The Minister for Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said that the official commissioning of the Second Niger Bridge, building of Enugu International Airport and other construction of capital projects by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, was not a surprise to the people of the South East region (Igbos).
He said he has informed his people earlier about the uncommon projects, even though, they did not vote for the President and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2015 and 2019 general elections respectively.
Ngige, who disclosed this on Tuesday, at the inauguration of the Ebele Okeke Federal Secretariat Awka, Anambra State, urged the Igbo to stop playing politics of exclusion and putting their eggs in one basket at every political dispensation.
“The first Niger Bridge was constructed in 1965 under the regime of Tafawa Belewa and that was when our brother, the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was president and that is the product of that political alliance.
“During the Civil War, some portions of the bridge were blown up with mines in order to stop the federal troops from crossing over and after the war a second bridge became imperative.
“When I was Anambra governor, the then president sent some contractors and said that the bridge would be built and that was in 2005. When we brought this man (Buhari) here for campaign, I told the people of the South East that he would construct the second Niger Bridge and rebuild Enugu Airport. We did not believe it but he did it.”
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Ngige added, “We played bad politics in 2015 and 2019 yet the APC government brought infrastructure to the South East like the Enugu-Port Harcourt Road, Enugu-Abakaliki Road and the Federal Secretariat.
“All of us should not be in one political party, some would be here and some would be there and if some people are not in the same party with you, don’t call them saboteurs because Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and even Dr Micheal Okpara did the same thing and we must come back to that old political culture that we left for long.”
While speaking during the commissioning of the project, the contractor, Engr. Cosmas Ogboka thanked God for making the project a reality.
He said; “Today, the project has about 500 offices well furnished. I want to thank Buhari and the Honourable Minister for Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, permanent secretaries who have assisted in making this project a reality”.
Among officials who attended the function were the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Hon. Umar Ibrahim El Yakub, Director Overseeing Office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Work and Housing, Engr. Folorunso B. Esan, among others.
CONVERSEER gathered that the construction of the Federal Secretariat Awka was awarded to M/S COsco Investment Nigeria Limited on 9th December 2011.
The Secretariat has the following facilities; 498 office spaces, 1 Exhibition Hall, 1 Banking Hall, 1 Post Office, 1 Reception, 1 Conference Hall and 4 Committee Rooms.
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