By Chioma Gabriel
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo yesterday lamented the poor federal industrial presence in Igbo land in general and the South East in particular. The group noted that there is virtually no federal establshment to provide jobs for the teeming youths of the zone.
“The only federal presence in the zone are prisons and abandoned grain silos,” the group lamented.
“Though there is ongoing work in some federal roads in the zone , the pace is very slow,” the group complained.
The National Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chuks Ibegbu therefore urged the federal government to build refineries, dams , heavy duty industries and inland ports in the zone.
He also urged the federal government to build an airport in Arochukwu or Afikpo to open up the Cross River region of Igbo land.
On the quest for more states in Igbo land and the restructuring of Nigeria, Ibegbu maintained the position of Barr Nnia Nwodo , the President General of the body that “Nigeria will not move forward until it’s restructured.”
He also called for “the immediate creation of an additional state in the South East to bring it at par with other zones of the country before further states are created in Nigeria.”
Ibegbu re-iterated the position of the President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nnia Nwodo that “Nigeria must operate on the principle of true fiscal and physical federalism if it wants to make a head way. The AU must also expedite work on the trans African High way across the Sahara desert to tame desertification , the shrinking of Lake Chad that bring about massive shift of herdsmen to the South .
“If Israel did it in the Negev Desert and China in the Gobi Desert, African leaders can do it here and help tame the constant challenges of wave of deadly migrations of our people to Europe ,” Ibegbu noted.
He also lauded the renewed construction work going on in Aba , the commercial nerve centre of Abia state.
Ibegbu who spoke at a reception held by Aba Young professionals for some of their pioneer members in Aba recently, commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the surge in construction work in the town and effort to open up the Port Harcourt Road and the roads to Ariaria International Market.
He noted with nostalgia the time traders from West and Central Africa used to besiege Aba for business purposes and hoped that era will be restored with the current pace of work in the city.
Ibegbu also commended Governor Ikpeazu for the effort to revive the shoe industry in Aba by sending some shoe makers from the town overseas for training .
He called on all Abians to rally round the governor and the give the state its rightful position in Nigeria.
The President of Aba Young Professionals, Chimdi Ngwakwe thanked the Ohanaeze Spokesman for finding time to honor the event and assured Ndi Aba that the group will continue to develop ideas and template that will restore the glory of the town.