Why I Want To Be Governor - Ikem

APC governorship aspirant, Barr. Venatius Ikem

By Bassey Ita

Not deterred by last week's violent attempt to disrupt his formal declaration for the governorship race of Cross River State, former Presidential Aide, Barr. Venatius Ikem has declared that his ambition was anchored on the desire to meet the critical needs of the greater number as already diagnosed by him and introduce ground breaking reforms in the social and economic life of the state that will sustain the attendant growth.

Barr. Ikem whose letter of intent to the All Progressives Congress, APC, conveys his reason for contesting the governorship race said he will leverage his competence and vast experiences in his public service career spanning over two decades.

An indigene of Obudu, Ikem had last weekend defied violent attack by thugs allegedly hired by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to declare his intention for the governorship ticket of the APC.

He had submitted a letter of intent to the APC chapter Chairman of Obudu, Matthias Ogbelishior.

The letter reads in part, ''By the grace of God, my aspiration is based on my passionate belief and confidence that I can discharge the function of the office of Governor creditably well based on a verifiable track record of achievement in my varied public service career spanning over two decades now''.

He maintained that by '' the multifaceted experiences'' in public service, he has been enabled to understand the rudiments of public administration that has built his capacity and ability to adapt to any given office and to innovate in the process stating that '' this is most critical at this point in time in the management of our state's people and her resources ''.

Mr. Ikem remarked that in the months ahead, through a blueprint for social and economic reforms, his diagnosis of the issues that require critical attention in the administration of the state will be unraveled adding that his agenda '' is built around the core values of leveraging the human resources(education) of the state and agriculture as the foundation for a sustainable industrial economy''.

According to him '' In the months ahead, I will make very bold recommendations aimed at addressing critical need areas and urgent social and economic reforms that I guarantee, working with the progressive manifesto of our party and her very passionate members and critical stakeholders, will deliver those needs that will reduce poverty to the barest minimum and most of all improve the overall wellbeing of all citizens and residents of Cross River State.

To achieve this, the governorship hopeful stated that ''we must raise the bar on our schools standards and expectations as well as invest both directly and indirectly through our grower schemes in cultivation of produce for the table, the factory and the market.

''We must fund and support entrepreneurs to invest in processing of indigenous produce and help them sustain the states economy through the production of goods and services, thereby creating jobs for our jobless youths.

''We must provide adequate and affordable Healthcare for our people by recreating the entire health architecture of our state which seems to have lost every semblance of a policy direction and help lift others above the poverty line.''

He said his prescriptions are  ''simply bases on what we all know but which for some bizarre and unfathomable reasons, our government has neglected in pursuit of the bizarre."

Ikem said he choose to serve in the most unimaginable ways thought possible and not to lead adding that his service to the people will be based on his sojourn and experiences in public service.

Remarking that his burden for service may have pitched him against some, the former PDP spokesman said '' I call on God and all those I have hurt to forgive me and instead judge me by my record of public service, which those who have encountered me will testify is driven by extreme passion to achieve results.''       

The governorship contender, Ikem was elected Chairman of Obudu local government area at 26 years. He was a two time Commissioner, former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Presidential Aide and member of the 2005 Political Reform Conference as well as member of the Presidential Committee for the Reform of the Local Government Administration in Nigeria.
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