Huge crowd welcomes Buhari to South East, unveils project
President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Abakaliki in Ebonyi state to the warm embrace of a mammoth crowed as he started his two-day official visit to South East.
He inaugurated the N2 billion flyover bridge built by the Ebonyi government.
The bridge is on the African Trans-Saharan Highway from Enugu-Cross River-Cameroon.
He also unveiled the statue of Dr. Akanu Ibiam and was also conferred with the traditional title of Enyioma 1 of Ebonyi (Good friend) by the state Traditional Rulers Council.
Shortly before his departure to Ebonyi, a mammoth crowd of not less than 10,000 people welcomed President Buhari at the Enugu airport.
The Presidential Jet 5N-FGT, touched down at exactly 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu for a two-day working visit to Ebonyi and Anambra States.
Buhari, who disembarked from his Jet at 10:42 am was full of cheers as he acknowledged thousands of Nigerians who came to welcome him, which included his fans, political supports and admirers.
The President had brief exchange of pleasantries with some governors of the zone and dignitaries who came to welcome, then took salute from a Presidential Guard-of-Honour mounted in his honor by a joint army and air force personnel.
The governors included that of Enugu, Ebobyi, Kogi and Imo.
Mr President, in his usual character took time to greet the crowd of admirers and supporters as well as dance troops by walking round the airport arena.
Buhari was thereafter taken in a Presidential Chopper [helicopter] at exactly 11:05 enroute to Ebonyi State, where he is billed to inaugurate some projects.
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State had shortly before Buhari boarded the helicopter, thanked Mr President for making a brief stop-over to greet Nigerians living in Enugu State.
Ugwuanyi lauded the various associations and political formations present at the airport for making Mr President’s reception a grand one.
“I am over whelmed with joy over the show of love and solidarity of Enugu residents to our admirable and loving President as he visits the South-East; which Enugu State is the capital of the zone,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Mohammed Danmallam, said that the police had put adequate security arrangement for the brief hosting of Mr President in Enugu.
Danmallam said that every necessary point and critical areas had been covered to ensure a hitch-free visit.
“I must thank other sister security agencies for the tremendous support and synergy withy the police to achieve the success we are seeing here today,’’ he noted.
The South-East governors at the occasion include: Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State; Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State;
While Gov. Yahya Bello of Kogi State (North Central and neighbouring state to Enugu State was also present.
The ministers include; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama; Minister OF Labour and Productivity; Chris Ngige; Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Elenema; and Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwuka.
The Security chiefs that graced the brief occasion include: Maj.-Gen. Adamu Abubakar, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu; Air Vice Marshal Sampson Akpasa, Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Air Force Ground Training Command (GTC), Enugu.
The Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Mohammed Danmallam and the Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr Steve Amoga.
Others are the National President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani; former Governor of Old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwabodo.
Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi and Mr Lawrence Agubuzo, Chairman of Traditional Rulers’ Council of Enugu State among others.