Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
A United Kingdom-based Medical Doctor, Elias Nnanna Igwe, has officially declared his interest in contesting the governorship seat of Ebonyi State in 2023.
Igwe, who made the declaration at his Abakaliki residence, said he would be contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The Governorship hopeful said he was pleased to make an official declaration, following the positive responses he got from the people of Ebonyi State, in the last two months he embarked on consultations.
He pledged that if elected Governor in 2023, he would consolidate, maintain, protect and add value to the achievements of Governor David Umahi’s administration, to improve on the lot of the people of Ebonyi State.
According to Igwe, his administration will bring competence in Ebonyi governance at different levels; and also build capacity in the system to expand Ebonyi administrative and governance horizons to be able to carter for the needs of the people in so many areas, in economic activities, and to make our economy the best, not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa.
He said he would run a fair and equitable government that would ensure that every Ebonyi person was looked after.
“The dreams of our founding fathers are that Ebonyi will be better, bigger and work for every Ebonyi person,” he said.
“The reason for calling you this evening is to declare my intention to offer my service to Ebonyi people in 2023 as Governor of Ebonyi State. The reason for this declaration is because of the positive responses I have got from my people, the good people of Ebonyi State in the last two months.
“I have received warm reception from my people, showing great excitement and enthusiasm because of my willingness to return home and offer my service to my people. So, I’m very pleased to make this declaration this evening.
“I have canvassed a few things, a few principles. One, is the principle of continuity, that’s to continue with good works of our dear Governor, Engr. David Umahi. He has done an excellent job in infrastructure and in other areas.
“Two, we want to consolidate on things we have on ground. We will maintain, protect and add value to them, so that Ebonyi does not go back to yesterday.
“Three, is to bring competence in Ebonyi governance, at different levels; and also build capacity in the system to expand Ebonyi administrative and governance horizons to be able to carter for the needs of people in so many areas, in economic activities, and to make our economy the best, not only in Nigeria but also in Africa.
“We want to provide good governance never seen before in education, making it free and technologically based by equipping it with computers. Even in primary schools, we should be able to use technology in learning and making it free and accessible. We will ensure that teachers who are part of the civil service are maintained and their welfare improved.
“We will make university accessible and have vocational education. In health, we will provide free health care service based on health insurance scheme and make sure that when people go to hospitals, they don’t pay. And make sure the system is not abused, and build more hospitals.
“In each development centre, we should have a functional and 24 hours service in our hospitals, employ more doctors, nurses and health care professionals and also equip our hospitals and make sure the hospitals continue to improve in the services they offer our people.
“The maternity services will also be enhanced so that our mothers will receive better and improved maternity services, even in our rural areas. We will introduce ambulance system so that people can be picked up in their homes and make sure that wherever you are at any point in time in Ebonyi State and you are not well, you will be picked up to the hospital where you will be treated free of charge. We are bringing the British style of health care delivery to Ebonyi State.
“We will mechanize agriculture and commercialize it and also tie it with industrialization, because we want to build industries along agricultural value chain. The reason why we want to focus on agriculture is to tackle hunger, create jobs and make sure our people create wealth, because Ebonyi soil is one of the best and if we utilize that God-given resource, we will be one of the best and our economy will improve remarkably.
“Other areas are: workers welfare, pension and gratuity issues. I’m happy the Governor has done a lot recently, even yesterday, he was announcing more measures to improve on the welfare of workers. We will improve on that. We will continue to do the very best for our civil servants. We are going to employ more people. Unemployment is going to be tackled so that when people finish university, they will be able to get job, even those who are not able to go to the university, we will create opportunities for them to work at their levels.
“Security is a major issue, we are going to address that. We will bring technology into our security system, even if we need to bring international security agencies to help train our security officers and integrate them for better services, we are going to do that.
“We are going to work with every Ebonyi people and make sure we are fair, equitable and make sure that every Ebonyi person is looked after, because the dreams of our founding fathers are that Ebonyi will be better, bigger and work for every Ebonyi person. So, that’s is what we will be working to deliver to our people.
“Our solid minerals, we shall harness. We will also encourage affordable housing for the generality of our people. Human capital development in totality is a priority area. This is a digital age and so, we shall create a digital economy and digital government and the youths will be at the centre of that.
“We will train our people to have both soft and hard skills to be able to be employable and create jobs. When we invest in human capital development, it will also rub off positively on our economic activities, and that brings us to enterprise which also helps people to create small to medium scale enterprises for the people to be able to be economically viable; and if the youths have business opportunities, they will not engage in crime and disturbances. So, it will help us in tackling insecurity,” he declared.