By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has called on the Federal Government to support the state in rebuilding the commercial city of Onitsha to the status of a model city in Africa .
The governor, who made the call at the ninth Ofala festival of the traditional ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, at the weekend, said his administration would present the commercial city to President Goodluck Jonathan to declare it an economic zone during his visit to the state.
He explained that Onitsha was currently representing Africa as one of the fastest growing cities in the world, following the recognition and presentation of the city at the recent Shanghai World Expo in China by the UN-Habitat.
According to the governor, aggressive road reconstruction will commence in the town immediately after the rains.
Igwe Achebe, who was elated at the state government’s plans to upgrade Onitsha to an international city, as well as the sustained development going on in the area, urged the governor not to relent in his integrated and comprehensive development of the state.
The royal father recalled that the smooth conduct of the governorship election early this year had made the state a model for the country and called on indigenes and residents of Onitsha to rededicate themselves to the re-invention and repositioning of the city.
Obi Achebe used the occasion to refute the speculation in the area that he decreed that only Onitsha indigenes would henceforth be presented for elective positions for the area, adding that at no time did he endorse some candidates for the forthcoming elections.
He urged the people of Anambra State to vote for candidates of their choice, insisting that the most important thing was that the best candidates emerged.