The governorship aspirant addressing journalists after his declaration at Abia Hotels, Umuahia. (Photos Ugo Okobi)
On Friday, April 29, 2022, Chief Daniel Eke formally and publicly declared his interest to run for the governorship of Abia State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The declaration, which took place at the Abia Hotels, Umuahia, was attended by a mammoth crowd of his supporters and admirers from the 17 local government areas of the state, along with party executives from the wards and local government levels.
Also in attendance were members of the State Working Committee of the party, led by its Chairman, Hon. Acho Obioma (Chomen).
Members of the OUK Movement from across the various parts of the state were also at the event to lend their support to a man, many have described as the new face of Abia politics and whose entry into the fray is considered as a breath of fresh air to the already suffocated political space.
Below is the full text of his captivating declaration speech, which encapsulates a summary of his manifesto, aptly entitled: “My Contract with Ndi Abia”
May I start by thanking all of you who have supported me since I declared my intention to run for office in order to help our great state – Abia. Your support is because you desire the best for our state. It is humbling, but in my heart, I know your support is not about me. Your support is based on your belief in what our state can be. You found in me the qualities, attributes, character, integrity, and experiences needed and required to elevate our state to the enviable level it deserves to be.
¨ In the face of maladministration, you believe there can be peace and excellent governance.
¨ In the face of uncommon challenges, you believe that with the right leadership style, solutions exist which can surmount these challenges.
¨ In the face of unhealthy politics, you believe we can come together and do what is right for our people.
Our people have been shut out and divided for far too long. I want you to know that we are in this journey together. This is the reason that I came to this journey. I was born and brought up at Aba to the family of Mr.& Mrs. Daniel Igbokwe Eke, who hail from the Igbere community of Abia State.
After my primary and secondary education which took place at Aba, my first job was working on a World Bank funded project before I moved to the United States to pursue tertiary education as well as gain more professional, management, and administrative experience.
Therefore, I am applying to be your Governor because I believe that the time has come for our beloved state to experience and enjoy leadership through excellent service. When elected governor, I vow to deliver to all Abians the dividends of committed, selfless leadership beginning from my first day until my last day in office.
This vow comes easy for me because of my undying love for Abia State. So, I promise you, for me, Abia State has always been and will always remain first.
My fellow Abians, ‘Abia First’ is not a mere political slogan. It is also not a concocted claim. It is the ordained heritage of our good people. Abia is the first in the line-up of Nigeria’s 36 states. In the same vein, Aba is Abia’s first, and indeed Nigeria’s first center of creative fabrication of world class hand-made goods. The manufacturing talent and genius of our people is second to none and I pledge to return and reposition our beloved state in her natural place at the table.
As governor, I will work with the brightest and most dedicated Abia indigenes along with all other qualified non-indigenes who commit themselves to our agenda for the restorationof the lost glory of the Enyimba State.
My manifesto for Abia State and entire citizens of Abia State can be summed up in three words:
The challenges facing our beloved state are too numerous to mention all of them. However, if elected my administration will for a start make the following a priority:
- ABA (ENYIMBA CITY):
In the reclamation phase, beginning from Ariaria market, our experts will return to thedrawing board; redesign the market, reincorporating all the omitted facilities and infrastructures including drainages. This process will help us restore the market and modernize it to a truly international market. The market, along with many other commercial outfits in the city will be similarly restored and modernized to the desired up-to-date form. From that standpoint, the modernization of Enyimba City will become easier to accomplish.
Provide adequate and sustainable security across the state that incorporates the use of technology.
Reboot our educational system by ensuring that teachers are paid as at when due, rebuild the school buildings and facilities across the state and ensure that highly qualified teachers are hired to work in the school system. We will also look into relinquishing some of the schools to the communities the schools are situated, and to the churches, and organizations that can manage the schools.
- ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE:
As you know the current roads across the state are in terrible condition. Therefore, my administration will start by maintaining and upgrading existing roads as well as creating modern road networks. We will pay particular attention to the drainage systems as adequate drainage systems will help in controlling flood that has ravaged our beloved state. This will also ensure that the roads constructed are durable.
Currently, our people fall victim to illnesses that are easily treatable but die due to current poor healthcare system. Therefore, my administration will assess the health care
needs of our state and develop up-to-date healthcare system that will be aimed at addressing the healthcare needs of our people.
- SOCIAL SERVICES:
As at today, it is hard to identify any social services being offered in Abia State. My administration will evaluate our current social services and improve on those programs that will positively impact the life of our people.
- GRASSROOTS EMPOWERMENT:
All the state’s local government areas will be impacted by our grassroots empowermentprograms. We will fund a lot of skill acquisition centers to empower our teeming andtalented youths.
- ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL:
Our dear state is the joke of our country when it comes to the environment. Our administration will tackle this environmental decadence head on. We will make Abia one of the cleanest states in the nation.
- ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE:
Our administration will tackle head on the deficit in the energy infrastructure as it pertains to our industrial sectors. We will consider entering into Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to achieve adequate energy resources.
- TRADITIONAL RULERS:
The welfare of our traditional rulers will be of utmost importance to our administration as our Royal Fathers are the bridge between our administration and our people.
- MINISTRY OF YOUTH AFFAIRS:
We will set up this ministry to be headed by a youth. This will empower the youths to be at thetable when decisions about their future are made. A detailed review of the current state of our beloved AbiaState reveals the errors and misdeeds of leadership which has hitherto denied our people
their well-deserved greatness. As a servant leader, I pledge to be your agent for the Reclamation,
Restoration, and Modernization of our dear State.
Within my first one hundred days in office, working with Abia’s great legislators, the dividends of fgood governance will be unleashed at the grassroots levels.
Our Local Government Areas will be reclaimed and returned to Abia People. We will conduct Local Government elections. Over the next two years, our reformed Local Governments would bestrengthened, corruption free, and efficient in service delivery for our people.
By my training as a Chartered Accountant, I am fully prepared to confront the challengesthat will propel Abia State to her befitting status of prominence with all it takes to competewith the other industrialized economies of the world.
CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
We shall use realities on ground to identify the challenges that need to be surmounted inorder to achieve the CHANGES that we will deploy to transform our beloved state