Countdown To Anambra 2017: Lofty Promises Of Candidates That May Swell Votes
There is no doubt that the clock of the Anambra State governorship election which comes up on November18, 2017 is fast ticking. As is expected, candidates of the various political parties for the governorship race have been inundating the electorate with promises of what they would do for the people when elected.
It is not surprising however that in a bid to endear themselves to the electorate, the candidates often make promises that can only end in paper because they may not be feasible to achieve which is why politicians are known for making promises they can ill-afford to keep.
But looking at the promises some of the candidates for the governorship election have made, most of them sound genuine and our reporter, RAPHAEL EDE, peered into the promises some of the candidates have made that could assuage the electorate to vote for them.
For instance, the Action Democratic Party, ADP, candidate, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo who has gone the length and breadth of Anambra in his campaigns, made far reaching promises that includes that he would fight corruption the way Nigerians have never seen unlike the APC promise of change without definition.
Okonkwo however, promised that he and his deputy Hon, Barr. Nnadozie Ike will deliver to Ndi Anambra “a government of, Integrity, Equity, Fairness, Justice to the poor and low in our society, Transparent, Corruption-free, and Zero Impunity peoples government, centered on Law and Order. We will offer Ndi Anambra ‘Branded’ Administration oiled by audacity and knowledge.
“Our leadership model is hinged on vision, character, courage, anti-corruption and scholarship. We both have sense of our history, traditional values and the culture / philosophy of Igbo people. No society prospered without a leader. Leaders attract other leaders. Leadership is centered on belief and passion of the leader.
“Since 1999 till date, Ndi Anambra has experienced leadership that is not “team” centered, but rather for personal position attainment. This is also absence of template for development. Ndigbo played politics without any agenda, forgetting that politics is about group interest, different from personal gains, because politics is not business but for promoting group development.
“No administration in Anambra State since 1999, demonstrated any Economic plan for Anambra advancement. There are no agenda for industrial evolution in the areas such as; light steel and scrap melting; chemical industry; mining and power station building.
Our past governments have done little in these areas and present state governments has no idea how to assist EEDC in delivering power to Anambra people.
Talking specifically about corruption, Okonkwo queried what Governor Obiano did with about N800 billion so far earned by Anambra State in four years. This is a clear indication that he might probe his potential predecessor, Obiano.
“Under our leadership, ADP will restore accountability in government and give justice to the oppressed. We will connect Ndi Anambra with the dream for a greater society, and give the people back their happiness.
“I as governor will challenge the rot in our lives that have killed your dream of prosperity and set an agenda for revival and developing a fighting spirit in the Nigeria space. However, this fight to take back our community shall be total, and will be centered on Anti-Corruption / Impunity, Security, Human Rights, Law and Order.
The governorship hopeful also promised to make equity his watch word apart from fighting corruption and equally promised to resign Awka, the state capital.
“I am challenged to change the syndrome of individual prosperity amidst collective failure found in Ndigbo development profile and executive bill for an annual statutory savings of 15% of public earnings in bond. I have as a plan to run an all-inclusive government made up of 50% women, 50% men (whereat 40% men and 10% for the physically challenged) and redesign of our physical development to incorporate heavy dominance of environmental protection, and improved sanitation in our Anambra communities.
“I will redesigning the Awka Capital Territory, bye-law to accord the indigenes a 20% allocation from the capital vote, to enable the town development associations to maintain and retain the Igbo village culture heritage, which the massive urbanization has over-run.
“Our government will also redesign town development authority, bye-law affecting urban centers such as, Nnewi, Onitsha, Ogidi, Ekwuluobia, Ihiala, Ogbaru, Otu-Ocha / Aguleri, Umunze, e.t.c, for the indigenous communities to retain 20% of the capital vote, to maintain and retain the Igbo village heritage, which the massive urbanization has over-run.
“I will return to host communities all their traditional markets for maintenance, development and running, while they pay taxes to the local governments.
On his part, the Democratic Peoples Congress, DPC, candidate, Mr. Yul Edochie promised to put smiles on the faces of the people of the state if given the opportunity to display his youthful ambition, since to him the youth should be allowed to be in the position of power with their youthful exuberance and their experience in the ICT dominated world which the old stock seem to be losing touch with.
Edochie, who is a notable Nollywood actor, made the statement in Awka during the presentation of his running mate, Emeka Okonkwo, saying that he would give people joy by replicating the excitement people get watching his numerous film clips.
His words: “I have made a lot of people happy through my films; if elected, I will leave the movie industry for governance to make the people happier.
“For many years, we have been told that youths are the future leaders. I am here to serve as that youthful leader, who is ready to bring about positive change for the people.”
While recognising the role played by the older people, who according to him had done well, the actor noted that the youths have come on stage to ensure the needed change for the purpose of growth and development of the state.
Furthermore he said: “There is hardship and hunger in the state and so, our first job will be to ensure food for all and we shall have a committee set up to tackle major challenges in various communities.
“Our government if elected, promises to engage more youths in meaningful employment in various sectors, especially in the entertainment industry through the sitting of a Nollywood village in the state.”
Edochie however, expressed concern over the marginalisation of youths and the need for them to be actively involved in politics.
While marshalling out his campaign promises, the Alliance for Democracy, AD, candidate, Chief Valentine Ugo-Akpe Onwuka, promised to turn around the fortunes of his people with policies and programmes that would promote economic prosperity
Onwuka said he is determined to harness the energies and potential of Anambra people for the re-engineering of their collective psyche and a re-invigoration of a desire to build a solid economically sustainable and prosperous land, where there is guaranteed right to life, freedom and justice.
According to Onwuka, “This shall form the root principles to which my government shall be dedicated to, in order to better lives, make property acquisition affordable, while protecting each and every citizen of the state.
“Our beloved state is in crisis; a crisis created and sustained by the mismanagement, incompetence and corruption of the Obiano-led All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) government.
“While theatrics are promoted, economic conditions are worsening by the day and there is so much suffering in the land.
“The protection of the lives and properties of our people are no more a priority at this time, when extreme protection should be ensured.
“From herdsmen mayhem to the tacit approval of the current administration to the murder and violent intimidation of our people, all we see is blood, tears and wailing, and a remorseless government.”
The Ogbunike born advertising and brands expert, also a kinsman of the late Senate President, Chuba Okadigbo, boasted to introduce a different kind of government, one that governs in the interest of ndi Anambra and not for private gains.
Convinced that he is the man for the plum position comes November 18, 2017, Onwuka said that he is soliciting his people to vote for him so that he would ensure inclusive and united Anambra State.
“Therefore, I am asking for your votes so that we can create an inclusive, united Anambra. It is this new and invigorated unity that will bring the rebirth of Anambra State,” he said.
All Progressive Congress, (APC) governorship candidate, Tony Nworie in his party has promised Anambra people change and fight against corruption.
Nworie noted that with his party at the centre he will only compliment the achievement of his party at the national level in the state. He promised to provide access roads to reconnect communities previous administration abounded.
For the former Secretary to Anambra State Government, SSG, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, who is vying under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, education is very dear to his heart and who would see that education is promoted in the state if given the chance to govern Ndi Anambra.
He said that for education to move forward in the state, there must be commitment of 26 per cent of her annual budget to the sector.
Obaze who was addressing the 2017 synod of the Anglican Diocese of Nnewi, proposed the dedication of 10 per cent of the 26 per cent to supporting mission and parochial schools to encourage them to maintain quality standards.
He frowned at a situation where only two of 36 states of the federation namely, Sokoto and Kwara, had met the United Nations recommended allocation of 26 per cent of national and sub national budgets to education.
He called for a strategic approach towards educating Nigeria’s 10.5 million out-of-school children and empowering Nigerian youths with vocational education that guarantees employment.
Mr Godwin Ezeemo, Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) governorship candidate in the Nov. 18 election in Anambra promised to reduce the cost of governance, if elected. He said he would achieve the cost-cutting policy by eliminating luxuries, frivolous spending and ensure gainful deployment of resources accruing to the state.
The governorship candidate said that the thrust of his government would be on security, health, agriculture, power, education and environment. “I shall focus on security, health, agriculture, power and education from my first day in office.
“I shall reduce the cost of governance drastically by eliminating luxuries and frivolous spending within my first three months in office. I shall run a prudent and transparent government that will audit and publish Anambra government account annually. I have not come to make money or steal public fund.
“I am comfortable but I can no longer stand by and watch our people dying in the desert and the sea because they are looking for greener pasture. It is time we regenerate ourselves and guarantee the future of our society.
“I ask for your votes because that is what I need to work for you, my manifesto is a social contract between me and the society. I am signing it here and give it to you so that you can use to assess my government after you vote for me,” he said.
Ezeemo said that his choice of 36 year-old Stanley Nkwoka as his deputy was informed by his desire to mainstream the youth in management of state’s affairs. He noted that the youth who were the hope for the future had been neglected by the society.
Promises, promises, but if promises are anything to go by and if promises persuade the electorate to choose their leaders, then by November 18, 2017, Anambrarians will choose who made most promises even as the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano seems to have allowed his works to speak for him having been on the saddle for close to four years now.
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