… Mu’azu Sambo not aware of any Orashi River dredging***
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the deployment of advanced technology to tackle insecurity in Imo and other parts of the South East.
Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo revealed this to correspondents after a closed-door meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
He said he was in the villa to thank the president for the various support and assistance given to the state and appeal to him to approve the tech deployment to enable the area to deal effectively with the security menace.
According to him, with the president’s approval, advanced surveillance equipment will soon be delivered to the region that will enhance the fight against insecurity without collateral damage.
The governor particularly thanked the president for the recent conversion of the Federal Medical Centre Owerri to a University Teaching Hospital for the Federal University of Technology, and the approval that converted Alvan Ikoku College of Education to a Federal College of Education.
While stating that he came to visit the president on behalf of his people.
Uzodinma said the visit was “also to thank him for the various supports he gave to us during our period of security challenges and the support he has also given to us in terms of the various approvals.
“Only two weeks ago, Igbos that came home from Lagos and outside South East enjoyed the benefit of the second Niger Bridge, something that is worthy of commendation.
“I also appealed to him for further support, to support us with some technological deployments; we have planned to be able to do an advanced kind of security control in the South East and he has also given his approval to that.
”And in a moment from now, we’ll be getting some surveillance equipment and some modern technologies that will help us manage security so that we can fight crime with little or no collateral damage to the environment.”
On assurance for citizens of Imo State in the New Year, Uzodinma said: “Well, my people are enthusiastic and committed Nigerians and we believe in the unity of the country.
”We believe that for us to grow as a people, we need the support and cooperation of the Federal Government and that I’ve always stood for.
”So, going forward, I know 2023 will be better than 2022. And the level of development we witnessed from 2020 to 2022 will be improved upon.
“And my people have seen a lot of things. If you go to South East, in Imo State, for instance, we got the approval of Mr. President that has now enabled the government of Imo to partner with the Nigerian Navy, to dredge Oguta River to Orashi River to the sea,
”This is opening up that maritime route, if there is a naval base, we will now manage and control pipelines vandalism, crude oil theft, and all forms of criminality that besieged that area for a very long time.
”And the crime has gone down tremendously since the Naval base was established.
“So I think we have hope for a better Nigeria. The road that we just completed that was commissioned by Mr president, the Owerri to orlu dualised expressway, Mr president has approved that Imo State Government be refunded.
“The good news is every day I come to Mr president, one positive approval or the other. So our people are happy, we’re committed, we’re happy; we have never had it so good.”
The governor maintained that the APC-led administration had done well in terms of the provision of infrastructure and security in Imo.
”So, that is why I continue to tell you, that the party to beat in my state is APC. Those who are fighting me in my state are not saying we’re not working. They’re not saying we’re not developing the place. They are not accusing us of corruption.
”All they are saying is that they are contriving, instigating insecurity out of desperation, and then blaming the security on a government.
“I’ve seen at the sub-national that critical security measures are managed and controlled by Federal Government.
”So I cannot be blamed for insecurity, because you cannot single out Imo State.
“National security is about the 36 states of the Federation and FCT inclusive.
“So, I think we’ve done so well. And I’m happy by the grace of God, as soon as we’re able to bring the security to naught, we’ll have an environment that we will all celebrate and be happy with.
“During this season, we had relative peace in Imo State, and Christmas is a very critical period for us and new year is also very critical. And apart from a few scratches in the hinterland, we are on top of the security situation now in Imo State.”
It would, however, be recalled that when the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo was asked to corroborate the prospect of dredging Oguta River to Orashi River, and thereafter to the sea, he said he was not aware of it.