…PDP candidate pledges to apply amnesty, create 23,000 jobs in 100 days
It has been disclosed that over 136 hotels have shut down or left Imo State in the face of unknown gunmen menace and other forms of violent crimes.
A governorship candidate who wishes to change this ugly situation has revealed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, that he would set up an amnesty programme (which was introduced in Nigeria for the first time by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, through the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua in the Niger Delta).
The PDP candidate, Samuel Anyanwu, took his campaign to Port Harcourt at the weekend and justified this by saying the former governor of Rivers State, now FCT Minister Nyesom Wike, helped him become the party’s national secretary.
He said that before now, at weekends, all the hotels in Imo State were fully booked. Today, he lamented that once it’s 6 pm, nobody comes into the state again, either from Anambra, Enugu, Abia or Port Harcourt.
“But today, 40 percent of hotels in Imo State are up for sale. All the people employed in these hotels and eateries have been sacked. A hungry man is an angry man,” he said.
According to him, “Imo State capital had over 340 recognised hotels, the top 10 charging between $184 (N83,000 then but N164,000 now) and others $26 (N23,000 then and N11,000 now).
“Some of the top 10 hotels that attracted traffic from the South-East and South-South included Swiss International Beland Hotel, Beland Hospitality Hotel and Tours, Transtell Suites and Served Apartments, Full Moon Hotel, Axion Honours, All Season Hotel (Agoda), Toprate Luxury Hotel (perhaps the most expensive), Eastern Emirate Hotel Suites Limited, Maranatha, and All Seasons Hotel (regular).
“Now, more than 40 per cent of top and lower hotels are up for sale, and their owners are on the run because of insecurity and very low patronage.
“Before unknown gunmen took over, most people around the region preferred to wed or party in Owerri or Asaba. It seems the state has lost that edge.”
Justifying his proposed amnesty in Imo State, Anyanwu said insecurity had affected 40 per cent of hotels in Imo and that they had been put up for sale, meaning they are on the run.
If elected, he stated, he would create 23,000 jobs in the first 100 days.
The governorship candidate, speaking in the Ikoku motor spare parts section of Diobu, Port Harcourt, while addressing Imo indigenes and Motor Spare Parts Dealers, also said in the next few days, Imo State would wear a new look.
“Imo State will work. Come to Rivers State, you can see physical developmental infrastructure; Rivers State is an oil-producing state just like Imo State, but where are the infrastructures in Imo State from oil derivatives? Imo State gets an allocation of over N5 billion every month, and there is nothing to show for it.
“Over 2000 youths have been killed in Imo State, in Orsu LGA, Oru East LGA; young men are being killed every day in the name of IPOB and ESN. Every young boy is being killed there and tagged IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) and ESN (Eastern Security Network).”
From January 15th, when he said he would be sworn in, he would live in Imo State to solve the problem of Imo State.
“Within six months, I will conduct the LGA election, and people will be employed. I will give amnesty to our brothers in the bush. I will dialogue with them and re-integrate them into the society. That is what the late Yar’adua did in Niger Delta. You don’t use bombings to fight crime. You use dialogue and peace,” he said.
Anyanwu, the incumbent National Secretary of the PDP, lamented that there has been no LGA election in Imo State for the past eight years and no employment for the people. He also noted that the last medical doctors in Imo were employed in 2009.
“Those 10,000 civil servants that Ohakim employed and were later sacked. I will re-employ them. We will train and re-train our public school teachers and ensure our public schools compete with private schools.
“We had about 50 doctors, but today we have less than 30 doctors in Imo State. I will take care of the primary health centres. I will employ doctors. No community in Imo doesn’t have at least one doctor, but because there has been no employment, many of them have gone abroad.
“We are going to set up ICT hubs as well as commercial hubs in Imo State for Imo people all over the world to bring their businesses home, not to shut down their business in other places, but to bring a branch of their businesses home. And when you bring your business home, I assure you that there will be no multiple taxation and security.”
He went on to say that there would be no election rigging this time.
“Anyone who rigs will rig with their lives. If they are popular, let them allow a free and fair election. I am going to win them under a free and fair election.
“I will declare an emergency in the education and health sector. We will give room for criticism, and I’ll run our government with a human face. We will not arrest journalists and jail them for criticising our government.
“I will engage Imo youths in agriculture. I started my life as a farmer. You all have heard of Sam Daddy Farms. Some of the richest people in Israel today are farmers; Imo has a very fertile land to cultivate food and cash crops,” he said.
Also, the National President of Ikoku Spare Parts Dealers, Festus Onyekwe, assured that Ikoku Spare Parts Dealers would mobilise en-masse to vote for the PDP Candidate next Saturday.
Onyekwe supported Motor Spare Parts Dealers and Imo Citizens in Rivers State to endorse the Imo governorship candidate of PDP, citing his leadership qualities and transformational agenda.
Onyekwe said, “We are going to vote for Sam Anyanwu. From Thursday, buses will be available to take people home (Imo) so they can cast their votes on Saturday. There is so much insecurity and killings in Imo State, and that is why we’re supporting him so that he can put an end to the endless killings because we are tired. We will also mobilise our people at home to ensure the vote out insecurity next Saturday.”
Also, Charles Ibekwe, Igbo Youth Leader in Rivers State, assured Igbo youths in electing the governorship candidate next Saturday.
“We believe in the transformational agenda of Samuel Anyanwu, his leadership qualities both as an LGA chairman and as a senator and as National Secretary of PDP. Come 11th November 2023, we are all going down to Imo State to vote for you. We are solidly behind you. We have a lot of Imo people in this market.”
It needs to be clarified if any other candidate had visited Port Harcourt to seek support.