By Emmanuel Aziken
All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA governorship candidate in Imo State, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume has called on the citizenry in the state to join hands with him to recover the state from what he described as a pitiable socio-economic condition.
Speaking ahead of the formal launch of his campaign yesterday, Ararume lamented as the degradation of all sectors of society in the state as he vowed that he would use his governorship to reposition the state.
Noting that his bid was not to acquire properties, take people’s land or amass dubious wealth because God had blessed him, he said:
‘’Imo is derailed. To bring Imo back is a task that must be done; and to do that, you need a formidable team. Luckily, we have a very vibrant crop of young people who are ready to work. All you need to do is to bring them together, engage them and they will do the work’’, he explained in a statement from his campaign yesterday.
‘’For me, the most challenging aspect is to get our people back. There is high distrust among the people and against the state government. Our people are like a conquered people. The task is to bring them back to the level they were before and restore their confidence.
‘’In the issue of governance, the starting point is to create policies that will give the people hope. If you look at Imo critically, for instance, the education sector, you will find that nothing is working. The education sector has collapsed. From the primary education level up to the tertiary level, our education has collapsed.
‘’We need to get back and rebuild confidence. We need to train and retrain the teachers, boost their morale and pay them living wages. What is happening now is that when you go to our schools, you find that our teachers have become traders’’, Senator Araraume stated.
On the dilapidation of infrastructure in the state, the two-time Senator said the issues will be addressed aggressively in order to attract both foreign and local business investors, saying Imo State is strategically located for huge investments.
He added, ‘’We need to tackle these and address them immediately. Look also at our local government system. It is dead. Presently, no local government in Imo State gets their allocation. None; so, you need to work on that; reassure the people and rebuild their confidence; make sure that each local government gets what is due to it and also work with it.
‘’I will ensure that each local government chairman resides within the local government. It boosts confidence of the people. What obtains today is that no one sees a local government chairman because he is never in his office. They come around once or twice in a month and disappear. They come when there is money to pay salary and that is it. Some don’t even go to office.’’
Noting the poor lot of the traditional institution, he said:
‘’If you look at our traditional institution in Imo state, you will find that it has been destroyed and reduced to nothing. By the last count, we have more than 600 autonomous communities and our Ezes have been reduced to nothing. They are made to come to the stadium for match past, like students, when a dignitary visits the state.
‘’That is not done anywhere in the world. So, to restore the dignity of the traditional institution, and bring back the respect that they used to have, has to happen.’’