Represented by the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, the president lauded the developmental strides of Governor David Umahi.

“It is always a thing of delight to come to Ebonyi. We have been driving through Ebonyi State and not one pothole on the roads. You know Your Excellency, I want to say it before your people that we are very proud of you.

” The primary responsibility of a governor is to develop the economy of the State.

“Politics is nothing. Politics will come and go but when you have a good leader, lifting the economy of the State, creating jobs, saving people from hunger and disease, hold on to him and pray for him.

“Yesterday, you won a prize in Abuja, awarded by the President himself for your contributions in Agriculture. The Plaque will be delivered to you shortly.

” We are here to commission this plant which is the only fertilizer plant in the entire southeastern zone and South-South. It is going to add to the production of food in this entire regions,” he said.

He said that governor Umahi has the capacity to make Nigeria a great nation and urged the people of the state to continue to support him.

Speaking further, Chief Ogbe said “We are very proud of you for your commitment. We are thoroughly amazed with what we see here today.

” Please remember that anywhere, anytime we mention our successes in Agriculture, your name comes up.

“Your rice, is in every Supermarket in Abuja and in Lagos and you are one of the five Governors who have succeeded in making Nigeria almost self sufficient in rice production.

“You have reduced rice import by 90 per cent and we have saved some seed import in the last 34 months to the tune of $21b as a country.

“We thank you, we commend you and we are here today because we have high regard for you, the Governor, and we wish you well. Continue to work.

“Ebonyi has become a major player in Nigeria’s economy. We have just come away from the place where you are going to build a plant for Lead processing and many other minerals.”

He said: it is people like governor Umahi that can make Nigeria grow. It is men like you that will make Nigeria grow.

” Let us say this, that in no distant future, the South-East should give us a president and you have worked for it.

“I want to thank you very much the people of Ebonyi. Continue to give him support, continue to work hard and this man will lead you well and free all of us from poverty and want. Poverty is not an asset. It is an embarrassment”

Earlier, Umahi who spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony of Ebonyi Tongyi Lead/Zinc/Copper Processing plant in Uburu, said his administration has put every measure to improve the economy of the state through harnessing the large deposit of solid minerals in the state.

He said that with the limited land in the state, agriculture and solid minerals have been prioriotized to serve as mainstay of the economy of the state in the face of dwindling fortunes from oil.

The Minister of State for Mines and Steal Development, Abubarkar Bawa-Bwari while laying the foundation stone for the Lead and Zinc processing plant, commended the governor for his developmental strides and expressed satisfaction with the government commitment towards harnessing solid mineral deposit in the state.