By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The 2019 governorship candidate of United Progressive Party (UPP), Ogbuehi Dike, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to see 2021 as a year of progressive governance and action against insecurity ravaging the country.
In a new year message he issued in Abuja, Ogbuehi also called on the Abia State Government to pay the salaries owed to workers in the state.
“The heart cry of Abia State pensioners and workers for payment of backlog of pensions and salaries owed them by the government is deafening in the ears of patriotic Nigerians. At a time various State governments in the country are providing palliatives in addition to salaries of workers, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is insensitive to the plights and welfare of the workers.
“A worker deserves his or her wage, to refuse or neglect to pay and pill it up for months or even years amounts to executive recklessness and rascality. I urge Governor lkpeazu to expedite action and pay Abia State workers their salaries and arrears immediately. It will boost their morale and productivity, which is essential to move the State forward.”
While cautioning over a second lockdown, he said “2020 is a memorable year in world history tainted with COVID-19 global pandemic and lockdown that changed lifestyles and impoverished billions of people as economies went into recessions.
“There were upsurge in terrorism, insurgency, militancy, banditry, kidnapping, ritual killings, ethno-religious conflicts and social injustices. World leaders groped in the dark, confused on the way forward. The mercies of God saw us through this dark period of uncertainties.
“As we enter into the New Year, it is imperative that we rededicate ourselves to God and in service to the nation. A fresh start is offered to us to renew our hopes and aspirations of building a strong, stable, united, progressive and egalitarian democratic society.
“The federal government should be proactive and put measures in place to prevent the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic at a time Nigerians are yet to recover from the previous national lockdown and the economy in recession.
“The need for citizens to adhere strictly to coronavirus preventive guidelines and protocols including wearing of face masks, regular washing of hands, use of sanitizer and social distancing cannot be overemphasized.
“Adhering to these preventive measures will curtail the spread of the virus, with adequate supply of its vaccine, the nation will avoid a second lockdown. A stitch in time saves nine.”
He said Nigerians should enter 2021 with a high sense of patriotism and the courage of a tiger and do exploits in its various professions, occupations and vocations as government creates enabling environment for citizens to maximize their potentials.