By Francis Ekpone
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has said that the South East geo political zone were starved of infrastructure during Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (PDP) 15 years in power, a jinx, he said, President Buhari is at the verge of breaking in less than four years as the president of the country. Ngige who made the observation at Onitsha on Monday during the inspection of the completed Zik’s Mausoleum said President Buhari promised Late Chuma Azikiwe, the first son of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe that he will complete the abandoned mausoleum, should he be elected the president of Nigeria.
Ngige accompanied the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN on the inspection tour of the completed mausoleum and other federal government projects in the state including the Enugu-Onitsha express way and the federal secretariat in Awka. He regretted that the Zik’s mausoleum has been on since 1996 but now completed under Buhari’s administration, even as he reiterated the commitment of APC led federal government to complete all federal projects in the zone. “This project has been on since 1996 when the Owelle left and our president before he was elected in 2015 came here in 2014 to see his very good friend, Owelle Chuma. He came to bury the former Attoney General, Chudi Ofodile and Mr President made a solemn promise to Chu- ma that he will complete the Mausoleum once elected Presi- dent of Nigeria. “Mr. President directed the Minister of Power, Works and Housing to come and con rm what the contractor said they have nished. What we are doing in the zone is not political, we are doing what we are sup- posed to do. South East people have been starved of infrastruc- ture including the Mausoleum promised by the Federal Govern-ment which they failed to do. Fashola, on his part, chided the opposition over the claim that the projects in the region were politically motivated, saying that the projects were part of the campaign promises made to the people of the zone.
It will be recalled that Zik’s mausoleum was awarded to Bouygues Construction Nigeria Limited in 2012 by the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. The works, Power and Housing minister, however, described the projects as developmental and a good politics. “This is my 4th visit here to monitor the project and nobody accused us of politics and now that it is completed, people say it is politics, well, if it is politics, I am proud of that politics. This is developmental politics and a good politics.
On the Enugu Onitsha Expressway, the work’s minister said the 18 kilometre critical section of the road at Umunya that connects Awka and Onitsha will soon be completed while the Federal secretariat will be completed in the first quarter of next year if fund is made available to the contractors.