Udora Orizu in Abuja
As the Imo State governorship candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume, formally kicks off his campaign in Owerri, he has called on all sons and daughters of Imo State to rally round him to recover the state from its pitiable socio-political and economic condition, created by people who don’t mean well for the state.
In a press statement issued yesterday by the Media Unit of his campaign organisation, Araraume said his desire to join the governorship race was informed by his strong commitment to correct the wrong of the present state government, in the general interest of the state.
He said he is not contesting the governorship seat to acquire properties, take people’s land or amass dubious wealth because God had blessed him and his family with everything they need in life.
‘’For me, the most challenging aspect is to get our people back. There is high distrust among the people and against the state government. Our people are like a conquered people. The task is to bring them back to the level they were before and restore their confidence.
‘’In the issue of governance, the starting point is to create policies that will give the people hope. If you look at Imo critically, for instance, the education sector, you will find that nothing is working. The education sector has collapsed. From the primary education level up to the tertiary level, our education has collapsed.
‘’We need to get back and rebuild confidence. We need to train and retrain the teachers, boost their morale and pay them living wages. What is happening now is that when you go to our schools, you find that our teachers have become traders,” Araraume stated.
On the dilapidation of infrastructure in the state, the two-time Senator said the issues will be addressed aggressively in order to attract both foreign and local business investors, saying Imo State is strategically located for huge investments.
He added, “we need to tackle these and address them immediately. Look also at our local government system. It is dead. Presently, no local government in Imo State gets their allocation. None; so, you need to work on that; reassure the people and rebuild their confidence; make sure that each local government gets what is due to it and also work with it.
‘’I will ensure that each local government chairman resides within the local government. It boosts confidence of the people. What obtains today is that no one sees a local government chairman because he is never in his office. They come around once or twice in a month and disappear. They come when there is money to pay salary and that is it. Some don’t even go to office.’’
The National Commissioner, representing South-east in the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) is also not happy with the debasement of the revered traditional rulers in the state by the current state government, promising to quickly address when he assumes office on May 29.
According to him, “If you look at our traditional institution in Imo state, you will find that it has been destroyed and reduced to nothing. By the last count, we have more than 600 autonomous communities and our Ezes have been reduced to nothing. They are made to come to the stadium for match past, like students, when a dignitary visits the state.
‘’That is not done anywhere in the world. So, to restore the dignity of the traditional institution, and bring back the respect that they used to have, has to happen.’’
More importantly, the governorship hopeful said, is the issue of good governance, saying there is urgent need to recover Imo and bring it back.