Residents across Enugu State are commending the state governor, Barr. Peter Mbah, for keeping to his promise of taking over and completing all the abandoned projects, including the International Conference Centre (ICC) and the Hotel Presidential inherited by his administration.
This was even as many concerned citizens called on the state government to give the people a world class ICC by removing illegal structures in the area, saying the land housing the ICC had been encroached upon by land grabbers.
Governor Peter Mbah had during the electioneering period and the economic summit held in 2023, vowed to complete all abandoned projects and resuscitate dormant assets in the state to boost revenue.
Prof. Orji Aninwede who came to shop at the Enugu SPA Mall told our correspondent that the governor had started his administration on a good note, adding that the ICC would serve both as a revenue generating project as well as a tourist centre.
He said he had written to the previous administrations to complete the legacy project that would put the state on the map of states that are keen for investment.
“This is what I have been craving for over the past years. These edifices are wasting instead of generating revenue for the state. I had queried if land grabbers also wanted to convert the buildings because of all these illegal structures and encroachment on the site.
“It is only someone who is out of reason that would put those buildings almost inside the conference centre in the name of residence. Is that place meant to be a private residence? The government should remove all of them. Our people are lawless”, the lecturer said.
A medical practitioner, Dr. David Onyedikachi, who had patronized Root Restaurant, said although, he did not vote during the last elections as he had never bothered to register for voter’s card, said that the actions taken by Governor Mbah since the inception of his administration has won him over.
He lauded the governor for the master plan which he described as “a perfect blueprint” for the state. “Honestly, this governor has come to work for the people. It even appears to me that he is in a hurry to deliver with all these multiple projects initiated by him. I’m now a convert and I will keep supporting his programmes and policies if he continues this way”.
At the Crunches, customers who had come to eat were seen discussing the ongoing projects, maintaining they were overdue for completion and operation. They insisted that the government must remove all the ongoing structures close to the ICC for the project to regain its original design and aesthetics.
Mr. Sam Ugwuoke, who was throwing banters with his friends, said land grabbers and speculators had almost taken over the conference centre for private residence, urging the government to intervene and punish all those involved in the shoddy transactions.
“I think this governor is getting it right this time around. Look at what he is doing with some of the abandoned projects. Maybe all those lawless people building inside the centre even planned to convert all the structures there. The government should demolish all of them and restore the sanity of that environment if those in power are not complicit in the dirty job,” he added.
At Trans-Ekulu, an investment banker, Chief Johnson Arukwe, said the restoration of the original status of the conference centre will make the state the premier destination of the region.
He accused people building on the land of lawlessness, explaining that the previous administration had stopped them from encroaching on the property, expressing surprise over the continuation of the structures immediately the past government left power.
“This is a brazen disregard for the authority. How could people in their right senses be building on a facility that does not belong to them? I could remember that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi stopped all those land grabbers and even demolished some of the structures over encroachment. Now, they have gone back to the same criminal acts. Perhaps, they might have one relationship or the other with the present government that gave them the effrontery,” he argued.
A pentecostal pastor at Agbani Road, Senior Apostle Oluchukwu Felix Ugwu, who spoke to our correspondent, accused the state government and some cabal in the present government for colluding with their cronies to continue building on the ICC land years after they were stopped by the past government.
“This is politics that these people are playing with us. If they are innocent of what is happening there, why will they allow people to hush to the site and start building immediately Governor Ugwuanyi left power? The government must assure us they are representing us all irrespective of class or status,” Pastor Ugwu asserted.