Abia state governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof Gregory Ibe, has pledged to implement an all-inclusive governance policy that will be gender sensitive if elected governor.
Speaking when the leadership of Ngwa Daughters Development Association, Abuja branch paid him a courtesy visit, Prof Ibe praised the enterprising spirit of Abia women, which according to him has continued to be a fundamental support system for the development of the state. He promised to leverage the inherent business acumen of Abia women in taking the Small and Medium Enterprises sector in the state to a higher level.
He recalled with nostalgia his past and current engagements in Ngwa land, including construction of Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), donation of weaving materials to Ngwa women and award of university education scholarship to more than 180 students from the Ukwa La Ngwa region.
According to Prof Ibe,” With a lot of nostalgia I want to appreciate you for this visit as I struggle with emotion recalling the period I lived in Obingwa, Umule and Ekenna street Aba respectively, the sweet memories of my experience while building the Abia State University Teaching Hospital and the friendships I have cherished with many great sons of Ngwa extraction, including Chief Chukwu Nwachukwu, Eld John Nwangborogwu, Iyke Anyatonwu, Reagan Ufomba, and those that have gone to be with Lord, His eminence Eze Bernard Enweremadu, Chief Allen Nwachukwu, Justice Izima, Iyke Daniels, just to mention a few”.
He pledged to leverage the APGA philosophy of ‘Onye Aghala Nwanneya’ to ensure the good dispensation of “a populist decentralized governance structure where no one or group will be left behind while guaranteeing equitable and even development of all zones and sectors”. He stated that subsequent upon his recent meeting with leadership of Nigeria Union of Pensioners in Umuahia, he is now more determined than ever to launch a public service reform policy that would eliminate the sad tale of unpaid pensions and gratuities, which according to him constitutes a major challenge to Nde Ngwa who form a large chunk of the workforce in the public sector.
Contending that he is better positioned to develop not only Ala Ngwa but the entire state, he enjoined the women to play their part by acquiring Permanent Voter Cards to enable them participate in the process of bringing positive change to Abia.
Earlier in an address delivered by their President Ngozi Nwaokenneya, the women stated that they came to convey “the unanimous decision of the entire members of Ngwa Daughters Development Association worldwide to confer on him an Award of Excellence in recognition of of his immense contributions towards Women, Children and Youth Empowerment”.
According to Mrs Nwaokenneya, the award will be presented to Prof Ibe during an event that is specially organized to “ celebrate women, promote Ngwa/Igbo culture and recognize men and women who have distinguished themselves by empowering the widows, youth, children, women, orphans and less privileged people in our society to create a positive impact on their lives and to give them hope to live for tomorrow”.
Highlight of the visit was endorsement of Prof Ibe’s gubernatorial aspiration by the group which was further strengthened by a special prayer session evoking divine blessings on the political project and on Abia state.