‘Umuahia, only state capital without befitting stadium’ – Apugo
. Says ‘PDP is finished’ as former ASEPA boss declares for house of reps
By Steve Oko, Umuahia
The immediate past General Manager of the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency ( ASEPA) , Mr. Ikechukwu Apugo, has said that “Umuahia is the only state capital in Nigeria without befitting sports stadium”.
The sports enthusiasts who stated this Friday in his Ibeku country-home while fielding questions from newsmen after declaring for the Umuahia / Ikwuano Federal Constituency come 2019, said the ” unfortunate situation is a major set back to sports development in the state”.
Apugo who is seeking the flag of the All Progressive Congress ( APC) to actualise his political ambition in the 2019 poll, said if elected , facilitating the building of a befitting stadium in the state capital would be his major priority.
The former ASEPA boss who defected to APC from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in the state shortly after he was relieved of his appointment by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu and replaced by his blood brother, said that the current state of Umuahia Township stadium is a far cry from what a standard stadium should be.
According to him, the reason “little or no national sporting activities” are witnessed in the stadium is because it is below standard and currently in bad shape.
He blamed the State Government for neglecting the stadium, and promised to use his contacts if elected a member of the House of Representatives to attract funds for the establishment of a modern and FIFA standard stadium in Umuahia.
His words: ” It is a shame that Unuahia is the only state capital in Nigeria without a befitting stadium. This situation is retarding sports development and other businesses in the state.
“What we have here a stadium is a joke. We are not serious. We need to wake up. One of the first things I will do is to ensure Umuahia has a standard stadium.”
Apugo whose former players from his sports academy are now playing in many reputable club sides in Europe, thus making him the “highest foreign earner in Abia according to his Campaign Organisation” , said sports development would make Abia less dependent on federal allocation.
On his chances of winning the poll if given his party ticket, Apugo said it would be a walk over as contestants from other parties including the incumbent are no match to his political weight.
The former PDP chieftain boasted that nobody could defeat him in the 2019 poll should he secure the flag of APC, claiming that PDP is no longer strong in the state.
He said that PDP had lost its steam in Abia State as most of the stakeholders who had made the party tick “are now in APC.”
Asked how he was so optimistic of victory at the poll, he boasted: ” Where was I before now? Who made PDP what it was? PDP is finished in Abia because we have all left the party. The outcome of the election will prove me right. We shall meet PDP at the field”.
Apugo further stated that equity demands that the next House of Representative member from the constituency should come from his area of Ibeku ( Umuahia East) as the seat rotates among the three Local Government Areas in the constituency.
He argued that other LGAs of Umuahia South and Ikwuano ( where the current occupant hails from) had taken their turns, hence, it will be the turn of Ibeku people in Umuahia East state constituency in particular to produce the next occupant .
He also accused former and current occupants of the seat of abysmal performance, saying they have failed to use the position to develop the constituency and better the lost of their people.
” All the people who have gone there before have failed us. They keep telling us there is nothing there yet they don’t want to resign. The people are tired of such story and that is why they want to send me.”
Apugo said his people prevailed on him to join the race based on his antecedents, capacity and competence.
He promised to give the people quality representation if elected, and to use the position to further enhance their welfare in addition to what he is already doing through his foundation.
The aspirant whose father, Prince Benjamin Apugo is believed to be among the strongmen of Abia politics , urged Abians to vote for APC in the 2019 polls and witness massive developments in the state.
Apugo being led to his house by supporters after he declared for Umuahia/ Ikwuano federal constituency
Ikechukwu Apugo fielding questions from newsmen