By Collins Nkwocha
As he consults and canvasses for votes across Abia State, leading Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial aspirant, Prof Uchenna Eleazar Ikonne has unfolded the six pillars of his vision for Abia State as Governor from May 2023.
The tested academic and administrator outlined the vision in campaign stops at Ikwuano, Bende, Isiukwuato and Umunneochi.
An Ikonne administration would focus on human capital development, he said. It would make Abia State a centre of knowledge capital for plugging into the digital economy and running a participatory administration that empowers citizens to contribute to driving projects based on the Public-Private Sector (PPP) model.
The Ikonne Six Pillars also envisages a focus on agribusiness for higher productivity, developing the Abia State economy by deploying the comparative advantage of its parts and seeking international collaboration.
At Umunneochi, Prof Ikonne offered a partnership to yield infrastructural development for the area. Umunneochi elders and citizens welcomed the aspirant joyfully.
Chief Ifeanyi Madu, chairman of Umunneochi LGA and PDP chair of Umunneochi Chief Mbanefo Agbanigo, assured the people’s total support. Chief Okey Igwe, a member representing Umunneochi State Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, described the entry of Ikonne in the race as answered prayers.
At Bende LGA, Prof Ikonne pledged to run a participatory and inclusive government through proper project execution, monitoring, and evaluation. He promised to transform the subsistence agriculture practised in the local government to mechanised farming with rice milling and improved cocoa processes.
Chief Cosmos Ndukwe, former Abia State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief P.C Mbah, former commissioner for Sports, and Chief Mba Ukaha, PDP chairman Bende LGA responded. They spoke of his impressive performances in previous positions and promised him the votes of the LGA in the primaries.
Prof Ikonne spoke to citizens at the country home of Rear Admiral Ralph Osondu in Ikwuano Umuahia. He reinforced the message that the trend across the states is to elect a professional and technocrat to drive the economy with transparent and honest visions. He assured them that he would bring his knowledge and experience to the office as a professor of optometry and administrator.
Speakers at Ikwuano Umuahia included Hon Udo Ibeji, a former member of the House of Representatives for Ikwuano-Umuahia, former SA to the Governor Hon Henry Nwoha and PDP LGA chairman Deacon Obioma Igwe. They assured that Ikwuano would join their leader Col Austine Akobundu (rtd), to ensure the realisation of the Uche Ndi Abia Project 2023.