By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
Reactions on Tuesday started trailing the Governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodimma’s announcement of the Federal government approved a plan to start the dredging of the Orashi river into the Atlantic Ocean.
Some of the residents in Imo state spoke to newsmen in Owerri, about their feelings regarding the seaport project announcement by Uzodimma last Saturday.
While some agreed on the economic importance of the project to the Southeast zone, others dismissed it on the basis that the project would not be executed and that it was a plot to gain an advantage ahead of the 2023 general elections.
First to speak was an elder statesman and a Chieftain of the Peoples Party, PDP, stalwart, Chief Peter Mgenwelu was of the view that “If we do not dredge the Orashi river, south-east will remain in poverty, my prayer since I heard Uzodimma mentioned this I am saying please God let him achieve it, if he achieves it, our children would be happier, they would have more jobs, and they would be able to achieve other things.
A human rights activist and social crusader, Bob Njemanze, said: “I don’t think we are giving the governor enough moral support, I think because the government is paying more attention to action and action that is not portraying words falls under the expectation of the people. Everything the governor has done lately to make one feels his not sleeping. In terms of public opinion and perception his swimming against the tide.
“So, he needs honest and objective people to bring to the fore all the efforts his making and in that regard, he needs the press so much. One of the greatest achievements of this government is bringing the federal government to succeeding in whichever way or manner that this landlocked state of ours is released from this detention and that is the seaport project and it is commendable.”
Also, the President of Imo state Amalgamated Marketers and Traders Association, ISAMATA, Emmanuel Ezeanochie, said: “It is a very wonderful project. In the entire southeast region, there is no seaport. We are landlocked. As people known for commercial activities, it will be of great importance to us. We need the seaport to bring our business and goods to our state this project will open up business for the people of the Southeast zone. So we owe the Imo state governor Hope Uzodimma a lot.”
However, the President of the Igbo National Council, INC, Chilos Godsent, thought that; “Is a laudable project but we are sceptical it is a political gimmick to please the southeast people to vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, back to power into the 2023 election.”