Ebonyi State Government has promised to provide some quantities of Ebonyi Rice popularly known as Abakaliki Rice to internally displaced persons and soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.
Governor David Umahi made the promise when he visited the Chief of defence staff, Brig. Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Monday.
Governor Umahi, who was full of praises for the Nigerian Army for their gallant efforts towards ending the insurgence in the North- East, assured the CDS that the people of Ebonyi State would give necessary support to the Army at any time.
He said, “I want to appreciate you and your wonderful team. I want to once again thank you. In the next 10 days, we will bring some quantities of rice to assist your boys and also to the governor of Borno State, to assist the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
“You have recorded tremendous success in dealing with this sect (Boko Haram) and I want to tell you that the people of Ebonyi State are very happy about that. Since the insurgence started, we have lost no fewer than three personnel and the same thing has happened to other sections of the country”.
The governor assured the Defence chief that Ebonyians would continue to pray for the Army until the insurgents were routed.
He recalled that the military played key roles in resolving past crises in Ezillo as well as those between Ebonyi State and its neigbours.
“We had issues with Cross Rivers; we had issues with Enugu and we had issues with Abia. We also had internal problems which is Ezillo. The Army played important roles and was very much instrumental to the peace we have in the state,” the governor said.
Engr. Umahi noted that the partnership to establish a joint project called COMPO RATIO between the Ebonyi State Government and the Nigerian Army at the Abakaliki Cantonment was meant to provide food for military personnel and displaced persons. He solicited for quick action by the Army to actualise the project.
He told the Defence chief that his government was fully committed to rice production and therefore wanted the project to start “so that we can play our own part”
Responding, the CDS thanked Governor Umahi for the visit, promising that the Army and the state government would soon actualise the project.
The governor had earlier on Sunday accompanied a business mogul, Prince Arthur Eze, to a thanksgiving service for Prophet I. O. Samuel of Shiloh Word Chapel who turned 36.
On Monday, he paid a courtesy visit on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir D. Lawal, at the SGF office where he congratulated him for his well deserved appointment.
Also on Tuesday, the governor had an interaction with the new Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Kure Martin Abeshi in Abuja.