Immediate past Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Theodore Orji, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue has berated the state Chapter of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for describing the proposed Abia airport as macabre drama.
Emezue who spoke to newsmen in Umuahia at the weekend called on APGA to be constructive in its criticism of the programmes and policies of the state government rather out of malice.
Abia state chapter of APGA, had in a statement signed by its chairman, Prince Nnanna Ukaegbu , described Gov. Theodore Orji’s plan to build an airport in the state as a macabre drama. The party posited that an airport is not a priority for Abia state with less than 15 months to the tenure of the present administration as it could make do with the Sam Mbakwe Airport at Owerri or the Akanu Ibiam International Airport at Enugu.
“How can a government be talking of building an airport less than 15 months to the expiration of its tenure? This is another propaganda stunt; a man who cannot drink tea is talking of drinking ‘over-tea’. An airport is not a priority for Abia state. There are airports in Imo and Enugu states. The best is to treat the state government with the ignominy it deserves because the airport issue does not merit a response,” APGA said.
But in a reaction to APGA’s criticism of the proposed airport project, Emezue said, “There are things people do or say at times that are out of malice. Since it is Gov. Theodore Orji that said it, it must be condemned. Don’t we have an airport in Calabar and the Akwa Ibom people have built another one in Uyo? Don’t we have airport in Benin City and a new one at Asaba, Delta state? Why didn’t the Akwa Ibom or Delta people say we have airport in Calabar or Benin City, we are not going to build our own? There is nothing wrong with the timing of the airport project whether it is close to 2015 or not because government is a continuous entity even if It was not completed by this administration, I believe the succeeding one will also understand the importance of the project and complete it.”
Emezue described the building of airport in Abia state as a priority stressing that it would boost the economy of the state.
“Building an airport in Abia state is a priority. We are always talking of investors. An airport will ensure that our investors come straight to Abia state. We have Aba as the commercial nerve centre of the South East zone. How do you boost tourism if not encouraging the ease of movement of people? Do you know how many times we have gone to other people’s airport and got disappointed? It is giant step for Abia to plan to have its airport. Abia is an oil producing state with a viable commercial town.
“Some states that don’t have a viable commercial city boast of an airport and it have been a big boost to their economy. Abia cannot afford to lag behind to tap from our huge potentials and develop the economy of our state,” the former chief press secretary added..