By Anayo Okoli
WORRIED by the level of unemployment and subsequent high crime rate in the state, the governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State for 2011 electiions, Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba, has promised to create 500,000 jobs in four years of his administration as away of combating crime, especially kidnapping in the state, just as he has appealed to the youths in the state stop engaging in criminal activities.
Ufomba who spoke in Aba, shortly after he was formally presented to the Ukwa /Ngwa political bloc as a governorship aspirant by his Isiala Ngwa kinsmen, blamed the high unemployment rate in the state for the high insecurity but appealed to the kidnappers to lay down their arms and help in the development of the state.
“I appeal to the kidnappers to lay down their hands and join hands in developing Abia. Without peace and security, there will be no meaningful development”, Ufomba said.
According to him, he has drawn up an integrated plan of action to transform Abia and revive the economy and social sectors of Abia state if he becomes the governor next year.
The governorship hopeful said he would not have joined the race to become governor if those who were entrusted with the management of the state had done well.
Ufomba lamented the poor state of infrastructure in Aba, which he said was a typical example of the failure of the governments of the state to carter to needs of people. Particularly, he lamented that all roads leading into the famous Ariaria International market, Aba were dilapidated.
He said he would solve the problems of the state through a three-pronged approach namely, guaranteeing of adequate security of lives and property; provision of extensive infrastructural development and socio-economic empowerment, as well as through peace and unity of Abians.
To empower the people and ensure that they engage in legitimate and useful businesses., Ufomba promised that his administration would guarantee bank loans for businessmen, even as he also promised to rehabilitate all ailing industries, and reintroduce marketing boards as well as bursaries for students and boarding schools.
Earlier in his remarks, Abia state chairman of the party, Prince Lawrence Ukaegbu, called on the people to support APGA to bring the necessary changes in Abia state.
Before the presentation, Ufomba had paid homage to the traditional ruler of Aba, Eze Isaac Ikonne, who said he would support anyone whose priority would be to develop Abia state and particularly Aba, lamenting that Aba is now a shadow of itself as many government have failed to tackle the infrastructural problems of the commercial city.
“I want a governor in the mould of Governor Sam Mbakwe. He caused great development in Aba and the entire old Imo State during his regime”, Ikonne said.