By Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Imo State governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, has said that an APGA-led government, with him at the driver’s seat, will reposition education, health, collapsed infrastructure base, security, agriculture and industrialisation.
He also warned that the present and future generations of Imo State will not forgive the good people if they remain passive and indifferent as the state burns and their dreams for a virile state dashed on the altar of ‘’incompetent, corrupt, fraudulent and visionless leadership,” as they currently have in the state.
Araraume stated this while addressing massive crowd that witnessed the flag-off of his campaign, at the 40,000-capacity state stadium that was occupied by his supporters during the week.
Paying tribute to the founding fathers of Imo State, like Sam Ounaka Mbakwe, Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief R.B.K Okafor and others, the governorship candidate said that a critical look at the state’s political trajectory, since the exit of those great leaders, shows a complete leadership failure, betrayal of hope and derailment of the dreams of the founding fathers.
“As patriots, we are determined to take up the challenges of recovering Imo and rebuild it to restore the hope of our people in their state and future. An APGA-led government with me at the driver’s seat will reposition education, health, our collapsed infrastructure base, security, agriculture and industrialisation.
‘’On education, we shall ensure adequate funding of the sector, capacity building; prompt payment of salaries of lecturers and teachers — for adequate motivation, which will enhance learning in all our educational institutions.’’
The two-time senator said it is regrettable that almost all the professionals course in the Imo State University are not accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC), noting that Medicine and Law faculties are the worst hit.
‘’On assumption of office, my government will quickly put measure in place in concert with the NUC to secure accreditation for all the courses in the state university.
‘’The Imo State Polytechnic in Umuagwo will also receive a new lease of life as all its courses will get full accreditation under my watch, as governor. We shall encourage the missionary schools with subventions and grants to enable them run their schools more effectively.
‘’We will genuinely implement free education at both tertiary and secondary school levels. A synergy will be created between the education sector and the state’s economy to ensure that our institutions run courses and produce graduates that will serve the manpower needs for the economy. Education is our greatest industry and it will receive the attention it deserves,” Araraume added.
He further promised that agriculture will remain the mainstay of Imo State’s economy, as over 70 per cent of the people, who live in the rural areas, are engaged in agriculture, adding that extension services will be offered to the rural farmers with incentives to enable them produce more for domestic consumption and for commercial purposes.
According to him, unemployment has hit the roofs in the state, adding that job creation will be a top priority for his government, promising that “an honest and properly’’ designed skill acquisition programmes will be implemented to make the youth self-reliant.
He further promised, ‘’Workers will no longer cry before they can get their wages; prompt payment of salaries of civil servants and regular promotion of deserving workers will be carried out regularly to motivate the civil servants and harness their energies for development.
‘’Our pensioners who have been having a raw deal in the hands of insincere leaders will have a reason to be happy for serving the state. As senior citizens, the payment of their pensions shall remain a priority area to our government.’’
The governorship hopeful also vowed to recover and return all illegal acquired lands and assets — in the state’s hand to their rightful owners, appealing to his people to help recover Imo and put an end to incompetent leadership.