Ohanaeze Meets With Jonathan: Discusses National Conference, Boko Haram , 2nd Niger Bridge
by Obinna Akukwe
Ohanaeze Ndigbo met with Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan Monday night at State House, Abuja and discussed issues pertaining to terrorism, insecurity, national conference and poor state of infrastructure in Igbo land. In the address presented by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo , Chief Gari Nnachi Igariwey, the group told the President that ”when the Igbo’s gave you full support in 2011, it was without fear or favors, we believe in you and our expectations were high .We had others specific expectations that are yet to be addressed by your administrations.”
Ohanaeze leader lamented that ”it was our expectations that by now your administration would have completed a few under listed projects that would have effectively integrated the South East Nigeria with the rest of the country”. Ohanaeze leadership listed the projects begging for attention to include ’’the Second Onitsha Niger Bridge, Enugu- Onitsha Federal Highway, Enugu Port Harcourt Federal highway, Master Plan for Erosion Control, Petro-Chemical Plant, Coal Powered Power Generating Plants, Dams” among others.
Ohanaeze also congratulated the President ” on the impressive success in the sports arena-the Super Eagles as current champions of Africa. The under-17 Eaglets as current worlds champions and the recent qualifications of the Super Eagles for the FIFA world cup due in Brazil”. Ohanaeze commended the President for the boldness in initiating a national conference and expressed the support of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide over the issue. They also commended efforts to combat Boko Haram and expressed optimism that the nation will come out of the darkness of terrorism.
The 50 man Ohanaeze delegation included Chief Joe Nwaorgu, Senator Hope Uzodimma, Barrister Emejulu Okpalaukwu, Dr Dozie Ikedife, Prof Joe Irukwu, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Eze Njemanze, Eze Uzu of Awka, Prof Anya O Anya, Prof Mrs Uche Azikiwe, Mrs Maria Okwo, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, Senator Ben Obi, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi among others while the presidency delegation included Vice President Namadi Sambo, Chief of Staff Mike Ogiadhome , Secretary to Govt Pius Anyim and Aviation minister Stella Oduah.
Briefing concerned clerics led by Rev Obinna Akukwe on the outcome of the meeting, the Ohanaeze delegation led by the Assistant Publicity Secretary , Barrister Emejulu Okpalaukwu, described the meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan as very strategic and hoped that the president would listen to the demands of Ohanaeze Ndigbo especially on the state of infrastructure.
The Ohanaeze spokesman told the clerics that the meeting with Jonathan was facilitated by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremmadu and Senator Hope Uzodimma.
Responding to the briefing, Rev Obinna Akukwe charged the Ohanaeze leadership to mount pressure on the president to ensure that the 2nd Niger Bridge and the said roads are repaired before 2015 election because nobody knows whether Ngeria will survive 2015.
Reliable sources within the State House informed the clerics that President Jonathan entered into a closed door meeting with five members of the delegation. The clerics were also informed that Jonathan told close aides that some Igbo elements within the corridors of power had for months discouraged him from holding audience with the new Ohanaeze leadership and expressed gladness that he eventually ignored them and talked with the Igbo group.