Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The South East Governors’ Forum has condemned last Tuesday’s reported ‘attempted assassination’ of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and some members of his family, insisting that the government must ensure that nothing happens to the lawmaker.
The forum also rejected what they described as the “hasty conclusion” by the police that the attack was a case of “burglary.”
The Forum’s Director General, Prof Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, told journalist in Enugu yesterday that there was need for a thorough investigation on the matter and for the culprits to be brought to book.
While maintaining that the hoodlums targeted the life of Ekweremadu and not to burgle his home as was announced by the police, the forum wondered why they insisted on the deputy Senate president’s son taking them to his father’s bedroom, adding that the careful and methodical execution of the plot points to something more sinister than burglary.
According to the governors, Ekweremadu was not only a worthy son of Igbo land but a true Nigerian and a global citizen having held position of Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament for more than four years, adding that his attempted assassination has cast a dark shadow on the state of security of lives and property in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Governors’ Forum, for the umpteenth time, raised the alarm over the safety of air travelers who use the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu, warning that the airport was not safe for human and flights operations, and therefore demanded urgent intervention of the federal government.
They urged the federal government to deal with the infrastructural decay at the airport, explaining that its parlous state was a disaster waiting to happen.
“We restate that the airport is not safe as there are no runway lights; the tarmac is bumpy with potholes while one of the buildings destroyed by storm for over two years has become an eyesore. The cargo section of the airport is not functional.
“It is indeed a shame that as economically robust as Southeast region is, it does not have an airport that can land all categories of aircraft. The federal government should please come to our aid,” they said.
The governors also appealed to the federal government to take seriously the issue of the second Niger Bridge.
According to them, the Niger Bridge which arguably is the gateway to the eastern part of the country with business hubs of Onitsha, Nnewi and Aba among others has become a political chess board in the hands of politicians seeking Igbo votes.
“We have become aware that it was only in July 2018 that the contract for the second Niger Bridge project was signed in spite of the fact that the first foundation laying ceremony was undertaken in 2013. We pray that this will not be another lip service to realisation of second Niger Bridge. We earnestly appeal to the federal government to assist the Southeast region by ensuring that the second Niger Bridge is completed,” the governors requested.