Imo State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, Emeka Ihedioha, has raised the alarm over the rising debt profile of the Eastern Heartland, saying the state was indebted to the tune of $63 million as at December 2017.
This, according to the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, is despite the over N3 trillion that accrued to the state from the federation account in the past seven years, but which has not been matched with any developmental project.
Ihedioha disclosed this while on a consultation tour to the various electoral wards in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of the state.
Although that state is in an abyss, it requires a seasoned administrator, experienced technocrat with both local and international connections to liberate it from the woods, he said.
Now warming up again for the 2019 governorship battle in the state, Ihedioha argued that good governance through strict adherence to the rule of law, due process, principles of separation of powers coupled with efficient and judicious utilisation of resources would restore the lost glory of the state.
He decried the plight of pensioners, judges and civil servants in the state arising from non-payment of salaries, and thus pledged to remedy the situation.
Other plans he has to return Imo to its past glory if elected governor next year include to re-create development centres and restore local government administration to fast-track grassroots transformation.
The PDP chieftain, relying on his legislative experience, assured that the House of Assembly would be given the opportunity to carry out its oversight, representative and legislative functions, even as he would take steps to reposition and revitalise the education and health sectors now lying comatose in the state.
“For now, out of the 11 general hospitals in the state, only one is functioning; no single radiologist or x-ray machine in the state civil service and the IMSUTH cannot graduate a single medical doctor just as we have only five pharmacists in this state,” the ex-federal lawmaker lamented.
He explained that the consultation exercise was to enable him see the party leaders and ward executives to inform them that the time had come for all members of the party to work as a formidable team, to face the battle ahead.
While calling for discipline and seriousness to duty, Ihedioha appealed to former members of the party who had defected to other parties to return to their original base, boasting that the PDP had been reformed and re-energised, to bounce back to power in 2019.