The Free Education Scheme of the Imo State Government was the key subject of discussion and condemnation by guber candidates of some political parties for the forthcoming elections at a debate organized by the Imo State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) held at the All Saint Anglican Church Cathedral, Egbu, near Owerri, last Monday.
So also, were other projects by the Okorocha administration were flayed without name-calling, innuendoes and derogatory statements – all in line with the rules of interaction as stipulated by CAN, Imo State Chapter.
Conspicuously absent at the interaction with other Governorship candidates, was Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who was said to be away out of the state, on official duties. In attendance were the governorship candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emeka Ihedioha; Mr Kenneth Ojiri (Acccord Party); Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho (APGA); Dr. Osmond Ukanacho (United Peoples Party); Mr Ngozi Olehi (Labour Party), and Captain David Mbamare (Social Democratic Party, SDP).
Kick-starting the debate of CAN tagged, ‘Let God choose through his people, who governs Imo State; Captain Ihenacho of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, chided the admiration for non-application of a integrated plan in its free education programme which would open up new vistas of opportunities for the products.
This , he said, would be on top of his priorities if elected as governor; he also berated the idea of spreading employed, saying that no governor can pre-empt jobs the latter are created by demands.
Captain Ihenacho promised to industrialize the state, consistent with his track record in business and industry.
The candidate for Labour Pary, Barr. Ngozi Olehi promised to exhibit proven accountability if elected, and bow to the rule of law which he said is being neglected in the present state of administration.
All told, he said, his if brought into power, would adhere to World Bank standards, and reverse the trend because as he put it, Imo State has been consigned to the jungles as a result of non-adherence with global market source.
Accord Party candidate, Mr Ken Ojiri canvassed a new economic model, and an x-ray of where the Imolites are in the throes of inefficient public/private sector, and a relatively unskilled labour.
He will if elected, increase internal revenue generation and debt management –using his track records in these areas.
Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP promised to return the pride of education to Imo, lost by inefficient programming.
He would also organize qualified artisans, now neglected and restore the value of society and retouch the Imo Master plan which he said has been distorted.
Labour Party’, Captain David Mbamara, frowned at what he described as free education without, as he claimed, lacked quality; absence of rule of law and the agric sector in doldrums.
These would be straightened up by him if elected next governor of Imo State.
Dr. Osmond Ukanacho of the United Peoples Party (UPP), re-echoed the alleged malfunctioning of the free education scheme and promised to revamp the health management scheme as well as the ADAPALM which he said would be in paralled with his new scheme for optimum functioning.
The last speaker and governorship candidate of the (ACPN), Chief Angus Amako, dwelt on a proposed economic watch, and compulsory insurance scheme for all cadre in the state.
The session ended with corporate prayer for the contestants.
The sanctity of the holy place of worship was upheld and the rules of the interaction, including clapping or ovation of any kind.
CAN comprise, Catholic Secretariat Nigeria (CSN), Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CFFN/PFN/ and the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), ECWA/TEKAN.