Engr. Chidi Ibeh led Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Sunday, said the southeast zone needs direction and a new political rallying point in the absence of late Dim odumegwu Ojukwu and Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
The group urged the Chairman, Southeast Governors Forum, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, to take up the leadership responsibility of the zone.
In a released by the Secretary-General of the group, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, made available to journalists in Abakaliki, he stated that the Southeast Governors Forum should step up and become the pillars of strength for Ndigbo.
Isiguzoro said Umahi is the right person who will give the zone a political direction following his impressive performances which have redefined governance in Ebonyi State.
“The transformation in Ebonyi State is unprecedented. And this did not go without some level of leadership thought, a high level of creative ability, and ingenuity of the governor. In virtually every locality, he knows their problems and what critical infrastructure must be fixed.
“What is the essence to attract investment, trade and increase economic activities. Umahi resolved to building critical structures, including the shopping mall comprising over 5000 number modern shops, the biggest in Africa. Also, there is an international market with over 3000 number shops, the biggest in the Southeast.
“The Ecumenical Centre he put up is not only for spiritual enrichment but also for social activities. That Ecumenical Centre has a sitting capacity of about 20,000 and attracts conferences, thereby triggering the social-economic development of Ebonyi State.
“The governor ensured the construction of not less than five kilometers of roads. In addition, the governor ensured that every federal road connecting Ebonyi State was rehabilitated, some of which are concrete pavement. So, Ebonyi now has about 1500 number state roads, including the satellite town, metropolis and across the rural communities”.
“What did he do apart from the commercialization and mechanization of agriculture? He procured 13 number bulldozers, one each per Local Government Council. He procured tractors not less than 30 and gave to Co-operatives and procured Seeders, Transplanters, Harvesters. In addition to these, he had to revamp the rice milling plants. We have the Youth Empowerment programme, where the governor deployed 750 million naira for the empowerment of youths and women. The grant is free of charge and 250,000 per 3000 beneficiaries.
“The governor also looked at a lot of the widows, those in businesses and those in agriculture and gave them #100,000 each (a total of 4,300 windows). They deployed this money into agriculture. This has increased their living standards.
“Ebonyi state has the highest number of private rice milling clusters. About 1500 number clusters of privately-owned rice milling plants, but when the governor came, he felt they should take advantage of their comparative advantage in processing, not only in cultivation or in planting. He increased the capacity of the rice milling plants.
“As at today, Ebonyi has 32 metric tonnes capacity-per-hour rice mill and parboiling. I.e. a plant that cooks the rice and now fits the rice mill for it to be processed into head rice and other value chain rice, including the by-products, like the rice pram used in doing indomie.
“Considering what the governor has done so far, he is the person we need to make Ndigbo proud”, the statement reads.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo further commended the leadership acumen of Governor Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi which it stated has ushered in rapid growth and development in every facet of governance in the southeast region.