The South East zonal chapter of the opposition alliance party – All Progressives Congress, APC, has berated President Goodluck Jonathan for claiming that his strongest political base lies in the zone, reminding him that he is yet to justify that claim.
While on a one day state visit to Enugu over the weekend, Jonathan, in his address to leaders of the zone thanked them for being his most consistent supporters among the six geo-political zones and added the support makes him feel like one of them.
However, the zonal chapter of the APC, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, on Sunday, listed a number of projects which the president and his predecessors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, promised the people of the zone, but had yet to bring to fruition.
“The South East Zone of APC agrees with President Goodluck Jonathan that the South East is his strongest support base and indeed that of his party – the Peoples Democratic Party – since the inception of the 4th Republic in 1999,”Mr. Okechukwu said in the statement.
“However, we wish to state in clear terms that successive PDP administrations, including that of President Jonathan, have not paid back in commensurate projects the unalloyed support given by the South East.”
The association recalled the campaign promises made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to construct the 2nd Niger Bridge, Onitsha Sea Port, Enugu Coal-Fired-Plant, Oguta or Ukwa Refinery or Gas Powered Plant, revival of Nkalagu Cement Factory, among others but failed to do so.
It noted that President Jonathan is following a similar pattern by refusing to execute the projects he promised the people of the zone while campaigning for election two years ago, adding that he is taking people of the region for a ride.
“We regret that President Jonathan is taking Ndigbo in roller-coaster again. Sometimes last year, Ndigbo Chorus Singers and ‘food is ready’ politicians were assembled at Onitsha to launch the Onitsha Sea Port, months down the line we are yet to locate any ship berthing at the so called port, the APC said.
“Secondly, since Professor Barth Nnaji, former Minister of Power, was unceremoniously hacked, no mention was made of the Enugu Coal-Fired-Power-Plant by President Jonathan, even at Saturday’s Town Hall meeting. All we learnt was that the money budgeted by Professor Nnaji has been squandered.
“Thirdly, the Oguta or Ukwa refinery or Gas Power Plant and other robust projects mouthed during the 2011 Fresh Air presidential campaign have been consigned to the dust-bin of history.
“Fourthly, we had thought that the occasion could have provided Mr. President the opportunity to resolve the unnecessary Nigercem bickering between Chief C. Ibeto and Governor Martins Elechi of Ebonyi State.
“Fifthly, we are yet to locate the design of the 2nd Niger Bridge, Environmental Impact Assessment nor Estate Evaluation of Assets on the way.”
“All we heard was the chorus lead by Merchant Governor Peter Obi and other ‘food is ready’ singers chorusing the Messiah song of we have never heard so good.”
The association acknowledged that the South East Geo political zone had always been favoured with prompt and juicy political appointments, but that “all we crave for as a hard working people, is nothing but justice, fairness and level playing field in Nigeria, not patronage.
“In sum, we loathe the cosmetic approach to development in the South East, dangerous outcome is the mass exodus of the youths of Ndigbo, because of absence of heavy Federal, State or private investment,” APC added.