2nd Niger Bridge, a promise delivered – Soludo
Being excerpts of Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo’s extempore speech on the commissioning of the Second Niger Bridge by President Buhari on Tuesday
YOUR Excellency, Mr President, Your Excellency, the Governor of Delta and Imo, the ministers, traditional rulers and President – General, Ohaneze Ndigbo.
I am here and personally overjoyed. I speak on behalf of my people of Anambra State and also speak on behalf of the people of South East Nigeria.
Today is a day of joy! We have come to express our profound gratitude. I am personally overjoyed and in fact, this is the reason I missed the commissioning of Dangote refinery yesterday because I have to be here personally. My flight was supposed to return today but I didn’t want to take any chances because history is being made today.
The people of the South East have agitated, we have complained and petitioned and about five key infrastructural projects are supposed to be the game changer for the development of the South East.
One is obviously the dredging of about three channels that will give the South East access to the Atlantic to be able to bring their goods down the South East, the second happen to be the second Niger Bridge and the third is the Expressway that will link Anambra to Lokoja. That will actually open up the east; in three hours, you will be at Abuja. The fourth happen to be the gas pipeline that has largely bypassed the South East and the fifth obviously is the railway that we are agitating.
Of this five, it is our pleasure and joy today in the South East that we have come to tick good to one of them and a major one at that and that is the Second Niger Bridge.
President Muhammadu Buhari, I think as you leave office, the South East will remember you. And for my brother and friend, Fashola, via the various infrastructural projects being commissioned, it is appropriate to call you Mr Infrastructure and for us, this is a promise delivered.
We are really overjoyed at least for the other four, with the incoming President-Elect who would be sworn in on Monday. We will come shopping for the other four and as we hope probably, the rest of the four will be granted in the coming four years or thereabout.
I think today there is nothing else other than to express our profound gratitude. There’s no point in deliberating on the importance of this bridge. People describe it as a game changer for Asaba, Delta and Anambra.
They are like the twin cities of New-York and New-Jersey, that’s how I comprehend it, fundamental change, creating that aligning new axis of prosperity and we hope in other ones, other jigsaw part of the puzzle will be fixed and then the South East will get up and bloom economically.
We want to once more express our profound gratitude and say thank you very much Mr President and the Federal Government, the Ministers and your Government for delivering this important project.
Thank you very much and congratulations as you leave office, you did a great job and keep doing more.