Felix Ikem, Nsukka
As the political drum for the 2019 general elections continues to beat louder, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial aspirant of Enugu East Senatorial zone, Prof. Agu Gab Agu, has decried the neglect of the South East zone of the country.
Agu made this assertion in a chat with Daily sun over the weekend. According the renowned Professor, the zone has been grossly marginalised, stressing that there will be no economic development with such ugly trend.
In his words, “I want to give my people quality representation which they have not had since we came back to democracy 19 years ago.
“We have the issue of shut down of coal mine in Enugu state and nobody was interrogated to know why. And people were thrown out of their job with no reason.
“No benefit nor package was given to them as compensation for the shut down. The economic advantage that accrued to the people of Enugu state and Nigeria as a whole has been wasted.
“The people in whose land the coal was been mined are now suffering deprivation because of land slide that they currently experience.”
Narrating the litany of deprivation and marginalisation of his zone, the Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence. stressed that “in terms of representation we do not have the adequate representation at all. Those who have been there in the Senate for these nineteen years have tried their best but their best is not good enough for us.
“If you look at the record of Federal Office of Statistics, you will see that we are very much marginalised.
“For instance, how many Federal Permanent Secretaries do we have? How many Federal Directors do we have? In fact, when we talk about that, how many comes from Enugu East senatorial zone? None.”
Talking about the untapped natural resources in the state, Prof. Agu explained that “we have coal and lime deposits both in Eha-Amufu area and Nkanu East.
“Why are they not been explored? Why can’t we put it to use and make money out of it? We should look into all these for the economic benefit of our zone.”
On the state of insecurity in the country, he stressed that ” the general security in the country is very poor. Everybody is afraid.
“I had thought and that was my honest belief that having somebody who has been in the civil war and retired army general for that matter at the helm of affairs, he would have had a very big understanding on how to curb the insecurity.
“But, unfortunately, we seem to be better during Goodluck Jonathan years than now. Look at what herdsmen are doing.
“Herdsmen who ordinarily would not have arms and ammunition. They have them and they are using them and nothing is done.
“Book Haram insurgency is also in the increase and this not helped matters.”
Speaking on the proliferation of political parties in Nigeria, Prof. Agu who is also a Chancellor of Anglican Communion maintained that “they are only political parties by the certificate they were given. More so, the number is not frightening.
“If we had independent candidacy, we can have up to one million people running and it is their right to run.
“The only thing is that the thinking behind the formation of these political association is just not proper. It is awkward and most of them do not mean any good for the society.”
He enjoined youths to eschew violence before, during and after the election, pointing out that development can only come in a peaceful and rancour-free.