”We will encourage and facilitate greater production in places like Owerri and Aba. At the same time, we shall broaden opportunities for you to engage in more international commerce by steering more activity towards ports outside of Lagos such as Onne”.
Owerri, the Imo State capital stood still on Thursday as the residents trooped out to receive the campaign train of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Shout of Jagbaban rented the air as soon as Tinubu entered The Landmark Event Centre, Owerri, the venue of a town hall meeting with stakeholders and supporters of the party.
Party faithfuls, businessmen and women, traders started trooping into the venue of the town hall meeting as early as 8am to be part of history in the making.
Security operatives had a tough moment trying to control thousands of people that struggled to enter the event centre amidst tight screening at the gate.
Tinubu and his entourage entered the venue at exactly 2:13pm to a rousing shout of Jagaban.
The host of the day who is also the Southeast Coordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima campaign, Hope Uzodinma thanked the APC supporters in the state for turning out in their large numbers to receive the APC flag-bearer. He assured them that the Tinubu presidency will take are of the interests of the Southeast.
Responding to the comments by governor David Umahi that the Southeast had been neglected and abandoned since the end of the civil war, Tinubu promised that his administration will ensure massive economic development of the region.
He recalled his background as a son of a famous market leader, the late Abibatu Mogaji.
Tinubu said that, based on his experience and the lessons learnt, he understood the challenges traders, business owners and people of the South-East are going through.
The TownHall meeting was attended among others by APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the party’s Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Kashim Shettima, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi who is the Coordinator for South, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Hon. Idris Wase, APC Deputy National Chairman, South, Barrister Emma Enekwu, Deputy National Chairman, North, Senator Abubakar Kyari and some members of the National Working Committee for the party.
Tinubu said about his mother: “She gave me the grit and determination which has served me well in politics. More important, she taught me that patience, wisdom, tolerance and generosity are the hallmarks of a good leader, be they a market leader or a candidate aspiring to the highest office of the land”.
On his plans for the Southeast after becoming Nigeria’s president from 29th May 2023, Tinubu said new industrial hubs would be created in Aba and Owerri, while already existing ones would be modernized.
He also spoke on making access to credit facilities available to the traders across the region and the country in general.
“My government shall build an economy with a growing industrial base, more and better jobs for our youth and more high-quality home-grown goods to sell and merchandise.
“We shall establish industrial hubs throughout the nation and modernize existing ones. We will encourage and facilitate greater production in places like Owerri and Aba. At the same time, we shall broaden opportunities for you to engage in more international commerce by steering more activity towards ports outside of Lagos such as Onne.
“I envision the Owerri-Port Harcourt and Aba-Port Harcourt corridors becoming more active and lucrative trade and manufacturing corridors than they already are.
“My administration will establish policies that widen your horizons and expand your business reach both in terms of the goods you sell and your geographic reach to new markets.
“Working with the state governments, the CBN and banking industry, we shall embark on a two-pronged credit revolution.
“First, on the sale and supply side, we shall seek to drive down interest rates on business loans, especially for investment in manufacturing as well as small and medium sized enterprises.