More than 5,000 people thronged the roads and streets of Enugu, Enugu State capital to accord heroic welcome to President Buhari, who grounded Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu on Tuesday during his first official visit to the zone since his assumption of office more than two years ago.
The Presidential Jet 5N-FGT, touched down at exactly 10:30 a.m. at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu for a two-day working visit to Ebonyi and Anambra States.
Buhari, who came out of his Jet at 10:42 a.m. after it finished its taxi run, was full of cheers as he bade and cheered thousands of Nigerians who came to welcome him, which included his fans, political supporters and admirers.
Mr. President, after a brief exchange with some governors of the zone who came to receive him, took some minutes of salute from a Presidential Guard-of-Honour mounted in his honour by a joint Army and Air Force personnel at the airport arena.
He later exchanged pleasantries with ministers, former ministers, heads of security services, top government functionaries and some traditional rulers from Enugu State.
Later, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State thanked Mr. President for making a brief stop-over to greet Nigerians living in Enugu State.
Ugwuanyi lauded various shades of associations and political formations for making Presidential reception a grand one.
“I am overwhelmed with joy over the show of love and solidarity of Enugu residents to our admirable and loving President as he visits the South-East; which Enugu State is the capital,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr. Mohammed Danmallam, said that the police had put adequate security arrangement for the brief hosting of Mr President in Enugu.
Danmallam said that every necessary point and critical areas had been covered as well as movement highly monitored for effective policing within and outside the airport as well as the Enugu-Abakaliki road.
“I must thank other sister security agencies for the tremendous support and synergy to the police to achieve the success we are seeing here today,’’ he noted.
Buhari, however, was airlifted in a Presidential Chopper at exactly 11:05 enroute to Ebonyi State, where he is billed to inaugurate some projects.
The South-East governors who received Mr. President included: Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State; Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State; while Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State (North Central and neighbouring state to Enugu State came to the airport as well).
The ministers included; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Godfrey Onyeama; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Chris Ngige; Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Elenema; and Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka.
The Security chiefs included; Maj.-Gen. Adamu Abubakar, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu; Air Vice Marshal Sampson Akpasa, Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Air Force Ground Training Command (GTC), Enugu; the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Mohammed Danmallam and the Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr Steve Amoga.
Others are the National President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani; former Governor of Old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwabodo; Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi; Amb. Lawrence Agubuzo, Chairman, Enugu Traditional Rulers’ Council, among others.