The Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has berated the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over his criticism of the state of federal roads in the South-east region.
In a statement made available to THISDAY on Tuesday, the party expressed disdain over “the outright neglect of federal roads in the South-east: which the Ninth Mile road junction gridlock is the metaphor.”
According to the statement signed by the chapters Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Kate Ofor, “We are outraged that it took Ekweremadu 12 good years to come to terms with the outright neglect of federal roads in the South-east and in particular, the mess the Ninth Mile road junction transit route to northern and western states has turned into.
“This is more worrisome when we note that the Ninth Mile junction is in the senatorial district which Ekweremadu claims to represent.
“We are at loss why Ekweremadu and his colleagues, Senator Ayogu Eze and Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi both of whom are chairmen of Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Works respectively, looked the other way while the federal roads in the South-east, were dilapidating?
“It is painful that it took Ekweremadu 12 years to take notice of the horrible state of the Ninth Mile Road Junction.
“In sum, Ekweremadu should apologise to Enugu West senatorial district, his constituency and indeed South-east for under representation; as the only motion we could remember Ekweremadu raised was the ignoble one on the legalisation of abortion, which was shut down by majority of senators.”
Meanwhile, the gubernatorial candidate of the party in the sttate, Mr. Okey Ezea, yesterday unveiled an international criminal law attorney and development expert, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku, from Egede in Udi council area of the state as his running mate for the February 28 election.
Ezea said his choice of a female running mate was fuelled by the need to effectively carry the women along in his administration if elected and also in line with the policy of the APC to ensure that women and youths are not left out in the scheme of things.
Ezea, who took a swipe at the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for what he described as its failure to address the myriads of problems facing the nation and the state in its 16-years of being in government, said the APC was fully prepared to introduce a different approach to governance.
He alleged that the ruling party had received a whopping N500 billion in the state in the past seven years “without anything to show for it,” noting that allowing the PDP to continue would amount to further allowing them to control even bigger funds without providing commensurate service to the people for another eight years.
He, however, pledged his readiness to complete any project abandoned by the present administration of Governor Sullivan Chime if elected.
The APC governorship candidate said he would ensure that the economy of the state was revitalised through aggressive agro-based activities that would make the state far less dependent on allocation from federation account.
”The problem of our economy in the state is that of corruption and incompetence. The economy of our state can be robust enough if well-managed. We will go into agro-based enterprises that can mop up the army of unemployed youths in the state.
The APC candidate who also touched on other sectors of the governance in the state lamented alleged abandoned projects in the state, citing the uncompleted International Conference Centre located within the Independence Layout in the capital city as an example.
On the viability of the APC machinery in the state to tackle the ruling PDP and its candidate, the opposition party candidate declared that “PDP is no march to the APC and none of the party’s candidates has been a march to me.”
On the state of health facilities in the state, Ezea said: “We intend to build a referral hospital in each federal constituency in the state to take care of the health needs of our people.
Also speaking, the deputy governorship candidate, Ibekaku said she had spent 20 years working on anti corruption activities, women welfare as well as youth development, noting that she would bring her wealth of experince to bear on the ticket if they are elected on February 28.
The party governorship candidate also formally presented his manifesto and social contract with the people of the state focusing on a five-point agenda of wealth creation and poverty reduction; improvement of the health sector and health systems; infrastructure development; security of lives and property and accountability and good governance.