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NNPP Sets Agenda to Eradicate Poverty, Hunger, Unemployment in A’Ibom

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has said that it has an agenda to eradicate poverty, hunger and unemployment in Akwa Ibom State if elected into power come 2023.

This was disclosed by the State Publicity Secretary of NNPP, Mr. Solomon Johnny, when he briefed journalists in Uyo on Tuesday.

Johnny said that the party has an agenda to cure the most dangerous and compelling needs of the state.

He said that the Governorship Candidate of NNPP, Senator John Udoedehe, has an economic stimulus plan which would act as first aid to poverty, unemployment and hunger.

To achieve the agenda, he disclosed that NNPP government in the state under Udoedehe would empower 1,000 persons in each local government area of the state with N1million each to run small and medium scale enterprises and to become self-sufficient and generate employment no matter how small to others.

He said: “We have calculated that if Akwa Ibom State gives NNPP the opportunity to form the next government by electing Senator John Udoedehe as governor, each year, about 31,000 people would have been so empowered to defeat poverty and in four years that a tenure runs, about 124,000 citizens would have been lifted above the poverty and unemployment mark.

He said: “If in four years, we are able to create this number of employment through this scheme, we would have succeeded to reduce poverty by 45 per cent in four years.

“Note that poverty currently stands at 57 per cent. That is our practical way of how we shall be addressing unemployment which is the cause of poverty and hunger if Senator John Udoedehe is elected.

“We have been promoting this lead idea in the last six months. The first time I saw what looked like an attack on the workability of this scheme was two days ago when I read a critique asking where the funds will be taken from to run the scheme.

“I have taken time to explain to the author that money is not really the problem of Akwa Ibom State.

“What is a problem is having a government that is worried about the welfare of the citizens, being accountable and sensitive to their plights as well as lining out priorities in a way that tackle citizen’s expectations.

“Akwa Ibom State receives in the average, N12 billion in allocation monthly. Akwa Ibom State has a population that is less than 6 million citizens.

“Apart from the allocations, we have remittances that sometimes government does not want people to know about it. If we need to implement this proposal, all we need to do is as I have stated in four years is a “paltry” N120 billion.

“If you look at the revenue of our state, you will see that it is a very small amount of money that government can set aside and deal with the most compelling issue affecting the citizens.

“Government is about or supposed to be about the happiness and welfare of the citizens.

“We are encouraged by the fact that Akwa Ibom people now understand the need to form a government that will be answerable to them and are keying into the NNPP narrative.

“During our Federal Constituency Tour, we have discovered so much more about Akwa Ibom State. Our people are suffering in the hinterland and the coastal areas of our state.

“Senator John Udoedehe shed tears in Oron when a woman asked him the question of how sure it is that he will be different from the PDP government in Akwa Ibom State if elected.

“The woman raised the question that she had trained her children in the University and that it pains her to see them coming back to pick periwinkles in Mbo to survive.

“I told you about 51 per cent unemployment rate in Akwa Ibom State. They also complained about the erosion that is almost eating up Oron Federal Constituency.

“They complained that nothing has been done since the demise of Senator Victor Akan who controlled the erosion to the bank of the river. 

“They complained bitterly about the environmental ecological crises in the federal Constituency making Senator John Udoedehe to promise that he will create an Erosion Control Commission (ECC) under the Ministry of Environment and appoint an Oron person as head with a mandate to address that disaster.

“We also discovered by complaint and questions directed to the senator that till today, that militancy in the waterways is a big problem affecting fishermen in Akwa Ibom State.

“They told us that the reason the cost of seafood has skyrocketed in the state.”

They asked Akpanudoedehe what he will do to rescue their fishing profession.

“Senator re-echoed his plans to bring out the ‘bad boys,’ to give them a new orientation and amnesty and thereafter direct the attention of government to ensuring that the menace does not occur again.

“Government has a way to quell all insurrections. If government sits and watches security collapsing like the fishermen is complaining, it is either government is helpless or does not know what to do.

“Everybody in Akwa Ibom State appreciate the fact that Senator John Udoedehe is a strong, bold and courageous politician who takes the bull by the horns.

“He has said that if elected, and once he gives amnesty to the cultists, the militants and the bad boys generally, he will direct the strong arms of the law to ensure that there is peace and security in every part of the state.

“So the agenda we are setting for Akwa Ibom State is basically upon the wilderness experience that Senator John Udoedehe has had in the last 16-20 years in our dear State as an opposition leader.

“It may interest you to know that Akpanudoedehe, who is candidate of our party, spent only six years in office in all of his political engagement.

“Six months as chairman of Uyo Local Government Area where he resigned on grounds of principle when the then military governor wanted him to enforce a particular order he felt will be against the interest of Uyo people; so he resigned.

“He was elected senator of the Federal Republic but was not inaugurated given the Abacha crises.

“He was re-elected a Senator where he spent only four years in the office. He did not do a second term. He was a Minister of the Federal Republic for just one year six months. If you add all of that, it’s a straight six years only.

“Now, there are persons who have been in government and if you calculate from when they came in as commissioners, senators, governors, House of Assembly member… they have spent a cumulative 16, to 20 years in one full stretch.

“The issues of development, issues of poverty and insecurity have always been there under their watch. They created and were part of the problem in many ways.

“These persons have been part and parcel of the team that brought Akwa Ibom State to this sorry state.

“As we move towards 2023, we are asking Akwa Ibom people to be wary of those who seek to fraternise with them merely because the corrupt and insensitive system they help to create has rejected them.

“The 2023 governorship election will be a referendum between government and opposition.

“The people of Akwa Ibom State will have to choose whether to continue to keep the PDP that has failed to meet their expectations or vote in Senator John Udoedehe, Akwa Ibom State opposition leader now governorship candidate of NNPP to implement radical ideas with radical prospect for a new Akwa Ibom State.

“It is only NNPP that has the face of opposition in Akwa Ibom State and ideology that is different from the PDP. The other conglomerations are splinter groups of government party which is the PDP.

“Opposition is not somebody losing a PDP ticket and moving to another party to contest. For you to be described as opposition and seen to be fit to replace the PDP, we must see how you have sympathised with the people when you were with the government party.

“When Akwa Ibom State was a killing field, did that person condemn it? When hunger and unemployment have become a threat to our existence, did that person sympathise with the people by asking government to act responsibly?

“So we want Akwa Ibom people to know that 2023 election will be between Government and opposition.

“They must not confuse themselves and vote back PDP parading as opposition.”

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