Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha said he would ensure that local governments in the state enjoy full autonomy, if elected on March 2.
Ihedioha made the pledge during a townhall meeting in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, noting that he would ensure the law establishing the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC was vigorously implemented.
The governorship candidate, however, expressed concern over the perennial problem of electricity in the oil-rich local government, promising to fix it if voted into power.
Speaking on his Oguta-born running mate, Hon. Gerald Irona, Ihedioha reiterated his confidence in him, describing him as his ideal deputy governor.
Ihedioha described his visit to Oguta as akin to a home coming, promised “to take advantage of the tourism and agricultural potentials of the area to develop it.
“I appreciate the deluge of problems you have identified. It is one of the reasons I nominated your brother- Irona as my deputy. He is very conversant with all the issues. I have seen in Irona a young man that understands what loyalty, dedication and hard work is.
“That is the kind of man I want as Deputy Governor. We shall run the government jointly in harmony. Our government shall be built on justice, due process and rule of law. We shall ensure that Local Government funds are administered by the Local Governments. We shall implement the FOI Act.
“We shall send an Executive Bill to the state Assembly to ensure that Local Government Councils enjoy autonomy. We shall have a Peoples Parliament, made up of non state actors to enhance accountability and equity in the distribution of the people’s wealth. I am aware that you are an oil producing community. We are aware that you have a large agricultural base.
“I am aware that you don’t have power supply for eight years now. It is unthinkable that you are an oil producing LGA and you don’t have electricity. We shall dialogue with the oil companies.
We shall bring FG to complete the NIPP Plant in Egbema and other power projects in Imo. We shall solve the problem of electricity.
“We understand what needs to be done. We have the contacts. We have the capacity to do this. We shall build good quality roads. We shall ensure that the law establishing the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC is implemented.”
Speaking earlier, Irona promised not to disappoint the people, describing Ihedioha as an age-long friend of Oguta people, who used his position as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to support the development of the area.
Reiterating the challenges facing Oguta Local Government Area, Irona assured the people that when Hon. Ihedioha takes over as Imo Governor their problems will receive serious attention.
He further used the occasion to thank Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe for what he described as his inspirational leadership and prayed God to continue to be with him.
“I want to thank our leader, Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe for all that he has done for us. I want to believe that one of the reasons Hon. Ihedioha chose me as his Deputy is his respect for our leader, Senator Arthur Nzeribe and the way and manner I have worked with our leader. The way I worked with our leader, I will transfer it in working with him. I promise not to disappoint you.”
“Oguta and Ohaji/Egbema are the coastal LGAs in Imo; the two LGAs that qualified Imo to be in NDDC. I have engaged my principal- Hon. Ihedioha. He has given me an assurance that he will abide by the spirit and letters of the ISOPADEC law.”