From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Abia State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Ikechi Emenike, has said he is contesting the governorship election to rescue the state from its present state of decadence if he wins.

He stated this at his Umukabia country home in Umuahia North Local Government Area, when he unveiled his manifesto entitled, “The Emenike Movement…to rescue and develop Abia State” yesterday.

He outlined his plan of action to actualise his mission “to rescue and develop Abia (RADA)”, saying Abia has remained stagnated because the right route to development has not been followed by successive leaders.

“Abia can change and Abia will change,” he said, adding that a state that has found itself in Abia’s parlous condition “(needs to be rescued” first before it could be reset for sustainable, holistic development. 

Explaining his vision for Abia, Emenike stated that it has always been has dream for Nigeria to join the league of developed countries. But he added that nothing stops Abia from charting its own course to development if the nation as a whole fails to move forward.

“If Nigeria Persists in its underdevelopment, I shall determinedly lead the charge for the emergence of a first world state, even in a third world country,” he said, adding, “we shall propel the state into a fresh highway of socio-economic development”.

The envelopment economist signified his readiness and plans to rescue and develop Abia by itemising 23 “key deliverables for 2023” spanning every sector of the Abia economy.

“Abians will be the means (agents) and the end (beneficiaries) of our economic development efforts or projects,” he said.

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According to him, the Abia dream has two components of “striving to enable every citizen of Abia State to live a flourishing life (while) the government and the citizens will work together to ensure every generation in the state enjoys  better(higher) standard of living than the ones before it”.

The Abia APC governorship flag bearer said that he would adopt a new approach to governance and not follow the old way of doing things which has yielded no positive result for Abia.

He, therefore, vowed that he would “lead by example, demonstrating discipline, hard work, integrity, and unwavering commitment to the new Abia State, adding that “we shall ensure high moral, ethical, competent and godly standards in governance”.

Emenike pointed out that Abia has been moving in a vicious cycle of underdevelopment because those piloting the affairs of the state lack ideas of how to get things done the right way to achieve good results.

He lamented a situation where the budget of Abia has remained low over the years without the leaders doing anything to grow it to meet the development needs of the state.

The governorship hopeful stated that anybody on the seat of power in Abia who thinks he could develop the state with the present budget size of less than N200 billion would be embarking on a voyage of self-deceit.

He promised to grow the budget of Abia by as much 200 percent and also ensure that public funds are used for the public hence embezzlement, misappropriation or diversion  of public would never be tolerated.

Emenike challenged Abians to rise up and join his resue and develop Abia movement, saying that since there is a general consensus that Abia is in a parlous state, no one should sit on the fence.

He urged every Abian of voting age to demonstrate their  anger against perpetrators of bad governance by coming out to vote for good governance, adding that March 11 is an opportunity for languishing workers and pensioners to make a positive statement with their votes.