Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, candidate for Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, Chief Ogbonna Abarikwu, has said that people without any identifiable means of livelihood should not be voted into the National Assembly.
The US-based Civil Engineer argued that National Assembly is not meant for those whose only known qualification is political apprenticeship but people with vast experiences in different fields of life endeavour.
Abarikwu who spoke during his campaign tours to Ikwuano, Umuahia North and South Local Government areas, explained that anyone who have not had experience of life and excelled in a particular career, would lack the basic knowledge to make good laws.
“Those whose only achievement is carrying bags for politicians should not be elected into the National Assembly because they will have nothing to offer as they lack the life experience to make good laws.”
The APGA candidate who said he had worked in the US for 38 years as an Engineer, claimed that he had gathered the necessary experience and global contacts to bring to bear if elected.
Abarikwu decried the deplorable condition of Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, blaming it on corruption, bad leadership and poor representation.
The APGA candidate promised to hold regular town-hall meetings and publish every fund approved for projects in the constituency for transparency and accountability.
He said that lack of transparency had been the bane of leadership in Nigeria, promising not to divert funds meant for the development of the constituency to private pockets.
“If you elect me, I will be holding regular town-hall meetings where we shall identify the needs of every Ward and tackle them according to their priority.
“I’m not coming to steal your money. I have worked in the US for 42 years and I’m coming with the honesty I saw in their system to make things work better here as obtains in other democracies.
“Why does US system work but in Nigeria reverse is the case? Time has come for people with integrity and experience to get involved so Nigeria can become better off. We shall no longer leave the destiny of our people in the hands of wolves.”
Abarikwu also promised to ensure that every local government area in the constituency had a befitting functional general hospital and at least two model primary schools if elected.
The APGA candidate who said he joined the contest to bring a positive change, accused the political elite of stagnating the state.
He challenged youths to shun monetary inducements and vote for credible candidates with pedigree and proven sources of wealth to avoid mortgaging their future.
“Time has come for us to take back our state and liberate ourselves from this political bondage. Look at Ebonyi State of yesterday, it has overtaken Abia which is still crawling 31 years after its creation.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of his campaign organisation, Mr Osondu Anamelechi, said time had come for the constituency to be represented by a man with international exposure and vast experience.
The APGA candidate who also visited various wards at Umuahia South and North to solicit their support, received the assurances of the people.
In most of the wards visited the people complained bitterly about hardship and said they needed people who would make laws that would translate into improved standard of living for the suffering masses.