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Ex-envoys, Emuchay, Garba eye Abia, Gombe governorship seats

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Okey Emuchay

Signs that serious minded citizens have started getting active interest in partisan politics, emerged weekend when two former Nigerian Ambassadors to Kuwait and South Africa, Senator Haruna Garba and Chief Okey Emuchay, announced their intentions to contest next year’s gubernatorial election for Gombe and Abia States, respectively.

Emuchay, who hails from Abia South senatorial district, said his intention to contest the gubernatorial post on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), is to rescue the state. He described Abia as a failed state in search of redemption.

His emergence has however increased the number of APC guber aspirants from the South, which includes Chief Friday Nwosu, who recently moved from the PDP to the APC, and former deputy governor, comrade Dr. Chris Akomas.

Also on the race for Abia governorship seat are immediate past speaker of the state Assembly, Hon Martins Azubuike, from Abia Central and Dr. Uche Ogah, from Abia north, both whom defected from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Others include, Chief Chinkwe Udensi, who decamped from the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) to join Dr. Alex Otti on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Otti was APGA guber candidate in 2015.

Emuchay regretted that the state has remained in the long grip of bad and incompetent administrators, stressing that Abia has stagnated over the years leading to massive unemployment of thousands of youth roaming the streets.

He said huge heaps of refuse and waste that lither the streets and constitute serious health hazards would have been harnessed to turn the state around and create wealth, including electricity generation.

While assuring that his administration would “redeem and reclaim Abia State” from its current parlous situation, Emuchay said he would re-position the state and place it on the path of speedy progress and development.

He said he has already articulated a blueprint that includes prompt payment of workers salaries and pensions, regretting that “because of the misruling of our state, our people now feel ashamed when they visit other states and see the difference.”

On his part, Garba who declared his intention at the Pantami township stadium, Gombe, said his decision to contest followed calls by the people of the state to provide purposeful leadership for the uplift of their living standards through innovative ideas to create opportunities.

Garba, who announced his choice of PDP as platform for the gubernatorial poll, added that his coming is intended “to be a beacon of selfless service, geared towards the creation of an enabling environment to guarantee the generation of positive energy, drive and motivations to catapult Gombe to a greater height and in the process leave a legacy long after we are gone.”

He promised to give priority to security and attention to the scheme of good governance, adding that no meaningful development can be attained in the absence of peace and security.

He said: “I will open a new vista of unparalleled development in the annals of Gombe State through a planned and rapid expansion of infrastructural facilities targeted at the elimination of poverty and the elevation of the welfare of our populace.

“For this reason, we shall do everything possible to ensure peaceful coexistence among our people. Every person shall be treated on merit, irrespective of his tribal or ethnic, religious beliefs, economic or social status or political affiliation.”


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