Being the Text of a Press Conference Organized by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) , Abia State in Umuahia, On the Sorry State of Things In Abia.
After deep assessment of developments in Abia State in the last few months, we feel pained by the obvious abandonment of governance by the Okezie Ikpeazu led government which has led to increase in the sufferings of the people, and thus make the following observations and demands:-
1.That after observing some moments of silence to avoid being accused of distraction or used as an excuse for failure by the government, and during which we dispassionately assessed the present government, we regret to state that the government has taken the disastrous path to failure by completely abandoning its primary responsibilities to the people of the state.
2.That the complete halt in government activities at the different Local Government Areas of the State, especially in the areas of project execution and payment of workers salaries shows that the allocations being given to these L. G.As develop wings immediately they are received by the state, unfortunately this unjust practice has continued unabated while the people at the grassroots suffer untold hardship as a result of underdevelopment, while workers and pensioners are subjected to the worst form of indignation and oppression due to non payment of salaries.
3.That while we fairly admit that these are challenging times financially for all the states of the federation, yet Abia still receives reasonable allocations that could enable the government pay workers salaries and execute some people-oriented projects if the resources of the state are handled prudently.
4.That a state like Abia with numerous sources of internal revenue generation would have no reason to cry of paucity of funds if the government had tamed the activities of illegal revenue agents by sanitizing all avenues of revenue generation, so the government has its self to blame.
5.That the complete halt and inactivity in the governance of the state in spite of continuous inflow of revenue gives credence to the allegation of diversion of funds belonging to Abia by the PDP led government.
6.That after receiving over Sixty Billion Naira (N60Billion) in its one year in office with annual wage bill of about 28 Billion (According to Government’s claims), excluding Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the few road projects on ground which are the only achievements of the present government cannot in any way justify the aforementioned revenue gotten by the government. This leaves glaring traces of high level mis-governance and misappropriation of funds as widely suspected in Abia.
7.That shortly after brief publicity was carried out concerning the One Billion Niara Agricultural Loan that was given to Abia farmers a few months ago by the World Bank through the state government, nothing has been heard about the money again since the state government got hold of it; is this not a sabotage against Abia farmers who are in desperate need of funds at this trying moment?
8.That while we do not hold Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu entirely responsible for the total collapse of infrastructure in Abia caused by PDP’s years of destructive and inhuman leadership, his failure to show courage and capacity in chatting a new and well thought out democratic cause for the state has worsened the situation as roads and other infrastructures that ought to have received face lift by now remain in a state of collapse and abandonment.
9. That on assumption of office, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu travelled to different countries of the world including the United States, Turkey and Czech Republic. In each of the trips which his government claimed was aimed at bringing investors to Abia he was accompanied by dozens of aides and associates, unfortunately up till this moment not even a single investor has been sighted in any part of Abia after millions of tax payers money have been frittered away.
We knew that Ikpeazu and the PDP were not interested in bringing investors else they would have confronted the challenges that discourage investors like infrastructure decay, multiple taxation, touting, insecurity etc with an appreciable seriousness.
10.That it has never been the desire of APGA and her leaders to engage the Ikpeazu/PDP led government in a war of words, hence our decision to always take stock of happenings before raising our voice. Our demand this time around is that since Okezie Ikpeazu has lost idea of what to do with Abia allocations in terms of project, he should also not lose consciousness of the fact that innocent Abia workers , pensioners and their family members are dying of hunger, therefore he should use our money and not his to pay our workers , else we shall be left with no choice than to approach the federal government and the National Assembly to consider taking over the process of payment of Abia workers’ salaries, since Okezie Ikpeazu and the PDP have completely but willingly brought governance to a halt in Abia.
Rev. Augustine Ehiemere
State Chairman, APGA
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