From Fred Itua, Abuja
Royal fathers from Enugu West Senatorial District have given their royal blessings and the “Ofo”, which symbolises authority, truth, and justice, to the former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, ahead of the governorship primaries in the state.
This is even as Ekweremadu vowed not to disappoint the people of Enugu State if elected their governor in 2023.
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Ekweremadu gave the assurances when he received traditional rulers of Enugu West Senatorial District, who paid him a solidarity visit at his Enugu residence.
Taking them through his agenda, “A Pathway to a New Enugu State”, the Senator said time was ripe to apply the experience, friendship, partnership, and global contact he acquired over the years through the opportunities given to him by Enugu people to the transformation of Enugu to a model state.
‘At this point, therefore, I believe it is time to focus on Enugu State and Enugu people without whom I would not be who and what I am today.
‘We want to industrialise Enugu State by building at least two industries in each of the 17 local government in four years and through what we call ‘One Local government One Product’, according to comparative advantages.
‘We want to develop our road infrastructure by building well-lit superhighways from Enugu city to our borders with Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, and Abia and also construct a ring road to connect all local government areas in the state. We already have people in the United Kingdom people ready to assist us if elected.
‘We want to deploy technology and employment to fight insecurity by providing digital security network, by setting up an efficient state-funded security outfit that can respond to an emergency in 10 minutes, by creating an Enugu State Identity Database, and setting up a Security and Public Safety Coordination Centre.
‘We have developed short, medium, and long term workable plans to ensure that water scarcity becomes a thing of the past in Enugu. we want to build dams and rehabilitate existing water sources and pipelines. There are both local and international contacts who have committed to helping us in regard.
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‘We want to ensure that there is a functional primary healthcare facility for every community, a state-of-the-art secondary healthcare facility for every local government, and also transform the ESUT University Teaching Hospital to a world-class tertiary healthcare facility.
‘In the area of education, we are going to consolidate the primary and secondary schools, transform ESUT, and upgrade the Institute of Management and Techonology (IMT) to an Ivy League university,’ he said.
To ensure good governance, Ekweremadu said he wants to enthrone an open and consultative government, timely payment of salaries and retirement benefits, equal treatment to all, independent and efficient legislature and judiciary as well as a 24-hour service provision through well-designed e-government, while also ensuring non-interference with local government funds.
The senator promised to reduce youth unemployment by 70% in four years, create an enabling environment for the youth to thrive in the private sector, and also create jobs for the youth in tourism, agriculture, industry, Information Communication Technology (ICT), among others while mainstreaming them in governance.
He equally unveiled plans for tourism development, agricultural development, and energy sufficiency through statewide power coverage, deploying renewable energy and mini-grids.
Speaking, the leader of the delegation and the traditional ruler of Amandim-Olo, HRH Igwe Harford Agana, commended Ekweremadu for all he had done in terms of physical and human capital development across the senatorial districts of Enugu State.
‘You attracted roads across the three senatorial districts. You have done water projects across senatorial districts and your scholarships cut across senatorial districts. So, we are here to show solidarity and offer our royal blessings and prayers to you and your family,’ Agana stated.
The high point of the event was the presentation of Ofo, the Igbo symbol of authority, truth, and justice to the former Speaker of the senator.