Charles Nwankwo, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governorship Candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof. Benard Ifeanyichukwu Odoh, has appointed his running mate Dr. Nkata Chukwu from Okposi in Ohaozara Local Government Area and gave an insight how he would govern Ebonyi State.
Prof. Odoh made this known while briefing Journalist at Pinnacle Hotel along Abakaliki-Enugu Expressway.
Prof. Odoh said his plan to govern Ebonyi State is to reduce to the barest minimum the sufferings of Ebonyi people and make them feel comfortable by job creation and free from terrible taxation, noting that many businesses have closed in Ebonyi because of in-conducive environment and un-affordable taxation introduce by the present Government.
He argued that Government has no business in democracy but to create conducive environment and partner with private sectors who have the expertise and resources for such business while government will earn from their investment.
Prof. Ofoh noted that Igbo region is politically fragmented, adding that his government must pursue a homogeneous political economy with conviction to start a regional political economy that can compete with Nigerian space.
He said “Our government must be committed to bring investors who are ready to invest in agriculture. It is unfortunate that there is no place in Ebonyi State where we have more than two hundred hecters for commercial agriculture, The largest we have is Ezzilo farm that is about one hundred and ninty eight hecters. If we want to do commercial agriculture, we must invest in land preparation and have minimum of about one thousand, two thousand hecters that way you can employ mechanisation and technology. In Ebonyi South, Central and North, opportunities for investment are massive. One of the key impediment that scared investors away from Ebonyi state was unconducive interaction. The state government wanted investors to pay certain things up-front such as social cooperate responsibility. Investors cannot borrow money and pay a community, you must allow investors to do business and give them time to establish their business, the business can employ people.
“While businesses are not working here is that government piled pressure on people and their businesses grumbled. We must treat business owners as our potential partners, we must encourage them to grow and succeed, once they succeed our people will have opportunity for employment.
“In terms of the way forward for Ndigbo, Igbos are not politically homogeneous. Our region is politically fragmented we must pursue a homogeneous political economy that gives our people conviction to start in our region because they believe nothing is working here. If we don’t create environment where our people are making real progress and we don’t do the kind of politics that address our concern it will be difficult to compete with Nigerian space.
“We must begin to work together as a people under an umbrella we can speak with one voice. Right now we are fragmented, our interest is individual interest, we are not yet pursing regional interest. That is what I think is the bane of the failure we experience in PDP and APC, power is not given, you get power because you can bargain and negotiate, right now we don’t have power to bargain, we don’t have power to negotiate.
“I am running because I believe we have a program that has enormous potential to take us from where we are now to where we ought to be. As a state in southeast we should not be ranking the third most poorest state in this country, we shouldn’t be there for any reason because we are Ndigbo we have people willing to work hard, we are well educated, we shouldn’t be ranking third on the poverty scale.
“If we want to make progress we can’t continue with the old way and expect progress or make such choices that guarantees no hope for tomorrow. I am that credible alternative for you. I have served government up to three years and. I stood for policy that will uplift the average Ebonyi person, when scholarship were stopped overseas I fought for it, when civil servant salaries were slashed I fought for it, when taxes were imposed I fought for it, when I was abused of not spending 2billion Agric loan, I have full account and I submitted myself to EFCC for investigation and they investigated. So I have the background, the pedigree, look at all of us and make your choices
“Our children must return to school, our parents can no longer pay school fees of their children, the cost of food is highest in Ebonyi state, so the future is bleak. We have lost capacity to produce food that we eat, there had been no incentive to the farmers.
“I believe that I have all it takes to do that, let nobody deceive you saying that APGA has no structure, I am a teacher the university is my structure, the secondary schools are my structure, the primary schools are my structure, churches are my structure, the civil servants are my structure. Our chance to success is very bright
I assure you that I will not focus on projects that cannot give anybody value, we must create capabilities to create wealth, the highest asset of every society is he citizens, our people have lost confidence and self esteem. Our focus therefore in the next four, eight years is to invest in our people in such a way their capacity to produce will be very high. We shall make our state a destination for business and will allow our judicial processes to work smoothly, we are not going to interfere with many things.
“As your governor, I wouldn’t be interested in who will be Okada chairman, market chairman, who is Keke chairman. The present Governor may have done his best but our focus is going to shift to our people
“The street light and security are very important aspect of social responsibility to the citizens we will sustain and improve the existing facilities but we would explore a more affordable cost effective approach to providing power to the city because it guarantees security and businesses flow.
“Ebubeagu is also very important but we are going to review their activities we find a way to modify their approach once we come on board. We most serve our people with dignity and respect we are not going to abuse our people. Any policy or program that will impose our people to harsh condition we will review it and bring the best for our people to be Happy.
“I shade tiers when I see our people Hawking in all over the country, they are regarded as people who are hopeless and cannot feed themselves. Those people are there because nothing is working in this state. As government, if we provide the right education that is fixed for purpose our people will not hawk if we provide the right skill training our people will not go into hawking.
“The state government’s responsibility are clear, the local government’s responsibility are also clear, when we come on board, we will allow local government elections to hold, we will allow political parties to fill their candidates, if our candidate loses we will accept the lost and encourage those who won. The chairmen of local government must go to their rural area and stay there. We wouldn’t entertain government house where you will have local government chairmen coming to meeting everyday, traditional rulers coming to meeting everyday, town union president coming to meeting everyday in Government House.
“The council chairman has the mandate to sort out his local affairs in the local government, our focus will be to provide security, provide education to our people sort out health sector and make the state solid for private investors. Some of the insecurity we are experiencing in Ebonyi state is arising from the fact that the political system is interfering with all most everything. If am a governor why should I have interest in putting town union in Edda, put chairman in Abakpa market, let Abakpa market find their leaders, people do that where they don’t have confidence. We can’t approach governance with that kind of madness. We want our people to be free, express themselves and make their choice that is what made you a component person. We will run a system that is seamless,” he stated.
Prof. Odoh said he appointed his running late having studied his personality and capability to perform to expectation.
Dr. Nkata on behalf of his family expressed his gratitude to the incoming governor of Ebonyi State His Excellency Prof. Benard Odoh for the opportunity that he found him worthy.
Dr. Nkata said that most people usually go for a well known politician to make running mate but Prof. Odoh had kept true to what he says about believing in Ebonyi people.
He pledged his readiness for a successful government, adding that he will be a loyal allay and deputy that will bring value to every area that is needed as partner in progress that will work to deliver the vision of the governor to take Ebonyi to the promise Land and beyond. He was optimistic that from next year over the next eight years they will not only leave the state better than we met it but will leave a blue print that other government will ride on over the next fifty years.
According to his citation, Dr. Nkata studied medicine and surgery University of Lagos and majored in health policy management and planning
In a vote of thanks, Sen. Emmanuel Onwe contesting to represent Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zone second time prayed that Spirit of solidarity will continue to abide in the affairs of the party. He described leadership as action and example.