President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his desire to be remembered for after his second term when he would have left office is for the fact that it’s his presidency that stabilised Nigeria in the area of security, economic prosperity and triumph over corruption.
The President, who spoke at a town hall meeting in Owerri today, September 9, with South East leaders during his one-day official visit to Imo State, acknowledged that with less than two years to the end of his two terms of either years, security still remains a major priority for his administration.
‘‘If there is no security, there is nothing anyone can do no matter how much you try or the initiative you have. Security is number one priority and then the economy. When people feel secure they will mind their own businesses.”
The President said that while fighting corruption in Nigeria had become very sophisticated and difficult, he would continue to strive to leave a lasting legacy of integrity and accountability in the system.
‘‘Nobody can accuse me of having companies or mansions anywhere in the country and I thank God that I try to keep myself as clean as possible, so that I cannot be taken hostage.
On the 2023 elections, the President reaffirmed his commitment to free, fair and credible polls, even as he called on the leaders to honestly educate their constituencies on the need to hold their elected representatives accountable.
He acknowledged the resourcefulness and enterprising spirit of Igbo people, saying: “the fundamental thing about the Igbo people is that there is no town you will visit in Nigeria without seeing the Igbos being in-charge of either infrastructure or pharmaceutical industry.
‘‘Therefore, it is unthinkable for me that any Igbo man would consider himself not to be a part of Nigeria.
‘‘The evidence is there for everyone to see that Igbos are in charge of Nigeria’s economy.’’
Buhari observed that no country can make any meaningful progress without the development of infrastructure, expressing regret that successive governments at the Federal level contributed to the decay of critical infrastructure in the country.
He promised that the Federal Government would complete ongoing key projects in the South East, including the second Niger Bridge as well as the railway lines and routes linking the region with other parts of the country.
‘‘I firmly believe that when you get infrastructure right, Nigerians will mind their own businesses.”
He said that as a group, the Igbos stand to benefit more from the ongoing development of infrastructure in the country because ‘‘they are more enterprising.’’
President Buhari had earlier commissioned four projects executed by Governor Hope Uzodinma, including the Naze/Ihiagwa/Nekede/Obinze link road, the Balloon Driven/Flood Control drainage at Dick Tiger Road, the Egbeada Bypass road and the New Exco-Chambers, Government House, Owerri.
Addressing Imo residents at the commissioning of Egbeada bypass named after a prominent son of the State, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President said that he was very impressed with the level of work done by the State government.
‘‘I am very pleased with what I have seen and I assure you that I will support Imo State within the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In his remarks at the town hall meeting, Governor Uzodinma said that Ndigbo people believe in a united Nigeria predicated on ‘‘justice, equity and fairness.’’
He thanked the President for addressing the interests of Ndi Igbo through deliberate policy initiatives designed to give the people a true sense of belonging, including the ongoing construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge, among others.
Governor Uzodinma said that the people of South East would remain grateful to the President for approving the establishment of a Naval Base in Oguta Local Government Area of the State, adding that as time unfolds, the economic benefits of the base would manifest.
The Governor also commended the President for strongly supporting the appointment of two prominent Igbos into two key international organisations-Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Assistant Director-General of Health Emergency Intelligence, World Health Organisation (WHO).