Youths from the six different Local Government Areas (LGAs) that make up Abia South Senatorial District on Friday threw their weights behind Hon. Dame Blessing Nwagba, as their preferred choice to represent their zone in the Senate for the next four years.
The youths drawn from Ugwunagbo, Obingwa, Ukwa East, Ukwa West, Aba South and Aba North LGAs decried the level of abandonment in the zone and complete lack of Federal presence.
Addressing newsmen, lamented that while other youths from other zones are getting several Federal Government empowerment programmes, youths of Abia South Senatorial District are left behind.
They decried the total abandonment of Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state and Eastern business hub by several political office holders.
They said that such level of abandonment has led to several decayed infrastructure expected of both the Federal and State government to fix to be left forgotten while several businesses have collapsed.
Alex Ugbor, one of the youth leaders said, “We say enough of all these party politics. We are wider now. We can’t continue to celebrate and entitle a certain political party to us when we’ve not seen any impact.
“2023 is a time for us to seek men and women who are willing to serve our people. Abia South is the most important Senatorial Zone in Abia State.
“The oil Abia boast of is from here, the huge markets and industries are here, when a zone has the great Enyimba City of Aba Inside it, what else are we talking about?
“But are we seeing the impacts? The answer is no. Dame Blessing Nwagba is someone we see as a perfect representative.”
Obinna Gabriel, another youth leader said, “She is a mother and I’m sure she cannot watch her own children suffer as we are suffering in this zone. We know her impact in the Abia State House of Assembly back then.
“We remember how some of her oversight functions helped in the past. We know she developed the legislative framework that drove multinational investment promotion into Abia.
“That move ensured that regulation is well defined for their operations. Sample industries overseen include the Nigerian Bottling Company, Nigerian Breweries, Starline Paper Mills, and Guinness.
“We’ve not forgotten how she directed several monitoring exercises to verify the implementation of government industrial policies in major industries and markets such as the Ubani Ibeku market, and the Industrial market.
“We have not also forgotten how her lawmaking prowess because she sponsored the bill (passed into law) on mandatory inclusion of blood group on all ID cards in the state – enabling drastically reduced response in emergencies requiring blood transfusion.
“She sponsored the bill (passed into law) on institutional support for disability in 2013 and currently undergoing enforcement.
“She sponsored the bill on critical security and inclusion of CCTV in public spaces across all of Abia State and drove the Abia State bill on widowhood rights.
“Who in Abia has forgotten how she contributed to debates on both public and private bills proposed and passed into law? So, there’s nothing we need to contemplate about supporting her.
“2023 I’d no longer about any political party. It is about personalities and their track records. We can’t allow unserious persons to make predict and win the outcome of Abia State elections anymore.
“We’ll shock so many persons who think that our votes don’t count. We’ve suffered enough and voting wrongly will put us into more poverty for the next four years. Aba and Abia South deserve more than we’ve gotten.
“We’ll resurrect the spirit of Enyimba for Nwagba’s victory. You know that the spirit of Enyimba is a spirit of victory. She has the support of both indigenous people and settlers. No matter the party she’s coming with, her success is about her antecedents and records.”
Speaking on her political move toward the Senate, Nwagba an aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the 2019 governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) described herself as the best among all other aspirants to represent Abia South in the Senate.
She said she sees herself as the best because of her pedigree, legislative experience, educational qualification, integrity and clarity of wisdom of her constituency which will always help her in ensuring they get perfect representation in the Red Chamber.
Nwagba frowned against a youth empowerment programme which she described as keke/okada (tricycle and motorcycle) empowerment syndrome where young people including graduates are given tricycles and motorcycles to ride and fend for themselves.
She stressed that any form of empowerment that does not improve the living standards of the receivers is not worth celebrating, adding that Abia South youths and women deserve better empowerment programmes.
She said, “The youths of Abia South must be adequately empowered and I’ll champion gender equality and ensure that women were carried along in decision making.
“I’ll partner with legislators and the executive including MDAs and parastatals at the Federal level to attract needed economic infrastructure and agricultural development projects to attract the needed turnaround in the dilapidated state of Aba and Abia South.
“I’ll attract information technological programme for the youths to enable them to meet up with the rest of the world as they’ve been virtually left behind.
“I’ll build on what the present Senator has done, being the voice of the people, raise the status of Abia South, Abia State and Ndigbo to a dignifying level in Nigeria.”