Obinna Oriaku, a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress and Ex-Abia State Commissioner of Finance, has fingered lack of strategy and internal competition among leaders from the southeast Nigeria as bane of development in the geopolitical zone.
He spoke on Monday, while baring his minds on outcomes of the recently-concluded southeast economic and Security summit held in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
Recall that the governors of southeast Nigeria had last week Thursday, converged in owerri for a two-day summit to x-ray the challenges of insecurity and economic disruptions facing the southeast region and explore ways to end them.
The summit had the five governors took turns to give their perspective on the consequences of the escalating insecurity on the once strong and progressive economy of the region.
Earlier, Mr Oriaku, while speaking earlier on Monday, regretted the discordant tones by the leaders from the southeast zone on search on the way forward for economic development and security of southeast and igbo land in general.
He stated partly: “Our clamorous disposition and strive for competition which have helped us as igbos in our survival may also be our undoing.
“We can see the passion these current governors of southeast have shown towards repositioning the igbos economically and politically.
“Enugu state at their economic summit set up a committee on seaport which according to them can be accessed between the boundaries of Anambra and Igbo-Etiti local government of Enugu state. How realizable this ambitious proposal is, would best be left for the professionals.
“Anambra state is also fixated on seaport, though the Onitsha light port is yet to witness major activity as barges with containers from lagos or Port-Harcourt hardly use the port due to many issues.
“Recently, we have seen the imo state government commission’s study on how to connect to the Atlantic through the Orashi River through Oguta. And the report was submitted with funfair last week and the anticipated success of this venture is undefined”,he also noted
“The Abia State Governor talked about yet another seaport to be sited at Owazza. This is surprising as we only know about Azumini and Onuasusu in Arochukwu being the closest to the Atlantic in Abia and alot have gone-in by way of daft survey and studies of this projects particularly in Azumini.
“At the same Owerri summit, the President of Ohanaeze, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu talked about seaport at Ogutahe further noted.
“This shows discordant tones and lack of strategy for a region struggling to get the attention of the centre due to the nature of our politics as a people.
“One would have thought these governors would have set up a a Committee to jointly identify among all these mentioned potential seaports, that which is most Strategic, viable and realizable.
“This will ensure that the center will not use duplicity of these demands as reason to deny us any of these projects.
“Just the other day, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) started moving containers from Apapa seaport through rail to Ibadan dry port just like Kaduna dry port that has been in use for over six years”, the financial expert pointed out.
He admonished igbo to be Strategic in engagement and lessen the all too often dissonance voices attached to these endeavors until they materialize rather than running round in cycles.