*President inaugurates Ariaria Power Plant, commends Ikpeazu
…asks Imo APC members to stop fighting
*Oshiomhole, Okorocha disagree again

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Ugochukwu Alaribe

ABUJA—AS President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign rally continued in the South-East, the political issues that bedevilled the Igbo came to the fore with the crack in the ranks of the apex pan Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo rearing its ugly head.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Abia State Governor, H.E. Okezie Ipeazu during the commissioning of Ariaria Market Independent Power Project in Aba Abia. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE 

In a similar vein, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha and national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole publicly disagreed at the President’s campaign rally in Imo.

President Buhari visited Abia and Imo States yesterday in continuation of the Presidential campaign rally of the APC.

The Chief John Nnia Nwodo-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo had last week  announced the endorsement of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi as his running mate.

However,  the Secretary-General of  Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Uche Okwukwu, who allegedly had earlier expressed a dissenting view from that of his chairman, called on Ndigbo to vote for Buhari, the APC Presidential candidate.

The second endorsement was by the chairman of Aba Traditional Council, His Royal Majesty, Dr Isaac Ikonne,  Enyi 1 of Aba, who called on all indigenes of Abia State to vote for Buhari, the APC Presidential candidate.

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Okwukwu announced that the adoption of President Buhari as the true Ohanaeze candidate who will be formally recognised as such at a coming event at the Aso Rock Villa.

He said the Igbo people would “remain loyal and committed to President Buhari for the payment of pensions to ex-Biafran security personnel; for the administration’s policy on ease of doing business,” which, the traditional ruler said, had benefited the Igbo more than any other ethnic group, and “the massive infrastructural development going on throughout the South-East.”

He said: “You love Nigeria and you need to return to consolidate your fight against the monster called corruption and to take us to the next level. I want to assure you that Aba and Abians and indeed all Igbos will massively vote for you.”

On his part, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, welcomed the existing “synergy” between the federal government and his state which he said, had come with enormous gains that are cherished by the government and the people.

Buhari inaugurates Ariaria Power Plant

Speaking while inaugurating the Ariaria power plant, President Buhari said: “Today with policies and programmes such as this IPP, we have demonstrated that if the common good is our mutual objective, it can be achieved irrespective of party differences and constitutional limitations.

“Electricity has no political colour,” the President said in his speech at the inauguration of the plant.

President Buhari  expressed delight that 37,000 shops belonging to traders and small business owners in Ariara market will, one after the other, be connected to the dedicated electricity supply.

He noted that the feat will strengthen the Made-in-Nigeria policy for which Abia and in particular, Aba, and Ariaria market are already well known.

…extols Ikpeazu

Buhari commended the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, on the newly commissioned Ariaria Power Plant, saying that without his (Ikpeazu’s) commitment and cooperation, the Federal Government would not have actualised the Ariaria Independent Power Plant located at the Ariaria International Market.

He said: “I thank Your Excellency, Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State, for your support to this project from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. Thanks for your cooperation; without your cooperation, our work would not have been smooth.

“You have demonstrated that with the common good as our vision and objective, a lot can be achieved irrespective of our party differences and constitutional limitations.”

In his response, Governor Ikpeazu said: “Today is perhaps one of the happiest days of my life since 2015. It became clear to us that our strategy to develop Abia have to take a bearing on two things; one, the things that our people can do very well and two, take advantage of the policies of the federal government. So we decided to study the problems of Ariaria International market not only for being the hub of Trade and Commerce in the African sub region, but also because it is a center to the manufacturing of shoes and garments and all kinds of manufacturing of leather products.

“The World Bank recognizes Abia as the place that has over 200,000 people doing all kinds of things and we know that each and everyone of them multiplied, we have nearly 1 million people doing all kinds of things and most of them are located around Ariaria Market here.

…asks Imo APC members to stop fighting

At his campaign rally in Imo State, President  Buhari warned members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state to stop intra-party fighting.

Buhari spoke at the presidential rally held at Dan Anyiam stadium in Owerri, after he visited Eze Imo, Eze Samuel Ohiri.

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Buhari said: “There is nothing new that I will say that has not been said. In 2015, we campaigned on a three-point agenda of security, economy and fighting corruption. Whichever one you take depending on where you are coming from, we have made a remarkable effort.

“We have achieved food security, we have stopped importing rice. I  assure you that the government will continue to support you with trader moni.

Okorocha, Oshiomhole disagree again

However a drama ensued between the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole and the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.

It started when Okorocha told Buhari that those introduced as APC, members were not the right people. He did not also recognise Hope Uzodimma as the Imo APC governorship candidate. Okorocha went further to introduce Dan Nwafor, as the APC chairman in the state.

The statement angered Oshiomhole who afterwards,  told Buhari, that   Uzodimma is the APC guber candidate, adding that Hope Uzodimma will win Imo state.

Okorocha while speaking to Buhari, said: “There is nothing you can do to please the elites of  Nigeria. I stand firm  and unshakeable in assuring that the ordinary man remains your people.   Let me remind all of you here, I am the founding father of APC in Imo state and history  must be made right. Here in Imo State, we are in charge.Some of the people called to speak are not the right people. Here is the chairman of APC, Dan Nwafor.”

But Oshiomhole said: “I want to make it clear that we are not in alliance with anybody. We have the capacity, we have the people and we have the men to deliver our candidate. We are bringing a true urban development in Imo. We are bringing a turn around for good in Imo state.

“Mr President, we have found honour and capacity and the needed personality in Senator Hope Uzodimma.”

Uzodimma said: “Those who believe in the president should behave and talk like Mr President. We want to use this opportunity to tell those who have not been following your footsteps that they should do so. We ask them to have a repented heart.”



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