Former Abia Speaker, Azubuike joins APC governorship race, seeks only one term
From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Former Speaker of Abia House of Assembly and member representing Isiala Ngwa South constituency, Hon. Martins Azubuike, Monday declared for the governorship race of the state under the platform of the All Progressive Congress ( APC).
The lawmaker who was accompanied by a large crowd of supporters to the APC state secretariat at Azikiwe Road Umuahia where he declared his ambition, said he would not be seeking second tenure if elected as Governor.
Azubuike who was elected to the House on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) before defecting to APC early last year after his impeachment as Speaker, took a clean sweep of the PDP- led administration in the state, describing it as a total disappointment.
He criticised the procurement system of the state saying it is shrouded in secrecy, while accusing government of lack of openness and accountability.
His words: ” Why is our procurement system flawed? Abia is one state where contracts are not advertised but you see them purportedly executed .
” Who are the people in charge of IGR ( Internally Generated Revenue) in Abia. Abians are paying money but don’t know where the money goes.
” The Executive does not account to the people. We want a state where government will publish how much that comes in from the federal allocation after every FAC.
” Abia budgetary system is nothing to write home about. What the Executive does is copy and paste. That is why when you get a copy of the budget every year you see 1000 roads but non will be executed.”
He also accused the PDP-led administration of imposing heavy tax on the people.
Azubuike who said Abians are wallowing in abject poverty due to maladministration promised to rejig the economy of the state if elected as Governor.
” Poverty level in Abia has got to an alarming level. Every family in the state has now turned to beggars. If you don’t beg you cannot eat. ”
He also blamed the woes of the state on what he termed ” the absence of foundation for good governance” , promising to establish a solid foundation for democracy if given the opportunity.
The former Speaker also said the faulty governance structure in the state “only produces weak institutions and too powerful individuals”.
He also described Abia as the dirtiest state in Nigeria but promised to change the narrative if elected.
” When you are entering Abia from any part of South East the only thing that will make know you have entered Abia is the offensive ordour that will greet you at out borders”, he regretted.
He urged APC to give him the party’s ticket , promising to lay the foundation for new Abia in his first and only term.
” I don’t need a second term because I will not look at anybody’s face in correcting the wrings in our system. If that is the sacrifice needed for Abia to move forward I am ready to make it.”
In his remarks, the member representing Umunneochi constituency , Hon. Ikedi Ezekwesiri, who accompanied him to the APC secretariat, also criticised Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for abandoning the new Government House project initiated by his predecessor.
” We want a governor who will rule Abia from Government House and not from a guest house. We want a Governor who will complete the new Government House”.
In his response, APC Chairman, Chief Donatus Nwankpa, thanked governorship aspirant for coming to intimate the party leadership of his ambition but told him that ” it is only the people that will determine who will fly the party’s flag”.
He urged him and other aspirants to market their candidacy to the people at the grass root and convince them on their manifesto so they could be elected at the party primaries.
Nwankpa promised equal opportunity for all aspirants but noted that ones ” popularity, acceptability, pedigree and marketability ” would come into play in determining the party’s flag bearer.