It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari will visit Ebonyi State Thursday. It is one visit that the good people of the state have been looking forward to. The preparations are upbeat with a palpable feeling of fulfillment laced with an uncanny sense of satisfied accomplishment. The rhythmic gymnastics of uncommon feats, the pulsating steps of Ebonyi maidens and the resilient back-breaking hard work of Ebonyi men ensconced in unquantifiable hospitality are all beckoning the august visitor and his team. The resplendent honesty and glaring sincerity assures Mr President of a reception like no other.
Right from arrival, unassailable needs-based projects, conceived with visionary intentions and executed with world-class engineering precision, will beckon the President for commissioning. The man behind the mask, the executor of the phenomenal deeds, Governor David Umahi, will take him round. The projects are too numerous that the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo had to come some weeks back to commission some.
What is more, there will still be more to commission when the president leaves because they are nearing completion.
Some of the projects to be commissioned include the University of Medical Sciences, Uburu; the University flyover, Uburu; Uburu- Mpu dualized Federal concrete road linking Enugu and Ebonyi states; President Muhammadu Buhari 4-Way Light Tunnel flyovers, Abakaliki; the ultra model State Shopping Mall, Abakaliki; Margaret Umahi International Market and twin flyover, Abakaliki; the new Government House and new State Exco Chambers, Abakaliki, to mention a few. The Medical University will combine scholarship and professional practice to offer competitive services that should stop overseas medical trips. It is already furnished with the most up-to-date state of the art medical equipments you can get in a world class medical facility anywhere in the world. The market is massive and seeks for a ranking Africa wide.
All these projects are but a drop in the litany of infrastructures developed by Governor Umahi.
With over sixteen super flyovers, one of them, Inyere bridge in Edda, certainly headed for the Guinness book of world records, Umahi should certainly be proud to host Mr President. The Ebonyi Airport, when completed, and it is almost so, will be the most solid, most aesthetic and most purpose driven airport.
Mr President will see several hundreds of kilometers of built-to-last concrete roads spanning across all the local governments, the largest ecumenical centre in the country, a brand new centenary city and a host of other projects. Yet, Ebonyi is almost at the bottom of the federal allocation table. How the governor does all he do confounds even his greatest critics.
Truth is, the President is most likely not to recognize the state he visited some years back, a lot has changed!
At night, the visitors will behold spectacles that will rival Times square in New York City with alluring lights and racing fountains. The street lights do not go off. The enchanting atmosphere reminds you that you are in a safe environment.
As Mr President visits, the rice farms, the yam bans and the entire food basket of Ebonyi will be smiling a welcome rhyme. Our legendary dances, our famed care and the sincere looks of gratitude of a people will welcome him.
Above all, Mr President will see why Ebonyi people believe Umahi should succeed him. Welcome to Ebonyi state.
- Oko writes from Abakaliki.