From Zika Bobby and Obinna Odogwu and Jeff Amaechi Agbodo
Governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Dr Obiora Okonkwo has lamented the deplorable state of rural roads in the state.
He said the present condition of the roads were heartbreaking and noted that he has developed a Special Ward Development Scheme for rapid intervention in rural road infrastructure across the 326 wards in the state which he would immediately implement if elected governor.
Publicity Secretary of ZLP Campaign Council, Afam Dozie Ofomata, in a statement, said although rural road development was under the purview of local governments, Okonkwo has however mapped out a strategy that would allow the state to specially intervene in the interest of Ndi Anambra living in the rural areas.
“Under the special scheme, each ward in the state would be allowed to nominate a road for urgent direct intervention by the state government through a direct labour system to be managed and executed by youths in the respective wards.
“The ZLP is deeply disturbed by the utter neglect of the rural areas by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which prefers to use politics to deny the people of their deserved wellbeing despite the huge resources at its disposal.
“Under an Okonkwo-led administration, funds which are currently being wasted and frittered by the corrupt and incompetent APGA administration and which are not accounted for would be laid bare and channelled towards such interventions.
“It is even more disturbing that APGA seeks to perpetuate their insensitivity towards Ndi Anambra by adopting Prof. Chukwuma Soludo who has no operable plan for rural development, as its governorship candidate.
“It is instructive to state that being the puppet of the outgoing governor, Willie Obiano, and having no operable agenda for rural development, the situation would be worse if APGA is voted back to power.
“Moreover, apart from ZLP and Dr. Okonkwo, no other party or candidate has shown practical blueprint and commitment towards uplifting the living standard of Ndi Anambra.
“The ZLP holds as evil that leaders should live in opulence out of the resources made for better living standard for the poor. November 6 therefore marks the end of such injustice with the election of Obiora Okonkwo as governor.
“Dr. Okonkwo believes in the ability, capabilities, industry and wellbeing of Ndi Anambra in the rural areas and as such, would prioritize their development need immediately he is elected governor.
“The ZLP calls on leaders of wards, particularly the youths, to commence consultation on preferred roads for government intervention immediately Dr. Okonkwo is elected governor.
“The youths are in this regard directed to organize themselves into development groups for the smooth execution of the direct labour projects.
“The ZLP calls on all Ndi Anambra not to relent in resisting the shenanigans of the APGA and come out en masse to vote for their coalition candidate, Okonkwo, by thumb printing for ZLP, the party strategically located as the last on the ballot paper”, the statement read.
Meanwhile, Dr. Okonkwo, has assured youths in the state of new policy directives that would help them actualise their dreams.
Okonkwo, who spoke at the New Yam festival of youths of Nkwelle Etiti in Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area of the state at the weekend, said his administration would usher in a new era of youth development in the state.
Accompanied by his running mate, Dame Jessie Balonwu and other members of his campaign team, Okonkwo assured the youths that he would pursue policies that would help them realise their individual dreams.
“When I look at the youths of Anambra, I see a lot of Dangote, Ibeto, Innoson, Jim Ovia etc. I see a lot of Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Phyno and the rest. But it is sad that you have not explored your potentials to the full because government has not pursued policies that aim at helping you actualise your talents.
“Anambra youths are talented. They are blessed and ready to explode on the world stage. Many of you here have the capacity to become the next big icons on the world stage. However, I know that you have been held down by poor policy directions of successive governments”, he said.
Commending Nkwelle Etiti youths for observing the new yam festival, Okonkwo said the Igbo culture is rich and deeply rooted in the life of the people.
He said anyone who dissociates from his or her culture cannot enjoy a balanced life.
According to him “culture is a way of life and I am very happy that our youths are following in the tradition of our forebears by observing the new yam festival complete with all the colourful masquerades that add value to our culture.”
He assured that the state government under his leadership will enunciate policies that will ensure the transformation of cultural festivals into revenue yielding ventures for the state and the communities.
“As a government, we shall put in place policies that will take these cultural festivals to new economic levels and make them to become huge revenue earning avenues”, he said.
Commending Dr. Okonkwo for personally honouring youths of Nkwelle Etiti, a youth leader in the area, Izunna Okeke, said youths in Anambra are solidly behind his aspiration to lead the state into a new era of development.
He told journalists that Dr. Okonkwo’s vision and ideas were incomparable to those of his co-contestants.