As the basic backbone of societal development, Education is one of the top most sectors that received priority from Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu-led administration.
The educational sector in Kebbi had suffered serious neglect by previous administrations.
However, the change mantra of Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has extended Midas touch to the sector. The story is now a happy one.The Kebbi State Government undertook massive renovation and reconstruction of new and existing primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the state. This also involves training and retraining of teachers to improve the standard of teaching and learning in schools.
Since he took over the mantle of leadership of the state in 2015, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has ensured payment of scholarship to students studying at various institutions of higher learning, within and outside the state, including the payment of WAEC and NECO examination fees for secondary School students of the state. It is also on record that; the Kebbi Government had upgraded three higher institutions which are under the Ministry for Higher Education. The three institutions upgraded are Adamu Augie College of Education, Argungu, the Kebbi State College of Nursing Sciences and Midwifery, Birnin Kebbi and the College of Health Technology, Jega.
With the upgrade, all the institutions have been granted approval to offer degree programs, HND and National Diploma, ND.
Just recently, in December, 2021 to be precise, the Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu approved foreign training programme of two hundred and sixty two students of the state to study medicine and engineering courses, in India, Ukraine and Sudan. In order to make their stay in foreign land more easier as well as deepen their concentration on their studies,the Governor has also approved a total of one million, sixty thousand and seven hundred dollars for the programme to cover tuition fees, accommodation, feeding and modest pocket money.
This was announced by the Kebbi State Commissioner for Higher Education, Professor Mukhtar Umar Bunza . He said that in addition to that, approval has been given for an expenditure of three hundred and forty-five million naira to cater for logistics, including international and local air fares, visa processing fees, police screening, crime-free certification, drug-free certification and verification from Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The Commissioner added that fifty Six students of the total number would study medicine while others would study Para-Medicals and Engineering Sciences, which were not available in the state such as Radiography, Radiology, physiotherapy, Water Engineering and Quantity Survey.Professor Mukhtar Bunza highlighted that arrangements have already been concluded with the embassies of India, Ukraine and Sudan under which Kebbi State Government would pay full costs of sponsorship of the travelling students direct into the accounts of the foreign universities concerned in order to ensure transparency.
The Commissioner further said that the National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE, has granted approval to Adamu Augie College of Education, Argungu, to begin degree programmes in affiliation with Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto. Likewise, the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, has given permission to the College of Nursing Sciences and Midwifery, Birnin Kebbi to commence the award of National Diploma, ND, and the Higher National Diploma, HND to graduating students, he said.
Professor Mukhtar Umar remarked, that such monumental achievement was as a result of commitment of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to educational development through intensive and extensive investment in the sector.
He said that the regulating authority has accredited all programmes offered by the Adamu Augie College of Education leading to the award of degrees while similar accreditation was secured for courses of the College of Nursing Sciences for the award of HND.
In the same capacity, more than thirty three programmes of the Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, have received full accreditation from the National Universities Commission, NUC. According to the Professor ‘about one hundred million naira was expended on the accreditation exercise of the three tertiary institutions as approved by Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu ‘.
Out of desire by His Excellency to enhance easy access to university education among teeming qualified indigenes of Kebbi state, the Government of Kebbi State has facilitated the upgrading and transformation of the College of Agriculture, Zuru to a status of a full-fledged Federal University of Agriculture at ‘Zero Cost’ to the Federal Government of Nigeria. By this gesture, Kebbi State is now among the few states in Nigeria with two Federal Universities within its boundary. These efforts are additional to his earlier intervention in University Education when he secured the sum of ₦4billion for the establishment and full accreditation of the Faculty of Engineering at the Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero during his tenure as the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2011 to 2015. Afterwards , as the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, he is the first to honor the agreement signed between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), by releasing the sum of ₦419 million to Staff of the University as Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
This demonstration of patriotism, sagacity, and zeal serve to further exhibit the unwavering commitment of His Excellency to expansion and intensification of University Education in Kebbi State. This creative and innovative approach to the development of Higher Education sector is unprecedented in the history of leadership in Kebbi State.
Also under the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, from 2019 to date, a total of 518 new classrooms have been constructed while 1,058 classrooms have been renovated across the state. This was disclosed by Professor Sulaiman Khalid, the Chairman of the Board.
He further eloborated that to make the schools more conducive for learning, 42,244 furniture were provided and 450 units of WC toilets were constructed while138 boreholes were sunk in addition to providing 383 Wheel Dust Bins in order to improve water and sanitation in some schools.
The Kebbi SUBEB Chairman, Professor Sulaiman Khalid, attributed the success recorded in the Junior Secondary and Primary Education to the robust and proactive stance of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to ensuring sound and quality education to all Kebbi children.
It will be recalled that, even before he was sworn in as the governor of the state, he made numerous unscheduled visits to primary and secondary schools, as well as some tertiary institutions in the state, with a view to having first hand information and personal assessment of the schools in the state. In his Inaugural speech on the 29th May,2015, he decried, the educational sector of the state as being in shambles, schools over stretched without qualified teachers and structural infrastructure like classes, toilets and dormitories are in ruins over the years.”
To demonstrate his determination to overhaul the educational sector in the state, education received the highest allocation in his maiden budget. Governor Bagudu doled out over 5 billion Naira for the renovation of both primary and secondary schools in the state, including setting aside additional funds for the purchase of necessary learning materials in that same year to 2016.
After obtaining the data from schools and physical inspection of facilities, the Governor set the ball rolling in the educational sector by embarking on massive public schools rehabilitation to the tune of billions of naira, with the aim of improving and changing the educational sector, as well as making schools for students and teachers friendly for learning. The Kebbi State government had awarded a contract for the renovation of 25 secondary schools across the state. The schools cut across the six zones; Argungu, Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Jega, Yauri, and Zuru. To further enhance teaching and learning in 2019, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu also approved the recruitment of three thousand (3000) teachers for schools across the state. Girls secondary Schools across the state from each of the 4 senatorial zones were provided with new buses to facilitate their movement, to take part in sports and extracurricular activities, within and outside the state.
YAHAYA SARKI, is the Special Adviser (SA) Media to Kebbi State governor
Dear APC Delegates Please Elect The Aspirant With The Least Baggage As Candidate For President III
In the first and the second part of this patriotic effort I was able to put a total 16 of the 23 Presidential Aspirants in the APC to the mill, and it has been a worthy task. As I conclude this assignment by passing the remaining 7 through the crucible, I crave the indulgence of our Esteemed Delegates, our Party men and women to put Country first by electing the best of the pack.
Our great Party must realize that Nigerians are unanimous in the quest for a republic where competency, capacity and commitment to new values in leadership is the summum bonum. We must put before Nigerians a candidate that understands the urgency of now. We must put before Nigerians a candidate that is passionate and committed to resetting Nigeria. And we must put before Nigerians a candidate that is beyond the prejudice of religion and region, indeed Nigeria is in dire need of an urbane leader that is committed to forging a rainbow coalition centred on competency and capacity, and possessing the kindred spirit needed to re-fix, reshape and rework Nigeria.
Kindly journey through the mill with me as I lay bare my thoughts on the remaining 7 Aspirants believing that together we shall arrive at the one with the least baggage, and the one that not only can win the election for our great Party, but a candidate that will aggregate our God given potentials for greatness.
IKEOBASI MOKELU. The Presidential Aspiration of this former Minister of Information and Culture in the Abacha Administration, and Convener of the ISTANDWITHBUHARI movement is somewhat of a surprise to Party faithfuls and close watchers of our politics. He was the last person to pick the APC Presidential Nomination Form, and has been very quiet since then. The fact that he has remained largely silent is a huge baggage because it speaks to his seriousness as an Aspirant. He comes across as one of those believed to be in the race for some sort of political relevance, and or consideration.
TEIN JACK-RICH. This Billionaire Businessman, owner of Belema Oil, and top player in the Oil Sector is a brilliant gentleman and philanthropist. He comes in with the baggage of deep elitism and appears hugely and largely distant from the grassroots. He is apparently very far from the Party faithfuls and structure. However his passion for a new Nigeria cannot be ignored.
AHMAD LAWAN. He is the President of the Senate. His late entrance into the race has thrown up several conjectures. He comes in with a huge baggage, one of them puts him out as an unwilling horse drafted into the race by certain Godfathers for egocentric end. The second is that his ambition pitches the Governors in the Party against members of the National Assembly. The third is that he is seen as one who superintends over a National Assembly that appears very subservient to the whims and caprices of the Executive. He also has no visible campaign structure outside his State. He is thus regarded as a paperweight that cannot take the Party to victory should he become the Presidential candidate of the Party, and that is a very huge burden.
KAYODE FAYEMI. He is the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). He is urbane, intellectually sound and charismatic. But he comes into the race with a huge baggage, aside from Ekiti, the political strength of Fayemi in his geopolitical zone, the Southwest is limited. He doesn’t have visible political structures outside his State. Despite being the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum no Governor appears to have endorsed his ambition. He also comes in with the baggage thrown at him by the former Chairman of the Party Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who alleged that he tried to get him Oshiomole to commit electoral fraud.
IBIKUNLE AMOSUN. This former Governor of Ogun State is one of the three presidential aspirants from the State. He is a seasoned politician that is believed to have the ears of Mr President. However in the race for the Presidential Ticket of our great Party, he comes in with a huge baggage, he cannot be said to be serious when he is currently at loggerheads with the APC Governor of his home State, Dapo Abiodun, and may not get the support of delegates from his State. He is also not known to have built formidable political structures outside Ogun State, he is therefore no threat to the leading contenders and may not be able to galvanize a formidable political machine to win the Presidency for our great Party come 2023.
DAVE UMAHI. This ebullient gentleman is the Governor of Ebonyi State. He was the first Aspirant from the Southeast to declare for the presidency. He has a good record of performance, but at the national stage he is a political paperweight, and considering the weight of a Presidential contest, the Party’s chance of winning the 2023 election may be slim should Umahi become the candidate. Yet another baggage is the fact that he is not very trusted by the people of the South East. He is also involved in huge battles of wit with several political forces in his home State, and his popularity quotient is thin and may not win the Presidency for our great Party if given the ticket.
GODSWILL AKPABIO. The former two term Governor of Akwa Ibom State, former Senator and former Minister of the Niger Delta Ministry comes in with very huge baggage. He is believed to be high handed and arrogant, and he is at war on several fronts with political forces within and outside the Party. As a Minister not only was he not forthright with the forensic investigation of the books of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, he did not keep to the promise of ensuring that the NDDC Board is reconstituted. The EFCC also alleges that his tenure as Governor of Akwa Ibom State is soiled with corruption. He is seen as brash and unable to galvanize the Party in the South South, he may be a huge electoral burden should he emerge as the Presidential candidate of our great Party.
YAHAYA BELLO. He is the youngest serving Governor in today’s Nigeria. Yahaya Adoza Bello is the Governor of Kogi State. He joined the race far ahead of most of the Aspirants, and has remained consistent and passionate about his vision for a new Nigeria. He comes in with a contrived baggage, some say that ‘he does not pay salary’, as untrue as that may be, you find political opponents within the Party pushing this narrative so as to diminish his chances of winning the ticket, but like a colossus he has continued to reach out to delegates and to Nigerians with his MASTER PLAN for Nigeria. He is arguably the most visible of all the Presidential Aspirants, and considering the present challenge of insecurity across the nation, being the best performing Governor in the area of Security, in the area of Financial Responsibility and Fiscal Discipline, and in the area of Youth Inclusiveness and Gender parity, the ace is apparently his. As you decide, Dear Delegates, do not forget that the surge in the Party membership far above the number of the major opposition party the Peoples Democratic Party PDP happened when Governor Yahaya Bello GYB was the Chairman of the Mobilisation and Sensitisation Committee of the Party, remember how he transversed the nation wooing members to the Party, and to his credit the registration and revalidation exercise of our great Party became a monumental success. Without equivocation, the tenacity and doggedness he brings to the race has won him the hearts of many party members. And he is arguably the Aspirant with the largest number of support groups across the nation. He is on account of age, competency and capacity the candidate to watch, and considering the urgency of now, including the call of Young people and Women for a new tendency in governance, I implore our Esteemed Delegates to look the way of GYB. He is young, vibrant, intelligent, energetic, and he has the competency and the capacity to birth and berth the Nigeria of our dreams.
He is the only Aspirant of the lot that has presented a manifesto and a work plan to the people, he is apparently the most serious and the most prepared, and I wish him well.
May the Almighty guide and grant you the courage to do that which is forthright, trite and right. God Bless Nigeria.
Chabor Musa Nyamgul.
Dear APC Delegates Please Elect The Aspirant With The Least Baggage As Candidate For President (II)
In the first series of this effort I put 8 of the Aspirants seeking the APC Presidential Ticket to the crucible, indeed this exercise houses no grudge or bias, it is but a didactic and patriotic effort at ensuring that the esteemed delegates of our great Party the APC choose the best person to fly the flag of the Party in the 2023 Presidential election.
The Ruling Party must realize that so much is expected of us by Nigerians, and largely the delegates are the ones in the eye of the storm. You owe Nigeria and Nigerians a great responsibility which is chiefly to elect a Presidential Candidate that understands the urgency of now, and one that connects with the aggregate demand for a new deal and a new Nigeria. And I believe that you will do justice to this onerous task.
Here are my candid analysis of the chances ditto the baggage of some more Aspirants within the APC if by Jove our Dear Delegates would do that which is forthright, trite and right.
DIMEJI BANKOLE. This former Speaker of the 6th House of Representatives that has been largely silent and quiet since he left the National Assembly comes in as not only an unwilling horse, but as one who is not seriously interested in the contest. The fact that he is not campaigning at all or reaching out to delegates gives the impression that the gamble of 100m naira for the APC Presidential Nomination Form may be an expensive gambit for political relevance and visibility. That he is seen as one of the pretenders with perhaps a different motive is a huge baggage.
ROCHAS OKOROCHA. This two-term former Governor of Imo State is one of the Aspirants from the Southeast. He is not in anyway an unwilling horse, this attempt being his fourth. He however comes in with the huge baggage of allegedly corruptly enriching himself, his family and proxies whilst in office as the Governor of Imo State, his cases with the EFCC speaks to that. He’s also accused by his successor Governor Hope Uzodinma of being behind the rising insecurity in Imo State. And as the immediate past Governor of the State in the same Political Party as the incumbent the raging disharmony in the Party in State is another huge baggage.
UJU KENNEDY. Is the only female Aspirant in the race for the APC Presidential Ticket. Her vision, courage and strength is salutary, however the absence of political visibility, impact and capital is a huge baggage as the quest for the high office of President is not a turf for those not known to have had any serious or radical impact on the socio-political amphitheatre.
NICHOLAS FELIX. This good looking US-based Clergyman is the youngest Presidential Aspirant in the fray. He is largely unknown and comes in with the baggage of one seemingly seeking political relevance, and one that colours him as one of the pretenders having failed to effectively put before the people and the delegates his vision for Nigeria. If he builds on the mention of the present bid, he is perhaps a candidate for the future.
KEN NNAMANI. A former President of the Senate who led the popular rejection of President Obasanjo’s 3rd Term bid by the National Assembly. He comes in with an uncanny baggage as many see his attempt at occupying the country’s highest office as a race to nowhere. Only last March he lost the bid to become the Deputy National Chairman of our great party thus underscoring the depth of his popularity within the Party, therefore putting him forward to fly the Party’s flag in the 2023 Presidential contestation will most likely do the Party great disservice.
BEN AYADE. This former Senator who is presently rounding up his second term as Governor of Cross River State would perhaps not be seen as a serious contender but for the N100 million he paid for the nomination form. He comes in with the baggage of one seeking to remain politically relevant after his tenure. Clearly, not reaching out to the people and the delegates of our great Party the APC presents him as being in the presidential race for negotiation to become Vice President should the Presidential candidate come from the North.
MOHAMMED BADARU. This urbane gentleman and the serving Governor of the State of Jigawa is one of the many Presidential Aspirants whose entry into the race is viewed with much curiousity. He comes in with the baggage that defines his late indication of interest to run for President as one primed for political relevance and perhaps for consideration for the Vice Presidential Ticket should the APC Presidential Candidate come from the South little wonder he appears not to be reaching out to the people and to the delegates of our great Party.
AJAYI BOROFFICE. This good looking and eloquent Senator from Ondo State comes in as an underdog in the APC presidential race. The baggage he comes in with is that he is perceived by many as seeking to gain prominence and relevance as one of those who ran for the Presidential Ticket of the Party, this baggage is hinged on his rather quiet approach to the race.
Dear Delegates of our great Party, I shall in a few days put before you the conclusion of this effort as I assess the last batch of Presidential Aspirants, however it is my candid plea that you give primacy to the call to put before Nigerians a candidate with great love, passion and commitment to birth and berth a New Nigeria. We must put our best foot forward and the linchpin must be competency and capacity, for the time to reset, re-fix and rework Nigeria is now. God Bless Nigeria.
Chabor Musa Nyamgul.
2023: Abia ADC Governorship Candidate, Bishop Onuoha Unveils 11-Point Agenda
A governorship aspirant under the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Abia state, Bishop (Dr) Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha, has unveiled an 11-points agenda to turn around the fortunes of the state.
Onuoha, while addressing the media yesterday said he decided to run for the post of the governor, following calls from groups, stakeholders, eminent personalities, market women, artisans, youths, student groups, among others.
The philanthropist said he is the the governor that the people of Abia have been praying for, having garnered wealth of experience in administration, business, public and private sector, of course and in the religious sector.
He said, “Over the years, we have failed as a people to identify leaders who can heal our land – I am here to serve ndi Abia with all my strength and knowledge. Over the years, we have failed as a people to identify and utilize our abundant human resources – I am that unifier that will galvanize Ndi Abia professionals for the common good of our people.
“Today, I wish to officially announce that I am the Gubernatorial Aspirant of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), a political party which is currently the 3rd largest political party in Nigeria with regards to national spread and the 4th political party in Nigeria with regard to the number of elected positions occupied by ADC in Nigeria.”
He noted that his eleven point agenda will dwell on “Security and Social Welfare, digital economy and information technology Transformation, transparency and accountability, international relations/development agencies, job creation/youth and women empowerment, agriculture and rural development.”
Others are; “Participatory governance, education for sustainable development, accessible basic health for all, trade and commerce, and faith community for development.”
Read the full speech:
FORMAL ADDRESS BY BISHOP DR. SUNDAY NDUKWO ONUOHA;
ABIA STATE GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANT OF THE AFRICAN DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (ADC), AT THE MEDIA PARLEY WITH JOURNALISTS
FRIDAY 20TH OF MAY, 2022.
Protocols and Formalities:
The State Chairman of ADC,
Members of the ADC State Working Committee (SWC),
ADC Chairman & Executives of L.G.A,
ADC Ward Chairmen & Executives,
Party faithful of our party ADC,
Gentlemen of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen . . .
I humbly welcome each and every one of you to this media parley; and thank you for honoring the invitation to be here today, and at this time, regardless of your personal and professional schedules. Your presence here portrays, first of all, the love you have for the state – our dear Abia. Your presence also shows that you believe it is possible to renew, transform, redeem and cleanse our dear Abia State. I appreciate your first show of confidence and immediately promise that your collective trust for me will not be misplaced.
Permit me to introduce myself to you once more. I am Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha. I joined the ministry at a very young age in 1983, and was consecrated a Bishop of the Methodist Church Nigeria in 2006, having served as the first Bishop of Evangelism at the Lagos Headquarters for many years. I hold a Doctorate Degree from the Southern Methodist University (SMU), after my Masters Degree from the same institution, and then studied Infrastructural Development at Harvard University.
You can describe me as a humble servant of God, and of the faith communities represented in and around Abia State. I am an Administrator, Educationist, Technocrat and an Entrepreneur. Philanthropy is a deep passion close to my heart, as I have championed the cause of the indigent, the voiceless, and the disadvantaged; not just from a sense of duty, but from a sense of service to God, without which my worship and reverence of the Almighty would be incomplete.
People who know me closely call me “the Bishop of the Masses”, a name I may have earned from the way and manner I reach out, look out for, and do my best to address the core needs that will improve the people around me. For I believe that humanity feel pain and loss the same way; and regardless of our strata in the ladder called society, our hierarchy of needs are still basic and mundane.
REASON FOR THIS MEDIA PARLEY
My party leaders, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen of the press, you may recall that a few months ago, a group called Cleanse and Clean Abia Group (CACAG) issued a press release demanding that I make myself available to run for the office of the Governor of Abia State in the forthcoming 2023 Abia Governorship Election. That call by Cleanse and Clean Abia Group (CACAG) ; opened up as it were, a floodgate of similar calls by Abia stakeholders, eminent personalities, market women, artisans, youths, student groups, Ndi Abia in Diaspora and friends of Abia State. At first, I went about my life ignoring the calls, the burden of leadership, and what I thought may mean distractions.
A personal friend and fellow Bishop, asked me to look beyond the calls and see the opportunity in addressing the real needs of Abians.
I have retreated into deep prayerful thoughts; I have given this a series of personal reflections, I have consulted widely and held meetings with a vast selection of stakeholders; and I have found out that Ndi Abia want change, and a re-direction to the path of development, a redeeming from the old trends of governance, and a cleansing that will ensure ourselves and our children can dance to the song of hope and thanksgiving.
I had humbly expressed my hesitations to a few close friends, considering to hearken to the desire of Ndi Abia; and immediately, I gave my nod and consent, a group of friends and associates contributed funds and purchased my Governorship Nomination and Expression of Interest Form. As if pushing me from the precipice, this kind gesture humbled me and at the same time gave me the assurance that I have the support of the critical mass of Ndi Abia in this gubernatorial journey. To all who contributed and still contribute time, money, energy and resources for this task, I assure you that I do not take your support for granted.
Change is possible, but it is a journey we all must be resolute to take. Unanimous in our believe that your call for me to contest, will not be wasted. We will win together, and hold hands in victory, as I walk with you to lead our dear Abia state to positive transformation.
Without sounding immodest, I am that Governor ndi Abia have been praying for. I have garnered wealth of experience in administration, business, public and private sector, of course, in the religious sector, which is my place of primary assignment, calling and ministry. Let me be the balm and solution to the challenges in Abia State.
Over the years, we have failed as a people to identify leaders who can heal our land – I am here to serve ndi Abia with all my strength and knowledge. Over the years, we have failed as a people to identify and utilize our abundant human resources – I am that unifier that will galvanize ndi Abia professionals for the common good of our people.
I will not mince words in saying this – this is not the time to sound ‘politically correct’, rather it is time to address the pains and sufferings of our people which is what compelled me to join the race. Bishop Desmond Tutu once told me. . . “Sunday if African Faith leaders and men of character do not actively participate in politics, Africa will soon be governed by idiots”. We can do better in Abia, if we all rise up and say “E Don Do!”.
Today, I wish to officially announce that I am the Gubernatorial Aspirant of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), a political party which is currently the 3rd largest political party in Nigeria with regards to national spread and the 4th political party in Nigeria with regard to the number of elected positions occupied by ADC in Nigeria.
Interestingly, the motto of ADC is “Arise and Shine”, and it personally resonates with me because the Christian scriptures in Matthew 5:14 says that a light cannot be hidden under a bushel; and this is synonymous with our joint desire to arise, reclaim, transform and restore the shining light of our dear State, Abia, as the city on a hill.
The mission, vision, manifesto and core values of ADC is in tandem with our desire to enthrone the Abia State of our dreams. Today too, I will equally share with you a brief summary of the Abia of my dream; perhaps it will resonate with you too as you envision it in your mind’s-eye.
THE ABIA OF MY DREAM!
Abia State was created on the 27th day of August, 1991. According to the 2006 census, Abia State population is estimated to be about three to four million people. Abia State is blessed with large deposit of oil, gas and other mineral resources. Abia State is blessed with abundant human resources. Over the years, the challenge has been how to elect a leader who can transform and restore the glory of Abia State as God’s own State. Our leadership recruitment process has been wrongly driven. The hour has come to liberate Abia State. The time is now. Ndi Abia, history beckons!
Having crisscrossed all parts of Abia State, I can humbly tell you that I know the issues, problems and challenges amongst my people. I have sat and talked to, and sometimes felt the ache of a people who want nothing more than a change from the bleak status-quo. After a solemn mediation about our dear State, I have developed and summarized an 11 -point agenda which covers all critical sectors of our life as a people, and I believe that addressing these needs will transform this city as we hoist our light high on the hilltop and shine proudly like we are truly meant to.
These 11-point agenda are:
- Security and Social Welfare
- Digital Economy and Information Technology Transformation
- Transparency and Accountability
- International Relations/Development Agencies
- Job Creation/Youth and Women Empowerment
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Participatory Governance
- Education for sustainable development
- Accessible Basic Health for All
- Trade and Commerce
- Faith Community for Development
Ladies and gentlemen, I take these 11-point agenda as my covenant and my social contract with Ndi Abia.
First, the primary essence of governance is the security and welfare of the people. It is a key score-card for governments globally. This is because a working economy must be propelled by people whose lives, dreams and aspirations are secured and well protected. Our immediate aim will be to provide an all-rounded secure package by first minimizing the risk of insecurity on our economy in Abia. Closely tied to this is to ensure an easy and accessible social services welfare scheme for the assistance of disadvantaged groups, as we finetune ways to critically address food security for our people.
With a secure Abia state, I and my team shall work in creating a digital economy and information technological transformation. For example, we are going to create a technology hub that will make Abia State the Silicon Valley of Nigeria. We shall digitize the way we trade in Ariaria and the way government functions, thus opening up our State to the huge benefits accruable in an ever-growing digital world.
To achieve these dreams, there is need for transparency and accountability. If elected as Governor, I shall lead the charge for transparency and accountability. I shall lead by example and ensure due process in all affairs of state. You can count on Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha, God being my witness, to stretch the value of our resources, and be open in my stewardship, to my people.
We need the collaboration and partnership of well-meaning international bodies, development agencies, Ndi Abia in diaspora, all men and women of goodwill as we explore the poverty challenges facing our state. Therefore, we shall operate a participatory system of Governance which provides room to analyze your ideas and suggestions, as we consider the interconnection between politics, economy and the law. Regardless of one’s political/faith leanings or place of origin, my team and I shall never discriminate or create room for discord.
Job Creation and Youths/Women Empowerment, will be another milestone on our scorecard. We will ensure the provision of new opportunities for paid employment, especially for our youths, women, children and the disabled community. We will strive to create enabling business environments to support job creation, enhance youth empowerment, and facilitate skill acquisition opportunities for unemployed youths and women, while providing start up grants/equipments for each and every trainee.
On Agriculture and rural development; when elected as the Governor of Abia State, I and my team shall bring back the golden days of Agricultural revolution championed by our dear late Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara. We shall reintroduce Agricultural extension workers; introduce mechanized farming, provide modern day facilities and infrastructure in our rural communities. This will stem the tide of rural-urban migration and increase participation of ndi Abia in Agriculture.
The Abia of my dream will provide quality, accessible and subsidized education (SDG 4); because we recognize that with education, we make an upward socioeconomic mobility that is a key to escaping poverty. Our out-of-school youths litter the streets; it is time we cure the eyesore these has become to us, and I shall declare a state of emergency on education in Abia, to ensure that every child of school going age must be in school. Never before have so many children been out of school at the same time, disrupting learning and upending lives, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized.
I think it is enough! E don do!
To address the poor state of health management in Abia, we will implement a special social contract for health development aimed at helping us achieve the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3) by the year 2030. It will be our mandate to reduce the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to less than less 200 per 100,000 Live Births. We will do everything possible to prevent our mothers and wives from dying while trying to give life. To reduce neonatal mortality rate and under five-year old mortality rate; to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. To achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and empower every resident in Abia State to be able to purchase health services through a universal MANDATORY HEALTH INSURANCE. All of these, while ensuring that every Primary Health Center (PHC) is well equipped with medical equipments, resident Doctors and Nurses. In due time, I shall publicize the full details of our full social contract on health development for Abia.
In the area of Trade and Commerce, I shall restore the glorious days of Aba, the commercial nerve center of Abia State. I will do this with intentional and deliberate approach which shall include: evacuating the age long heaps of waste in Aba, reconstruct the entire Aba roads with proper drainage channels, light up Aba and bring back night life/trading, ensure adequate security, provide grants for upcoming entrepreneurs and create enabling circumstances and environment for business to thrive in the entire Abia State.
Evidently, a faith community for development is necessary in our quest to transform Abia state. Therefore, when given the mandate to lead ndi Abia, I and my team shall nurture a faith community, a community that believes that a functional, caring and responsible government is possible. This will require value reorientation, awareness, and social orientation. It will also require accountability and transparency in sharing the dividends of democracy to ndi Abia. It will require honesty on the part of government. With these in place, ndi Abia will renew their faith in governance and join hands with the government for the benefit of all. I pledge to do all these when given the mandate to lead our people.
This is just a glimpse into the many milestones I want to achieve with ndi Abia. In few months time, we shall invite you to witness the unveiling of our manifesto which embodies these 11-point agenda elaborately.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me thank each and every one of you for the patience so far. I pray that God will lead each of you safely to your various destinations. I am grateful for the honor you accord me.
God Bless Ndi Abia.
Blessings to one and all!
Bishop Dr. Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha
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