By Ismaila Chafe
South East Governors and some Igbo leaders have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to provide a special fund for the rehabilitation of Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu State.
Chief Dave Umahi, Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi Governor, made the disclosure while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting with the president in Abuja on Thursday.
Umahi said they also alerted the President on the implications and consequences of the closure of the Enugu airport and the threat posed by erosion in the zone.
According to him, the closure of the Enugu airport has grounded activities in the region and causing great hardship on the people.
The governor also sought for declaration of state of emergency on roads and erosion in the South East.
“We are here to kindly urge Mr. President to approve special fund for the Akanu Ibiam Airport just like what was done for Abuja Airport.”
Umahi, who commended the president for his prompt intervention through the release of fund for the speedy completion of the rehabilitation work at the Enugu airport, called for rehabilitation of the Owerri Airport to boost socio-economic activities.
The governor also lauded the president’s efforts towards resolving the problems of Nigerians in South Africa, and recommended the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, for special recognition.
The management of Air Peace had evacuated over 500 out of over 600 Nigerians, who expressed their desire to return home from South Africa following the latest xenophobic attacks.
Those in attendance at the meeting with the president included Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Emeka Ihedioha of Imo as well as Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senate Minority Leader and Sen. Sam Egwu.
Others were former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, former Governors Martin Elechi, Ebonyi State, Okwesilieze and Sullivan Chime of Enugu State as well as Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim of Imo.
Also at the meeting were Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, Eric Acho Nwankwo, former Daily Times Managing Director, Chief Onyeama Ugochukwu, Ochiagha Regan Ufomba, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu and President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo among others.
Among those at the meeting included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.(NAN)