A battery of surveillance helicopters were sighted hovering over Owerri, Imo State capital city as President Muhammadu Buhari touched down at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport at exactly 8:30am today, 9th September for a one-day working visit to the state.
The streets were virtually empty as residents remained indoors and shops including banks were shut in compliance to the sit-at-home order of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The IPOB had issued the directive for citizens of the South East region of the country to stay home as President Buhari visits Imo State.
Some young boys however took advantage of the lockdown to exercise themselves by playing street football in the empty streets to burn some energy.
An elderly woman who tried dispersing the boys playing street football along Ikenegbu Layout at about 10:00am on the ground that the hovering helicopters might record their ‘civil disobedience’ and come after them later did not achieve success.
Speaking at a brief ceremony where he inaugurated the Egbeada-Amakohia Bypass, President Buhari said he, like Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma was faced with infrastructural deficit on assumption of office in 2015 but expressed happiness that he has been able to rewrite the story.
Buhari who stated that he was pleased with the accomplishments of the Gov. Uzodimma commended the governor for working hard to ensure Imo gets her due.
He thereafter inaugurated the Egbeada-Amakohia Bypass named after Engineer Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.
Earlier, Gov. Uzodimma said Imolites were excited today playing host to President Buhari in spite of the challenges that were confronting them.
The governor who insisted that Imo citizens love the president noted that Buhari had inaugurated virtually two roads built by his administration and was pleased to have him to physically inaugurate other projects today.
He noted that flood had overrun Owerri and displaced many residents of Owerri prior to the advent of his administration, stressing that it was to reclaim houses and areas submerged by flood that his administration executed the balloon technology-tunnel flood control project at Chukwuma Nwoha road.
According to Gov. Uzodimma, the project would channel flood from Chukwuma Nwoha, Aladinma and Prefab areas to the Otamiri River thereby terminating the perennial flooding in these areas.
He disclosed that a second tunnel which his administration was executing around the Amakohia/Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education area would help ending flooding in Owerri metropolis.
Gov. Uzodimma told Buhari that the Naze-Nekede-Ihigawa Road which he had inaugurated before the Egbeada-Amakohia Bypass was regrettably impassable when his administration mounted the saddle in spite of the fact that it links two federal institutions.
He promised to complete the second phase of the road to link Obinze and Port Harcourt Road.
The governor praised Buhari for helping to end the recent security breaches in the state, adding that he had commiserated with families of security agents who died in active service and innocent citizens who were caught in the crossfire.
Gov. Uzodimma assured all citizens resident in Imo State of peace, saying his administration was determined to make the state home for all Nigerians irrespective of creed and origin.