Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Dr. Joseph Erico Ameh, who is widely known for his philanthropic activities, has expressed his desire to contest the governorship of Kogi State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He speaks on his aspiration.
Why do you want to be Kogi governor?
First, I have heard the cries of my people, the good people of Kogi State, who are in desperate need of a deliverer. In more ways than one, the state has been subjected to untold difficulty especially in the area of education and lack of conducive environment for investment in the state. Today, poverty, deteriorated infrastructure, grossly neglected civil service, insecurity and non-attention to the plight of the youth have become the order of the day in Kogi State. Secondly, I am driven by passion to serve my people in the capacity of a governor. As I said earlier, I have watched my people suffer deprivation, injustice and neglect. I intend to fight the wrongs that have been done to my people and give them a sense of belonging. I have no doubt in my ability to turn things around for good in the state. As a successful entrepreneur, I would apply strict business principles to grow the economy of the state and not merely depend on federal government allocations. The welfare of the people of Kogi State would be given topmost priority under my administration.
If elected, what would you do differently?
If elected, I will harness the massive potentials in the state to trigger development in all spheres. From the Kogi East, Kogi West and Kogi Central zones, we are blessed with rich human and natural resources. But someone must provide effective governance for the development of the state. I have noticed that both past and present administrations of Kogi State failed to tap into the abundant human and natural resources in the state; and this failure has left the economy of the state on the low ebb. So if elected, I would ensure that the human and natural resources in the state are effectively utilised or tapped into and that the economy of the state is in turn uplifted. This I intend to do by employing technocrats to form my administration’s think-tank.
What will be your area of focus and development?
I observed that the government of Kogi State struggles to pay salaries to its workers. This has nothing to do with availability or otherwise of resources but because of government misplacement of priorities and lack of passion for the welfare of the people. If elected into power, my government will ensure proper priorities that will be of benefit to Kogi people. Serious attention will be accorded to infrastructure development. Never will workers and civil servants suffer before receiving their wages at the end of the month. I am coming into the governance of Kogi State with the entrepreneurial mission of using a little resource to achieve maximum result because I know that the resources at state level are scarce and limited.
How will you create jobs for the teeming youths in the state?
If elected, my administration will put in place job creation policies. My government will pay serious attention to agricultural development in the state, which will in turn create jobs for the teeming youths of our state. Efforts will be geared towards harnessing the other numerous natural resources in the state which will also provide various jobs for the youths, both skilled and unskilled. My administration will pursue skill development schemes (SDC) for the youths, such that both the skilled and unskilled could go and learn skills of their choices such as furniture making, fabrications, mechanical engineering, and electronics and so on.
What are your chances of winning the primaries?
Considering my people-oriented policies, my antecedent, the lives I have touched and the people who believe in me and my faith in God, I strongly believe that I stand a great chance of winning the primaries.
What is your assessment of the Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration?
My understanding of Yahaya Bello’s administration is same understanding of the people of Kogi State. It is a government of self, by self and for self, and that is why the people are wallowing in abject poverty and have no stake in the administration. The government has no direction, no focus; there is infrastructure decay everywhere in the state, no development in any of the sectors and no conducive atmosphere for the people to struggle to survive even on their own.
How will you harness the abundance of mineral resources in the state?
I would harness the abundant mineral resources in the state first by visiting the various sites of the resources with my administration’s think-tank. Secondly, I will identify investors and collaborate with the Federal Government for approvals. The state will then partner with the investors. Thirdly, my administration will closely monitor the activities of the investors to ensure that they have what it takes to properly harness the mineral resources such that it will be beneficial to the government and the people of the state.
What is your advice to the youths?
My advice to the youths is for them to be patient. They should drop their nested anger, for here comes a star, Dr. Erico Ameh. I’ve come to rescue my people from the pangs of hunger. I will wipe away all their tears and get them back to their jobs and create jobs for those youths who are unemployed.