Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Chief Uche Ogah, on Friday declared his interest to run for the Abia governorship seat in 2023.
Ogah, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), made his intention known at the party’s state secretariat in Umuahia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is his third attempt to govern the state.
In 2015, he was highly tipped to pick the PDP ticket but lost to sitting Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.
Again in 2019, he became the APC’s flag bearer but came a distant second behind Ikpeazu.
In a declaration speech, Ogah said his decision to join the race was to enable him to change “the ugly narrative of the state, when elected’’.
“I know that I have the capacity to transform our dear state.
“I will provide a visionary and purposeful leadership that would take the state to higher levels,’’ he said.
The oil magnate said he would leverage his wealth of experience as a successful businessman to make the state great.
He said that he would create an enabling environment that would make the state the destination for local and international investors.
“I shall engage captains of industry within and outside the country to bring rapid development to the state.
“I will make Abia work again through a robust synergy with the private sector,’’ he emphasised.
The minister added that: “Nigeria is blessed with many natural resources and if we properly harness them, there will be less emphasis on oil and gas.
“I will bring my experience in the private and public sectors to bring positive change to the lives of Abia people.
“My administration will be anchored on faith in God and social transformation.
“I plan to transform the economic, agricultural, educational, security and health sectors of the state.
“I want to reinvent the dreams of our founding fathers, where the rule of law shall thrive.
“We will reintroduce the agricultural revolution, which made the defunct Eastern Region one of the fastest growing economies in world then.’’
Ogah also promised to tackle the problem of dilapidated infrastructure and assured the electorate that he would provide quality roads and other social amenities.
He said that he would ensure adequate security of lives and property for businesses to thrive, especially in the major cities of Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia.
He also said that his administration would work assiduously to ensure functional education in the state.
Ogah said he would build standard hospitals in the three senatorial districts to meet the health needs of the people.
He also gave assurance that workers’ salaries and pensions would be paid as and when due, pointing out that “every labourer deserves his wages.’’
Responding, another chieftain of the party, Chief Acho Obioma, gave assurance that the party would provide a level playing field for all aspirants at the primary election.
Present at Ogah’s declaration was the former Chairman of the party in Abia, Chief Donatus Nwankpa.
Party stalwarts in attendance urged members to remain steadfast and positive, saying that the APC would produce the next governor of the state.