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Re-election: Buhari gets Ebonyi monarchs’ nod

The Council of Traditional Rulers in Ebonyi State have endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid in the February 16 presidential elections.

Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council in the state, Eze Charles Mkpuma, said the endorsement of President Buhari’s re-election was borne out of the robust relationship he has with the Governor David Umahi of the state.

The monarch gave the assurance during an audience with President Buhari at the Ebonyi State Government House, in Abakaliki, on Wednesday.

President Buhari, at the event, expressed satisfaction that the impact of the Federal Government were being felt in the state.

Mkpuma commended President Buhari’s determination to tackle the security situation of the country which aimed at eliminating Boko Haram and his fight against corruption.

The monarch also said President Buhari was deserving of their votes irrespective of party differences.

The monarch spoke on behalf of 140 traditional rulers in the state.

His words, “We appreciate your dogged determination to maintain utmost security of the country especially your effort in eliminating Boko Haram and fight against corruption which has brought respect and integrity to the country among committee of nations.

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“We believe that your robust relationship with our son the governor and your loved for him and the state will surely earn you and only you, votes in Ebonyi state irrespective of party differences.”

Mkpuma, stated the traditional rulers are happy with the leadership of the governor, David Umahi, who has virtually touched every facets of human and infrastructural development of the state, adding “We the traditional rulers like other residents of the state have been rejuvenated and revived by the governor.

President Buhari, on his part, commended the governor for the infrastructural development of the state, assuring that monies spent on the completion of the federal projects would be refunded after the review committee would have audited the projects.

The president had also said Governor Umahi told him during their short drive to the Government House, that he had not received up to 40 percent of the funds spent on federal projects in the state.

The President, however, assured him the monies would be refunded once the audit committee, headed by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, concluded its work.

He also told the traditional rulers that his administration’s plan to invest in agriculture was deliberate, recalling that the First Republic was good in agriculture, because the land was abundant and grazing routes developed.

According to the President, “But subsequently we got drunk with oil money and abandoned what kept us intact. But we are going back to that (agriculture).”

President Buhari also commended Governor Umahi’s administration generosity in sending Ebonyi rice to Abuja which his extended family have been beneficiaries of.

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He assured the monarchs that the South East would benefit from second Niger Bridge when completed saying “It will affect you positively in moving goods and services”.

He urged them that his second return would be of benefit to them as he would not be seeking a third return.

Governor David Umahi, in his remarks, said irrespective of some perceptions, the South East have benefited from Federal Government projects.

He added that the Federal Government’s agricultural programme had benefited the state immensely which has resulted in mountain of rice.

He noted that the state has comparative  advantage in agriculture and solid minerals.

The governor also thanked the President for approving the commencement of Ebonyi Salt Production scheme.