Ekere said when he first indicated interest to contest the 2019 governorship election, it was founded on the need to offer the state a new vision for prosperity
Joe Effiong, Uyo
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Nsima Ekere, has given reasons why he should be elected governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2019.
Ekere, who is also managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said about 1.8 million, out of the 3.3 million people in Akwa Ibom, representing 54.5 percent of the entire population in the state, are unemployed.
Ekere said this when he presented his manifesto titled: “The new vision for our collective prosperity,” at his campaign secretariat, to officially kick of his governorship campaign in Uyo, the state capital, yesterday, said for the past three and half years, the state has experienced the slow deterioration of its best and left with mounting poverty and second worst state in the Niger Delta.
He said: “According to the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) ranking, we are today, the second worst state in the Niger Delta region in education, the 20th poorest in Nigeria, including Abuja. Our children now study under trees and are sitting on bare floors, daily exposed to physical and health risks.
“Our teachers are frustrated, they are not properly remunerated, lack motivation and cannot perform optimally.
“Today, infant mortality is at 6.9 percent, meaning that 69 deaths are recorded in every 1,000 births. Our aged ones have not retired well because they are owed their pension. There is limited social infrastructure, poor security of collective prosperity property, deterioration of physical infrastructures assets, our rural areas are increasingly abandoned and ignored, our farmers receive little or no incentive and the cost of living is rising. Our people are unhappy. In many cases, angry, and are keen for a prosperous tomorrow.”
He promised to reverse the trend with his five-point vision areas of economic prosperity; infrastructural and rural development; education, health and social protection; security; and governance and infrastructural reforms.
Ekere also said when he first indicated interest to contest the 2019 governorship election, his desire was founded on the need to offer the state a new vision for collective prosperity.
“Our government will launch a N20 billion to fund and raise a critical mass of transformative entrepreneurs (TEs) who will use and innovation to grow the private sector and create wealth.
“Best practice Indian models of TE development will be put in place. About 3,000 TEs will be produced and empowered every 6 months in the State.
“In four years, we would have created 24,000 TEs who in turn will stimulate the economy and create no less than 120,000 jobs.
“We will improve food security in the state by harnessing the value chain for major food and cash crops such as oil palm, cassava, fruits, and seafood. Our goal is to create policies, implement the Graduate Farmers Scheme to enable us to be self-sufficient in food production by 2023. For this purpose, government will promote the participation of 15,500 Akwa Ibom Youths per annum in farming and as extension agents. Extension services will be revived and made an important unit of the Ministry of Agriculture
He appealed to Akwa Ibom people to vote for him as he would work wholeheartedly for the state when elected governor, just he has been working as the managing director of the NDDC.
Meanwhile, APC in the state has appointed former military administrator of Ogun and River states, Capt. Sam Ewang (retd) as its campaign chairman for the 2019 elections.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, has been elected as director general of the campaign while Chief Don Etiebet has been appointed chairman of the Advisory Council.
The various committees and subcommittees were inaugurated, yesterday, by the state chairman of the party, Mr Ini Okopido, assisted by Ekere.
In his acceptance speech, Ewang said the APC has all the human and material resources to win the election.
He said the party would not support any violence in the course of the campaigns.