Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Abia State governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, Prince Okey Kanu, has said that the state had been hijacked by a political cabal which feeds fat on public funds.
The governorship hopeful who made the claims during a gubernatorial debate organised by Abia League of Professionals Initiative (ALPI), vowed to deal with, and silence the cabal if voted into power.
He promised not to have any dealings with anybody with stained records in his administration which he said would mark the beginning of a new Abia.
The Management expert promised to work with Abia professionals irrespective of their political leanings as well as the clergy to truly liberate and re-start the state.
He regretted that Abia prides itself as God’s Own State but in actuality the leaders are far from God.
“Without God Abia can go nowhere. Our problem is that most of our Leaders don’t consult God.
“In the past, wise Leaders had time with God for direction but these days our leaders move up and down in hotels with girls instead of consulting God. How do you expect anything good from such leaders?”
On how to move the state forward if elected Governor, Prince Kanu said he would give priority to regular power supply to Aba the economic honey pot of the state to boost economic and industrial activities in the city.
He also vowed to rebuild the failing infrastructure in Aba, arguing that if Aba were fixed, Abia would generate enough funds from the commercial city to run the entire state.
The governorship hopeful also promised to give conscious attention to the education and health sectors, lamenting the de-accreditation of the Medical College of the Abia State University, Uturu.
He equally described as embarrassing, the inability of the State Government to pay medical doctors in the state which led to the current indefinite strike by doctors over 25-month salary arrears of ABSUTH doctors and 13 months owed their counterparts at the Health Management Board.
Prince Kanu said that regular payment of salaries and pensions would be one of the legacies of his administration if elected.
The governorship candidate promised to show extreme prudence in resource management and to closely monitor the activities of his aides and appointees.
He also promised to revolutionise and make agriculture attractive as was the case in the days of the late Premier of the Old Eastern Region, Dr Michael Okpara.
“Under my watch, Abia farmers will begin to ride flashy cars because I will make farming an enviable profession.”
He expressed optimism that the forthcoming elections would be credible because of the introduction of the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS machines, while soliciting the support of Abian voters.
Speaking earlier, Director General, Abia League of Professionals Initiative, Sonny Iroche, said that “ALPI is a duly incorporated non-partisan professional association
with the aims and objectives, among others things, of ensuring good governance by holding political and public office holders accountable to their own sworn oath of office.
He regretted that Abians had for the past 20 years, been subjected to misrule, ineptitude, corruption and rudderless leadership.
“Abians have been subjected to excruciating poverty, non- or delayed payment of salaries and pensions, insecurity debt overhangs, de-accreditation of two of our tertiary institutions, broken infrastructure, unemployment, lack of development, etc,” he lamented.
The group vowed to continue to act as watchdogs for the people and to hold the elected leaders accountable for the masses.
Other governorship candidates are expected to feature in the exercise.