Over the years, Abia State appears unlucky in terms of governance, because of the paucity of ideas by people steering the affairs of the state. As the 2023 general election approaches, conscientious Abians who have been presented an opportunity to reset their fate have submitted through the African Action Congress a rare-breed politician, Bond Ohuche. In a long chat with Journalist, Damilare Adenola, the well-educated professional rides throughis fortune of life-changing plans for Abians.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Chief Bond Christian Oluchukwu Ohuche. I’m a native of Amoba, in Arochukwu kingdom, Arochukwu LGA of Abia state. I’m married with two children
I attended primary school in Onunweke primary school where my mother taught from 1980 to 1986. Became the general monitor.
Attended St Augustine’s seminary Ezzangbo and finished secondary school at Izzi high school where I became the deputy senior perfect, founder and leader of the school’s debate and jets clubs.
I proceeded to university of Nigeria, NSUKKA thereafter. I have a degree in geology and mining. A masters degree in hydrogeology. A B.Ed degree in political science/education. I’m also a member of the international water association, UK
Why did you decide to run for the No 1 office in the state?
My state, Abia, is not making progress. From lack of statecraft by her leaders to infrastructural decay. Civil servants and retired personnel are owed years of salaries and pensions. Waste has taken over the state and it’s impossible to access over 70 percent of local government areas from the capital!
For instance, in my kingdom of Arochukwu, there’s no Abia to Abia road to it. One must go through akwa ibom to access my kingdom. Are you aware that even primary school teachers just returned from a prolonged strike? Healthcare delivery is zero! So zero that the incumbent governor boasted about giving mothers 500naira as palliative after childbirth! What impudence!!!
Seeing all these ills bedeviling my dear state and after a comprehensive assessment of all sectors, I decided to join the race, having armed myself with the necessary skills and mostly home made, Affordable solutions to the state’s problems
How would you rate the performance of the incumbent government?
Zero! They’re not paying salaries and pensions. They’re not building durable roads. They’re not equipping the hospitals. They’re not evacuating waste nor converting same to power and other better uses. They’re not building nor encouraging the building of industries and new businesses. They’re not inspiring confidence. They’re only using the state media to spread propaganda and using some other means to subjugate the people who challenge them.
But hope is coming!
What are your plans for the state?
Our government will massively deploy technology across schools and provide what we call relevant Education which focuses on skills acquisition so as to ensure that our graduands and graduates are employable, self reliant and useful to both selves and society.
Our government will establish three modular refineries within the first year to process Abia’s crude oil for pms, diesel and kerosene. These refineries will not only provide the needed jobs but also ensure that our oil communities and some other Abians have some level of equity in the shareholding of the refineries. This will ensure the security of the investments and also their sustainability as a formidable going concern over next decades.
Our government will implement an organic security policy that focuses on getting the people who own the lands and forests to police them. Every inch of land in Abia state is owned by one family or community and nobody can better protect your space than yourself. They and our regular security agencies will in turn counter police each other while working together to secure our people, their farms, and sundry properties. Security is not just about guns and bullets. If it were, then heavy arms-producing nations would have been the safest in the world! In our particular case, we’ll equally implement policies that ensure that the incentives for crime are annihilated. Our people are hard-working people and need just the appropriate and targeted government policy kick-off to realign towards productivity.
Our government will build micro and mini turbines of not more than 2MW each and partner with the EEDC to use these captive power stations and electrify our state so as to power our local economy which is near comatose owing to the high cost of diesel and associated costs. The business models of these power stations will be such that host communities also own some reasonable volume of equity in their shareholding so as to ensure its security and sustainability as a profitable business cum social service.
Our government will build durable roads using a mixture of both cement and asphalt depending on the geotechnical configurations of the benefitting communities. The contracts for these roads will also be structured in such a way that benefiting communities also share a percentage of the profits accruing to the contractors.
Our government will use the town unions and other registered associations to implement a very robust healthcare insurance policy. This will ensure that our citizens access primary to tertiary healthcare services, including burial/support funds just by paying token annual insurance premium which may not be up to 15,000naira to cover the entire family members. These we’ll do while upgrading health facilities, recruiting and adequately renumerating healthcare workers optimally with a special focus on their welfare.
Our government will implement robust waste to Wealth program which will not only ensure we have a cleaner environment but also help Abians get paid for disposing their waste appropriately. The ones for recycling will be done while using the rest to generate electricity.
Our government intends to socialize profits and privatize losses instead of the reverse scenario which our looting elite have subjected us to.
Our government will deploy technology to ascertain our staff strength and both pensions and salaries exposures. We will take very concrete steps from inception to restructure the pensions scheme, pay off the backlog and migrate the ones in active service into a more rewarding and zero fraudulent pension scheme. This will boost productivity in the public service and eliminate the incentives for age falsification and stealing due to a hopeless pension scheme that doesn’t secure their future.
My dear people of Abia state. Today I present you with a choice. To either continue on same trajectory that has placed us at the bottom of the comity of sub national governments or to make a clean break from the chains and commence an assured voyage into productivity, mass prosperity and bliss.
For me and my household, we’ll go with this credible alternative which AAC and her candidates represent!