By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
A former Nigerian Consul General in South Africa and a governorship aspirant in Abia State under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Okey Emuchay, has said that Abia State under Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is a failed state.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Emuchay lamented that Governor Ikpeazu has failed to leverage on the huge potentials of Aba city to transform the state, noting that public infrastructure in the state under the governor are in shambles.
He noted that the commercial city of Aba which could transform the Internally Generated Revenue (IGI) of the state must be recovered and redesign to serve as the true heart of Abia State that it was known for.
“Abia is a failed state in all ramifications. Abia has huge potentials: the commercial city of Aba if it is repaired will have enough Internally Generated Revenue to run the state government. The education sector is in shambles, the health sector is in shambles: infrastructure, basics, water and the rest of them are not available,” he said.
The former Consul General remarked the state needs someone like him who can take critical decisions to transform its fortunes.
He particularly emphasized that Aba city, which is the commercial hub of the state needs a complete repair and redesign before it can attract private sector because as it is, there is no environment to attract private sector to the city and the market.
His words: “What Aba needs is a complete repair, it needs to have town planning experts to get redesign Aba and to do what Governor Amaechi did in Port Harcourt. Take that critical decision, town hall meetings, discuss with the stakeholders and then take a decision to clean the city. Abia needs industrial parks.
“Today, the world has moved too far, that those people who are manufacturing shoes, sewing clothes, doing all sorts need help. The challenges they have to get to where they do businesses and if you create industrial parks where you have facilities, electricity, water, good roads, then you can create new businesses. A lot of them are using what they call ‘I pass my neighbor ‘generator.
There is no way you can run the kind of businesses they are doing with I pass my neigbhour generator. So as I said Aba needs to be recovered, Aba needs to be repaired and it has to be done by experts and that is not happening presently.”
When responding to question on what he is bringing on board if elected as Governor of Abia State, Emuchay whose father was the first medical doctor in the old Eastern Region to establish a cottage hospital in 1961 said his focus would be good governance.
“First the focus will be on good governance. And from the background where I’m coming from, it is about service to humanity, it is about serving our people, it is about returning the privilege that I have had to the people. That is my passion that is what is driving me, that is what I’m bringing,” he said.
While noting that governance is a serious business, he said he has needed experience and exposure required for the job.
“I have traveled round the world, I have served Nigeria and I pray and hope that I will have the opportunity to serve the people of Abia State.”