By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Correspondent Lagos/
LAGOS– “SPECIFICALLY speaking, if by the grace of God I am elected Governor of Enugu State under the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA come 2023, I will have to restore trust in government. The trust in government has been completely eroded. It is nonexistent. There’s trust deficit between the citizen and the government. It is completely eroded. So what I shall do with my group, is to first restore trust in governance system. Leadership is so key so that if there is no trust there is no need what that government stands to explore. I will build a stable and prosperous government where citizen will have trust in government, have the right to question any governmental action…and so there must be social equity among the populace with no primitive accumulation of lopsided wealth, creat employment for the youths and all citizens must be involved in the fight against crime.”
These were the refrains of a former Minister of Information and Communication, Mr. Frank Nweke (Jnr) during a consultative meeting with members of Nsukka Professionals Association (NPA) on Sunday.
The event which took place at the Best Western Hotel, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island Lagos drew egg heads from all walks of Enugu extraction. The former Minister who is the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Enugu in the 2023 election was a guest of the Nsukka Professionals Association – a non political elite group made up of Enugu State indigenes.
According to Nweke, the meeting which was scheduled at his instance was an opportunity for him to discuss his development agenda for Enugu State as a potential Governor of the state with a view to getting their support towards winning the election.
In his speech which lasted for over one hour, the Governorship candidate began by decrying the current state of trust deficit inherent in government. He expressed disappointment with the way and manner the leadership of Enugu State has failed to inspire the citizenry in different aspects of governance, particularly non industrialization which has kept Enugu as a civil service state.
He noted that rather than develop, the state has steadily slipped into retrogression in many fronts, notably in infrastructure, education, service delivery, security and others while the level of corruption has escalated rather than abate.
Making references to the developmental feats of a one time Southeast regional leader, late Dr. Michael Okpara, the former Minister expressed dismay that none of the recent and present leaders of the state has been able to selflessly replicate the same level of developmental efforts like Okpara.
The APGA candidate explained that his venture into the Governorship race was prompted by the urge to bring back the lost glory of the state in many ways ranging from qualitative education for the youths, road infrastructure, attraction of investors, provision of safe and secure environment, agriculture, industrialization and many others.
He hoped to leverage on his national and international exposure as a former Minister and other global standard competencies on his side to create the much needed investment opportunities and employment for citizens of the state as a way of reducing incidence of crime.
Nweke was worried that the current state of moral decay and criminality in the state was becoming alarming and attributed same largely to lack of education and unemployment even as the state’s indebtedness was upscaling with little or nothing to show for it.
With respect to the escalating spate of insecurity in Enugu and other parts of Nigeria, Nweke said the geometric increase in population with a declining state of infrastructural development and poor education was largely responsible for it and promised that if elected Governor apart from creating opportunities for investment and employment, he would ensure that security agents are given adequate recognition and assistance more than what currently obtains.
He also promised to create a conducive environment where the citizens see it as their responsibility to always assist the law enforcement agencies in intelligence gathering as fighting crime cannot be the job of the security agents alone.
He has also planned to fully deploy modern technology in the fight against crimes so as to be some steps ahead of the criminals.
Earlier in his welcome address, President of the Nsukka Professionals Association, Mr. Charles Nwodo (Jnr) said the Association was not a mass movement but a limited group of people legitimately engaging in professions and businesses in Lagos, Abuja and in the Disapora.
He explained that the aim of the association largely centres on engendering development of Nsukka cultural zone and support to non state actors involved in developmental endeavors.
According to Nwodo, “We are non partisan but have political preferences with a uniting factor which is the development of Nsukka and the entire Enugu State.”
He added that the decision of NPA to meet with the former Minister as requested on a day, they ought to be involved in some personal engagements and or be with their respective families was a demonstration of the importance the Association places on the choice of who governs the state.