medium to put those our brothers and sisters who have in one way or the other had any dealings with the Akanu Ibiam International Airport and its repairs and upgrade on notice, to get themselves ready as we shall be calling on them to explain to Ndi Igbo what they know and how we got to this point.

“Finally,  we shall be embarking on a very determined drive to unearth the rot that led to the shabby runway that was commissioned amidst cheers, claps and praises for that administration that awarded the contract, only for it to collapse in less than six years”.

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