The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has expressed satisfaction with the awareness his government is giving the South East whose people he said have been well represented in his administration and are being appointed into positions no previous administrations ever gave them.
President Jonathan said this during the year’s World Igbo Congress Day in Huston, US. He noted that the Igbos had also benefited from many projects completed by his government in the South-East. The event took place on Saturday, but a copy of the President’s speech at the ceremony was only made available to journalists by the presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Thursday.
The President, who informed that his administration’s appointments were based on competence, equity and fairness, said he would leave it to “historians” to determine whose administration had done more for the Igbos in terms of federal appointments.
In his words: “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in pursuit of productivity and excellence, we have appointed competent and capable men and women to positions of high authority and strategic responsibility in all fields of national endeavour.
“In our dogged determination to develop our country, the Igbo are well represented and in some of these appointments, the Igbo are having them for the first time.
“Some have said that this government has done more in appointments than any other in our history for the Igbo, but that is a matter for the pundits and historians. Let me state that appointments by this administration, across the country, will continue to be based on equity, fairness and competence.
“Even when some utilise politics to undermine our commitment to fairness and justice, we will deploy the principle of Federal Character to progressively correct it. No part of Nigeria under my leadership will be shortchanged.”
In regard to projects and policies, he affirmed that the Igbos had benefited from his administration’s commitment. Accordingly, the President said his administration had completed many federal roads, which were abandoned in bad shape by previous administrations.
He said, “Similarly in projects and policies, we have continued to do our best. Throughout the South-East, we inherited federal roads in very poor conditions.
“In spite of the highly competitive demand and constraints on funding, we have taken on most of the major roads, realizing the impact that their improvement will have on business and life in our country.
“The Owerri-Onitsha road, which was under construction at the outset of my administration, has been virtually completed. Three other very important roads, the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, the Enugu-Port Harcourt road and the Nguzu-Edda-Nkporo-Ohafia road which cuts across Ebonyi and Abia States, are steadily progressing. Our hope is that improved budget and Sure-P funding will see quicker action in the months ahead,” he stated.
The Ohaozara-Ishiagu road and Enugu-Abakaliki road were named as among those that have progressed to good standard. Jonathan promised to refocus attention on the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road which, according to him, is already being addressed remedially by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA.