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The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Oseloka H Obaze, has said Governor Willie Obiano’s continued expenditure of the state’s resources on media hype and propaganda will not save him from the imminent loss. He said the only thing capable of securing the incumbent another mandate in a state like Anambra is visible dividends of democracy, not hype.

Speaking to Oraezue Non-Natives, a group of the non-indigenes resident in Nkpor, Idemmili North Local Government Area of the state, Obaze said Obiano’s reelection bid has continued to suffer immense deficits, despite the enormous resources expended on media and publicity, because his government performed poorly.

He expressed dismay that there are no projects on the ground to justify the amount of money that accrued to the state both in savings, internally generated revenue, federal allocations, Local Government allocations, ecological funds, budget support, Paris Club refund and other accruals.

Giving a hint as to how he plans to govern the state, Obaze said his government, if elected, will dedicate 26% of the state’s budget to education as against the 3% it currently receives.

According to him, the increased funding of the education sector will allow the state offer free and qualitative education to students from kindergarten to JSS 3.

He also said the increased education funds will provide for qualified and properly remunerated teachers, teacher training and retraining, access to computer and Internet facilities, teaching and learning aids, appropriately sized classrooms, as well as well furnished laboratories.

Obaze said his government will prioritise development at the grassroots and pledged to conduct transparent Local Government elections within the first six months of his administration. This he said he will do, in addition to granting Local Government administrations full autonomy, because he believes that governance is best felt at the grassroots.

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He chided the practice were hospitals require initial deposits, and sometimes police documents, before responding to emergencies. He said he will, as a governor, send an executive bill to the State House of Assembly to enact a law that will mandate hospitals to “respond to emergency situations first and ask questions later.” if elected. He promised to back up the law by floating a charity care fund that will ensure hospitals do not incur losses in the process.

Speaking during the consultative meeting, the immediate-past governor of the state, Mr Peter Obi, while canvassing for the candidate of his party PDP, said the only criteria for re-election is visible dividends of democracy. According to him, Gov Obiano’s scorecard is too poor to earn him another tenure. He argued that a governor who did not do well in his first term will perform even worse if given another term.

Continuing, Obi said, “when we tell people that his (Obiano) poor performance in office is not enough to get him re-elected, they boast that they have money to buy all the votes needed to win. To that I say, Mr Willie Obiano came to this state with nothing, so the money he is sharing is the money he would have spent on our roads, schools, hospitals, invested in social welfare and addressed several unmet needs of our society.

“If they give you money, collect it, it is our money. But after that, cast your votes based on conviction. While you do that, please remember that the future of our children and children’s children is at stake. Our children deserve to be trained in well-equipped schools, they deserve a better future. That is what this election is about” Obi concluded.

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