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
2023: North Central APC Stakeholders Say Region’s VP Will Enthrone Equity, Stability in Nigeria
Some stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress in north-central have made a strong case for the region to produce the party’s presidential running mate for equity and stability.
The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum, which made this known at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, warned the party not to make the mistake of ignoring the zone in the scheme of things.
According to a statement signed by its Coordinator, Bala Danladi Adamu, the group said the north central is critical to the party’s success in 2023, considering its innumerable contributions in the growth and development of the APC over the years.
Adamu said not only will a Christian from the region balance the presidential ticket, he added that it will ultimately guarantee success at the polls.
The group, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, party leaders and elders from the north central zone to settle for a young and vibrant Christian out of the “array of credible individuals that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.
Failure to do so, Adamu, however, cautioned that doom awaits the party as it would be further divided along ethnic and religious lines.
Read full statement below:
The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum is calling this press conference as a concerned stakeholder in the APC to put issues in proper perspective regarding the choice of running mate to the APC presidential candidate.
This has become instructive given the attempt by some selfish individuals who are bent on scheming the North Central out of the affairs of the country, especially in the buildup to the 2023 General elections.
The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum frowns at such a despicable plot considering the innumerable contributions of the North Central in the growth and development of the APC over the years.
It remains a statement that the North Central is a critical region in the country. As such, it would be against all known political strategies for the region to be alienated in the present permutations towards securing victory at the elections.
The APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, must come to terms with choosing his running mate for the elections. Consequently, the APC North Central Stakeholders Forum wishes to inform Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be wary of those that have constituted themselves around him as electoral strategists.
We are aware of the plot to ensure that the vice presidential slot is not given to a Christian APC member from any North Central state for inexplicable reasons. This is on the heels that such a move would spell doom for the party.
They have been ferocious in this regard. As stakeholders in the North Central region, we know that such a move would boomerang and further divide the party along ethnic and religious lines.
The APC Presidential Candidate must rise to the occasion and resist every form of pressure mounted on him by these selfish individuals against the idea of a Christian running mate from the North Central region of the country.
It is on the strength of the above that we demand that the vice-presidential slot be given to a vibrant and young candidate from the Middle Belt. This is necessary to ensure a balanced and strategic team that would guarantee electoral success at the elections.
We are also using this medium to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to see that the APC gets it right regarding its choice of running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is necessary to ensure that the party records outstanding victory at the polls.
President Muhammadu Buhari must also recognize that the North Central region in the country holds the ace in the presidential elections, and little wonder why the opposition parties have been making strategic advancements in the region to secure electoral victory.
The APC must not allow any form of discontent in the North Central by denying the region of the vice-presidential slots, as there are an array of credible candidates that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The hawks that want the party’s downfall are unfortunately parading themselves as stakeholders of the party. At the same time, they are out to satisfy their selfish interest and not the well-being of the party as a whole.
The APC North Central Stakeholders Forum is also using this medium to call on prominent middle belt elders to rise in defence of the Middle belt in the political scheming in the country. The strategic importance of such cannot be overemphasized.
They must ensure that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not misled as the indicators point to the fact that the APC Presidential candidate is on the verge of making a grave mistake should he choose a running mate outside the middle belt region.
The consequences of such a move might not be palatable for the party in the presidential elections, hence the need for caution in the choice of vice-presidential candidate of the APC.
We wish to call on elders of the APC in the Middle Belt region to protect the region’s interest by ensuring that the APV nominates its vice-presidential candidate from the Christian community in North Central.
We thank you all for your time and attention.
CVR Fresh Registration Hits Over 10m – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says fresh registration in the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 10,487,972 as at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 27.
The commission in its CVR weekly update, released in Abuja on Monday, also disclosed that 8,631,696 registrants had completed their registrations.
It disclosed that 3,250,449 of the registrants completed the process through online, while 5,381,247 did through physical registration.
The gender breakdown of the registrants who had completed their registration comprised 4,292,690 male and 4,339,006 female, with the gender category showing that 6,081,456 of the figures were youth, while 67,171 were Persons with Disabilities, PWDs.
The update also revealed that INEC had received a total of 23,560,043 applications including those applying for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and update of voter information records.
The breakdown also indicated that 12,317,963 of the applications were from male, 11,242, 080 were from female, while 187,904 applications were received from PWDs. (NAN)
Banditry: Military Rejects Zamfara’s Call for Citizens to Bear Arms
The Military High Command yesterday rejected the call by the Zamfara State Government for residents to take up arms and defend themselves against bandits and terrorists.
Governor Bello Matawalle had asked the Commissioner of Police to work out the modalities for gun licence to residents willing to bear arms to protect themselves.
Reacting yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said he did not see the basis for such call.
He spoke at the National Defence College, Abuja, during the opening ceremony of the joint exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria codenamed “Exercise Grand Nationale”.
He said it was expedient for stakeholders to follow the rules and constitution accordingly.
Irabor said: “We do not take instruction from the state governments. We have a Commander-in-Chief. The constitution gives the right and powers to the C-in-C for the use of the armed forces and I believe what we’re doing in Zamfara State and across the states of the federation is not different to the provisions of the constitution.
“We’re there to give support to the civil authority in this case, the police. We’re there to ensure that peace returns to Zamfara. The governor does not have the powers to ask the CP to issue licences. I’m yet to get the details, but I do not think that’s the right thing to do.”
He said the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, should be in a position to address the issue.
“I do not see the basis. My view is that the AGF will look at the constitution and what the constitution says. That’s the right way to go. The Armed Forces are in Zamfara, but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues that should be addressed using the instrumentality of the law to bring peace and security.
“I believe that the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General, should look at the details of the press release. If what I read is true, I do not believe that the governor has the powers to instruct the CP to issue licence because the CP does not have the power to issue licences.
”Like I said, the AGF will do much about it. We have the Armed Forces in Zamfara, military, police, NSCDC; but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues”, Irabor said.
Irabor said the essence of the Operation Grand Nationale, was to review the programmes of the training colleges and the war colleges.
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