By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
The former Minister of State for Health during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo, Tuesday stated that the emergence of two presidential aspirants from Ebonyi State extraction has given the State the opportunity of producing the next President of the country in 2023.
The aspirants that have so far expressed their intention to run for the position of the President in the State, include the former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
In a chat with Newsmen in his Abakaliki residence, Nwankwo described the development as a blessing to the State adding that he will naturally expect his Party to win the 2023 presidential election.
“We are blessed that our State is having two Presidential aspirants. It is a good development. It’s quite encouraging that a small State like Ebonyi has two persons who have the intention to run for the Presidency and that gives us a bright chance of possibly producing the President of the country at the end of the day.
“At this stage, it’s a welcome development. Naturally, I will want my party to win.”
The PDP, Governorship aspirant in the State explained that if he emerges as the next Governor of the State, his administration would tackle the challenges facing employment and education in the State.
In his words: “It’s an emphatic yes that I want to contest for the position of Governor of Ebonyi State. At this stage, am still consulting with the Stakeholders of my Party, the PDP and the Stakeholders of the State.
“Incidentally, I was part of the making or struggle for the creation of the State. Starting from when I was a student, I participated actively as a student Union activist; the drive for the creation of Ebonyi State.
“Thereafter, as a Local Government Chairman, in the early 90s, I took active part again. And thereafter again in the middle 90s, I can say that there’s hardly any memo requesting for the creation that doesn’t have my signature. I have been part of the history behind the creation of Ebonyi State and we had our dreams that time individually and collectively on how our state will look like.
“We were looked at especially in the southern part of the country as an educationally disadvantaged state and am not sure that we are now educationally-advanced State. It is one area, I think we have to make effort.
“The issue of unemployment has risen to an embarrassing proportion in the country. We are in a serious jeopardy in this state. You are crying that you don’t have enough of educated people in various areas, yet the people that have gotten qualifications, Government cannot provide employment for them under the pretence that government is not an employer of labour. Please government is an employer of Labour. That has been a major concern for me.
“I want to make it clear that am contesting because I think am qualified, am competent, I have what it takes by my education, by experience of what job I have done in the past, by experience of Knowing the State very well and I think that, if you put me on that pedestal, I will do very well.
“All those who have gone against zoning have failed significantly. In good conscience, I think zoning should be allowed to prevail.”