Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji, Ebonyi All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate has kicked off his campaign at Ezillo in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi.
Ogbuoji, while addressing crowd of APC supporters at the rally which ended late on Monday, said he would focus on tackling unemployment, civil service and education sector reforms, if elected.
He said that his commitment was for the liberation and restoration of the state, bringing it back to the ideals that the founding fathers fought for before its creation.
He regretted that Ebonyi was the only state in the federation without permanent secretaries saying that his administration would appoint permanent secretaries to oversee the government ministries.
Ogbuoji, a serving Senator representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District, noted that payment of salaries, promotion and enhancement of welfare of civil servants in the state would be given priority under his administration.
“We will reform our civil service sector, appoint permanent secretaries to oversee our ministries, departments and agencies, pay our workers living wage and ensure that pensioners receive their pensions and gratuities fully and when due.
“We are going to ensure that their promotions are regular with accruing financial benefits; we will enhance productivity within the civil service by providing regular training and retraining of workers,” he said.
He claimed that education standard in the state nose dived under the present leadership in the state and promised to take a holistic reform of the sector.
“We are going to reform and reposition our education sector to make products from our academic institutions compete favourably with their counterparts in other climes.
“Education is the foundation of every human development and so, we are going to prioritise our educational system to make it more service-driven.
“36 public secondary schools in our state have been black listed from writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE); if you are not educated, you will remain in perpetual slavery.
“APC government will give our people functional education to free them from bondage because education gives you freedom; education exposes you to liberty; education makes you self-reliant and more productive,” he said.
Ogbuoji promised to embark on youth and sports development to enable sporting men and women in Ebonyi uncover their hidden sporting talents.
He lamented that the state was the only state which did not field contingents at the recently concluded National Sports Festival held in Abuja.
“APC government will expose our boys, our girls and our youths to sports through sports development.
“We want to develop from this state the likes of Kanu Nwankwo, Mary Onyali, Obiageri who are sports men and women of repute of Igbo origin; these types can also come from Ebonyi,” he said.
He urged the people to vote massively for APC candidates in the Feb. 16 presidential and national assembly elections and in the March 2, governorship and state houses of assembly polls.
Ogbuoji said that APC in Ebonyi had concluded plans to successfully host President Muhammadu Buhari for his campaign tour in the state on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
He said that Buhari’s re-election would consolidate fight against corruption, infrastructural development, job creation and youth empowerment among others.
He appealed to the people to continue to support the programme and policies of the present administration of Mr President.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 1000 members of the PDP and other political parties in Ishielu decamped to the party.