Abakaliki – Dr Paul Okorie, a former Commissioner for Works, Housing and Environment, has declared his intention to run for the office of governor of Ebonyi in the 2019 general elections.
Okorie who officially declared his interest on Wednesday in Abakaliki, is contesting under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Okorie, popularly call Action, said his decision to run for the position of governor, was predicated on his desire to restore the lost glory and image of the state as well as restore confidence in political leadership.
Okorie decried leadership ineptitude of the present leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and assured that his administration would deliver credible, qualitative and transparent governance.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, party faithful and our supporters, this declaration is not about me. It is about Ebonyi and all of us; it is about what we can do together.
“It is the vehicle of our hopes and dreams; it is about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose and realising that few obstacles cannot withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.
“This is why I am in the race. I am not just in the race to hold office, but together with you to transform the state.
“You will recall that I have held public offices before and I used each of the positions to improve the lots of Ebonyi people.
“In both public and private life, I have always maintained high level of integrity and prudence, ” Okorie said.
Okorie said that his administration would pursue seven key agenda, including infrastructure development, security, health, agriculture, sports development, education, economic and social development, if elected governor.
He promised to restore public water supply which had gone comatose in both urban and the rural areas of the state.
The former commissioner who also was a general manager of the defunct Ebonyi State Water Corporation, added that the declaration was a declaration of freedom, a declaration of prosperity and economic emancipation of Ebonyi.
He pledged to combine physical infrastructure development with stomach infrastructure development to give every citizen a sense of belonging.
Okorie said though the party leadership had opted for indirect primary to choose its flag bearers for different positions in the 2019 elections, he had always preferred direct primary election to give party members free hands to elect their candidates.
He told the crowd of supporters and party faithful who gathered to witness the declaration that nothing would stop the ambition.
“And I want to remind us that in spite the zone of anyone contesting, it will not stop our journey half way.
“During the 2015 election, when as a PDP aspirant I saw that the system had been hijacked from Abuja, I wasn’t discouraged.”
He warned the people of the state never to repeat the mistakes they made during the 2015 general elections.
He urged the card carrying members of the party to be very careful as some politicians were already out to buy their conscience as they prepared for the Saturday, Sept. 29 governorship primary.
“We have to be very careful this time around. We are already in a mess as a people. So, let us not allow people to come and throw us into deeper mess.
“We have heard that some politicians want to buy delegates and lodge them in a hotel ahead of Saturday’s governorship primary in the state.
“They will be pleasing your body; don’t allow them please your conscience.
“If you allow them please your conscience and make you do the wrong thing, the sufferings of our people will continue”, he cautioned.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okorie is from the same Ohaozara Local Government Area where the incumbent governor, Chief Dave Umahi hails from.