• Shuns guard of honour • Pledges better deal for S’East
• IPOB disowns video exposing plot to kill president
President Muhammad Buhari yesterday described his presence in Ebonyi State as a demonstration of strong belief in Nigeria’s unity. Buhari, who did not inspect the guard of honour both at Nkweagu military cantonment and the Government House, maintained his usual line of non-negotiability of Nigeria’s unity. “Our diversity is almost unique and sure,” he said.
Recalling his meeting with the leaders from the Southeast in Abuja last month, Buhari assured the region of his desire to deliver on his promises.
According to him, the 2018 budget includes many projects for the South east in the areas of power, agriculture and social services while contractors handling the Second Niger Bridge have been mobilised and the region would start to witness rapid infrastructural development soon.
The president who is in Ebonyi on a one-day working visit praised Governor David Umahi for keeping aside party affiliation to focus on tuning around the state with his visionary programmes.“I am delighted to be here in Abakaliki to interact with the good people of Ebonyi State and indeed the south east region. I express my gratitude to the people for their hospitality and warm reception since I arrived this state.
“ I commend Governor Umahi for his vision and commitment to the development of this state. Some of the projects I commissioned since my arrival are laudable. I am also grateful to the traditional rulers of Ebonyi State for the honour bestowed on me with the traditional title of Enyi Oha1.”
For his help to the state especially in the areas, of agriculture and solid minerals, Umahi described the honour on Buhari as well deserved. He said: “Today, you made us a giant in agriculture and so, we have here with us 2,000 bags of rice and 2,000 tubers of yam to give to our president.
“It is a prayer answered because you have sown in the land of Ebonyi and God has given you the strength and health to partake in that seed that you planted. We are grateful to give back to our father who has given so much to us.” He, however, appealed to the president for a refund of money spent by the state government on some federal roads in Ebony.
The projects commissioned by Buhari included two flyovers, 14.5 km of roads, foundation laying of Ebonyi shopping mall and President Muhammad Buhari rice tunnel.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) under the collegiate leadership of the Directorate of State (DOS), has described as despicable an Internet videoshowing a group of masked men with Biafran flags making a speech revealing an intention to assassinate Buhari and South east governors.
Denouncing the video, DOS said it must be the handiwork of those who are struggling to sustain the false profiling of IPOB as a terrorist organisation.In the said video, some individuals dressed in all-black attire, with their faces covered in the fashion of members of Boko Haram and similar terrorist groups, had Biafran flags displayed around them in a location that looks like a forest.
One of the men could be heard reading from a prepared speech, threatening to kill Buhari if he dares visit Biafraland, as well as “kill any governor from the Southeast associated with bringing Buhari to Biafraland.”
In a statement signed by its spokespersons, Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, the IPOB DOS declared: “We categorically state that we are not into armed struggle nor are we into any form of terrorism. We have chosen the peaceful and bloodless path of restoration of Biafra through the instrumentality of United Nations-mandated and supervised referendum.
“To achieve this objective, we have joined the Lower Niger Independence Movement (LONIM), which is not a group, but a coalition platform for all pro-independence and self-determination groups.”
IPOB DOS further disclosed that it is partnering other groups to strengthen LONIM to achieve its objective. “We do not believe in violence and will never support any action that will lead to loss of lives and properties.”
While cautioning whichever group is sponsoring the terrorists in the nefarious blackmail to stop, IPOB DOS urged them to desist from dragging the name of Biafra into the hall of infamy.
“Although Muhammadu Buhari has severally committed genocides plus other heinous crimes against Biafrans, we will leave him to be tried, indicted, and sentenced by a competent court or tribunal at the appropriate time. We shall never take the laws into our hands or resort to violence,” the statement added.