From UMUNNAKWE HARRY in Umuahia
A former Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike, has declared his interest to contest for the governorship of Abia State in 2019 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Azubuike declared his interest Monday at the Azikiwe Road Secretariat, Umuahia, saying that he would stay in office for only one term of four years, assuring that he would have laid the foundation for sustainable development of the state within the period.
The lawmaker who said he is on a rescue mission, told party leaders and support groups that if given the mandate to fly his party’s flag, he would restore the state to its rightful place as an enviable commercial and industrial destination.
“We believe that this will serve as the veritable foundation upon which many other development initiatives will thrive, hence, the mantra, the Restoration Agenda,” he said.
According to him, his administration would focus on eight cardinal sectors of Abia economy, namely, Agriculture, Commercial and Industrial Development, Education, quality and affordable healthcare, Civil and Public Service Reform, Youth and Women Development, Infrastructural Development and Judicial and Justice sector reform.
“With the above foundation in place, coupled with the enablers such as peace and security, social justice and democratic freedom, we believe that Abia will then be placed on sustainable path to Economic Growth and Development,” he said.
He expressed optimism that this provides the leverage for developing other sectors, adding that he would run an accountable government as well as carry Abians along.
It is on the above that I seek the nomination of our great party, APC, to run for the office of the governor of Abia State in 2019 General elections for a term of four years,” he said adding that the period would afford him “the opportunity to redeem the image of the Ukwa/Ngwa people who have been derided by the abysmal performance of the incumbent government …”
He told Abians that time has come for Abians to take their destiny in their own hands by electing time-tested and credible leaders who will open development opportunities and drive people-inspired and people-oriented programme in the state.”
Responding, Abia APC chairman, Chief Donatus Nwankpa, promised that the party would provide a level playing field for all aspirants, stressing that only member of the party would elect the governorship flag bearer through fair and credible primaries.
Nwankpa said that the party’s ticket was not for sale but would be given to a candidate that would eventually emerge victorious in the state-wide governorship contest.
Colleagues of Azubuike in the House of Assembly, including the Minority Leader, Chibuzor Okogbuo (Bende South) and Ikedi Ezekwesiri (Umunneochi) said the declarant has all the qualities of a good leader and would give Abia the kind of leadership never witnessed in the state.