DON'T PERSONALISE PUBLIC FUNDS, AMAECHI CHARGES POLITICIANS
Politicians and candidates in the forthcoming general elections have been advised to toe the path of transparency and accountability and shun the use of public funds to enrich themselves but focus on developing the society.
Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State gave the advice yesterday in Emohua on the second day of his month long campaign tour of the 23 local government areas of the state. He said as a governor, he recognised that transparency and accountability were key to good governance.
'There are two choices a governor must make - the choice to use public money to develop the society and the people or the choice to enrich your pockets and that of your colleagues and your cronies. I think the choice that faces a governor is the choice to develop the society and ensure that the people can fend for themselves,' Amaechi said.
'I hope that all of us running around and singing are not doing so because we plan to touch public funds. Let public funds be for the public and let our private funds be for ourselves. Good governance is the ability of the governor to show you your money and what your money is being used for and how it is being applied.'
The governor added that although it was a difficult task, it was government's responsibility to provide the right environment for the people to thrive.
'I agree it's not an easy thing for government to do but when we came into power in Rivers State, the crisis situation was enormous, crime was everywhere and people couldn't sleep comfortably. We knew that the solution was not just in policing; no matter how many policemen you bring out to the road, if you don't provide jobs, you'll certainly not provide solution to that; and we knew that one way to provide jobs is to start massive construction. We believe that once you start such things and people are working in such places, then you'll reduce crime.'
He assured Emohua people of good governance and more dividends of democracy as he had done within less than four years of being in office. He said out of 14 wards, seven health centres had been completed in Emohua LGA namely: Model Health Centres, Oduoha-Ogbakiri, Ibaa, Rumuewhor, Rumundele, Akpabor, Egbeda, Oduoha-Emohua. And out of 27 primary schools being built in Emohua, 14 were completed.
Governor Amaechi further hinted that his administration, if voted in for a second term, would focus on secondary health care. 'We will focus on the general hospitals before we leave but we believe we should take medical services to the people so that you don't have to be rushing to Emohua or Elele-Alimini. Leave the general hospitals for us, we will repair and renovate them for use, but first, let's take the health centres to our people.'
Earlier, Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Emeka Woke, thanked Governor Amaechi for bringing development to Emohua. He said over N10 billion had been expended in projects in Emohua by the Amaechi administration and assured the governor of 100 percent vote from Emohua people.
On his part, Sen. Geroge Sekibo stated that Governor Amaechi was a gift to Rivers people and a born leader. 'As an Okrika man, I'm jealous, I wish Amaechi is from Okrika.' He added that Amaechi had done well in Rivers State and was well respected and looked up to at the national level.
Also speaking at the campaign, Former member of the House of Representatives Hon. Chibudom Nwuche said, 'We have compared the past and the present, and there is a clear difference; and the difference is in developments, infrastructure, education, health care and in security.'
'Much before now, a lot of us could not come to Port Harcourt freely because of security until Amaechi became governor. And now, every Rivers man, even those who are opposing him are in Port Harcourt, so he has brought back peace to our State. It is only logical to say that he is doing well and will continue doing well; that he builds upon what he has begun and he will do much more in his second term; and he is very open hearted.'
Other eminent Rivers sons who spoke in solidarity of the governor at the campaign rally include, Hon. Andrew Uchendu, Chief (Sgt.) Awuse, Rear Admiral Fingesi (rtd) and Chief Ken Etekuche amongst others.