By CHIDI NKWOPARA
Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has challenged his political opponents to market themselves to the citizenry through an open debate with him.
Ohakim threw the challenge at the Grasshoppers International Handball Stadium Complex, Owerri, when he unveiled his Deputy Governorship candidate for the April gubernatorial poll, Professor (Mrs.) Viola Adaku Onwuliri.
“We must debate how to provide quality and affordable education for our children. Let the debate be about providing potable water for our four million people. Let the debate be how to raise the standard of living of our 47,000 civil servants, the highest in the whole federation”, Ohakim said.
While saying that blackmail, abuse, slander and libel does not amount to debate, the Governor however called on all those wishing to vie for the governorship seat with him to canvass issues.
“Let the debate be on how to provide for our students with a cumulative enrolment of almost 140,000 pupils. Let the debate be on how to reinvigorate our own state university with 35,000 students. They must tell us how to provide jobs for our teeming unemployed youths if we depend on sharing allocation without thinking big”, Ohakim said.
It was his considered opinion that “he who runs away from debate is a thief, a political rogue”, adding that in the next three years, no fewer than seven fly-over bridges would have been completed in Owerri.
In her emotion laden speech, Professor Onwuliri said she was fully aware of the challenges associated with working with a most upwardly mobile and gifted administrator known for speed, accuracy and efficiency”.
She promised to strive at all times to support the administration to consolidate and achieve Ohakim’s vision and mission as encapsulated in the New Face of Imo agenda.