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By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

THE All Progressives Congress,APC governorship candidate in Benue State, Rev.Fr. Hyacinth Alia has explained that his main mission in partisan politics was primarily motivated by the compelling and urgent need to liberate the good people of Benue State from “incompetent leadership, unconscionable looting of public funds, poverty and economic backwardness.”

Speaking to journalists in Abuja. Rev.Fr. Alia lamented that despite Benue state’s natural endowment as the food basket of the nation, the state has remained largely “economically handicapped, humanly underdeveloped and socially sterile with the majority of the population ravaged by poverty”.

He regretted that most of the successive ruling elites in the state have maintained blatant disregard to the plight of the governed and failed to harness the enormous natural and human resources of the state for the benefit of the citizenry. 

The APC gubernatorial said he put together a “bold and strategic comprehensive plan of action, aimed at reinvigorating key areas of the state’s local economy, to spur economic growth, generate productivity and prosperity and improve the standard of living for ordinary Benue citizens”.

According to him, the APC campaign manifesto and development blueprint will be unveiled immediately the stipulated time for electioneering campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) begins.

His words, “I have always believed that a sustained comprehensive growth and technological advancement of the nation is partly hinged on equitable distribution of prosperity and improved standard of living of the people”.

Rev.Fr. Alia identified the key ingredients of economic development and National transformation as Agricultural Transformation and Food Security, Education, Communication Technology, Industrialization and Commerce, Rural Development, Human and Social development, Security, Tourism and Environmental management.

The APC Gubernatorial candidate regretted that as the global leader with 70% share of global production of Yam and Cassava, Nigeria was yet to be recognised as an exporter of the products but rather trails behind Ghana which is responsible for 75% of all Yam exports from Africa.

“Of the 60 million tonnes of Yam produced annually by Nigeria which comes majorly from Benue state, only 200 tonnes are exported and 30 percent of this meagre figure rots in transit due to poor preservation. Hence both farmers and exporters count their losses rather than gains at the end of each farming season” he lamented.

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