By Ebireri Henry Ovie
Pulling Imo people out of the clutches of poverty and propelling the economy of the state to prosperity were given at the weekend by Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu as reasons for joining the governorship race.
“If our natural and human resources have been properly harnessed and judiciously managed, Imo would have been one of the richest states, if not the richest in Nigeria.
“My goal is to serve as a bridge between the leadership and the people to ensure that the state is pulled out from the clutches of poverty, while ensuring timely payment of pensions and full restoration of civil servants’ salaries and emoluments,” he said.
The former member of Imo State House of Assembly, who wants to contest the governorship polls on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is thinking about how to put right the mess Governor Rochas Okorocha and other All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders have made of Imo State.
He promised to assuage the suffering of Imo people through wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction.
Mr Anyanwu told reporters in Owerri that the state has enormous human and material resources that could serve as alternative source of revenue to the Federal Government if properly harnessed and managed.
He attributed the economic hardship in the state to lack of commitment and sincerity of purpose on the part of the current administration.
“A responsible and positive government should drive policies and programmes that would promote real development.”
The former local government chairman promised to liberate the state from the dependency on federal allocation, grow the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state by activating robust private sector business engagement and restore local government system and town unions.
“We will energize private enterprise and allow people unfettered ownership of the means to wealth creation and production. We shall pursue a course that will exceed the expectations and aspirations of our people. We will ensure economic growth as against financial impoverishment and hope in place of despondency and despair. Our administration will submit to international best practices in governance, which includes transparency, accountability, due process and rule of law.”
Mr Anyanwu promised to bring principles that promote respect for rule of law, justice, fairness and integration of all stakeholders.
“I know the terrain, understand the politics and have built networks of political and social alliances across the state; I know the people, the issues, challenges, expectations, the possibilities and the potentials of the state. I will run a government that focuses on developing the economy of the state and making it the hub of South East market by identifying and developing viable areas of comparative advantage. I will create an enabling environment that will attract investors and encourage private sector participation in developing the state economy.”
He vowed to ensure security of life and property thereby making Imo the tourist destination of the world, guarantee a qualitative and holistic free education, with a clear path on sustainability of funding, reposition agriculture as vehicle for job creation, wealth generation and food security, decentralize the health sector in preparation for a universal health care system and embark on a comprehensive infrastructural development.
He also pledged to end deprivation, humiliation and hardship in the state.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privilege and Public Petitions urged PDP leaders in the country to mend fences and respect the feelings and views of others.
“Our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has had it fair share of political crisis. We must begin to mend fences and respect the feelings and views of others. Though individuals are bound to have their personal ambitions within a political party, such interests must be pursued without sending wrong signals that would unsettle the greater number of the members or make them feel that the party has lost its character as the big umbrella that should provide shade for all members. Impunity and high handedness in political engagement weakens the party, making it vulnerable to external and internal manipulators and deprives us of the qualities of a formidable political party.”
The representative of Imo East Senatorial District called on PDP members in the state to make judicious use of their electoral power when the time comes.
“The movement to Douglas House starts today. Never again would we gamble with the fate of our dear state and the destiny of our people. We must caution ourselves as we prepare to elect our flag bearers in the forthcoming party elections. The fate and destiny of our party depend on our resolve to elect people that are acceptable to the masses and can lead us to victory in the general election.”
Popularly known as Sam Daddy, the Imo East representative appealed to the people of Orlu and Okigwe zones to support the aspiration of Owerri zone.
“This will help us build a bound of love, friendship and strength needed to overcome the challenges ahead,” he added.
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