Former Abia Deputy Governor, Chris Akomas, has decried the alleged abandonment of the Federal Government’s dry port (Inland Containers Depot) situated at Ntigha in Isialangwa North Local Government Area of the state.
Akomas, who said that he was instrumental to securing the large expanse of land for the project, expressed regrets that 17 years after the first groundbreaking ceremony, work had yet to begin on the project.
He spoke at an interactive session with members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abia council at his Nenu country home in Obingwa LGA on Tuesday.
He said that the federal government’s inability to begin and complete the project had continued to deny the state the expected huge economic benefits.
Akomas, who confirmed his ambition to run for governorship on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in 2019, said that he would ensure the realisation of the project, if given the mandate.
He said: “I will do everything possible to ensure that the project is realised when I become governor in 2019.”
He expressed delight that federal government had paid 100 per cent compensation to the landowners.
The former governor said that he had developed a roadmap that would bring sustainable development to the state as against the haphazard approach by successive governments.
He said: “There is no way the state can move forward if the basic foundation was not laid.
“I have prepared the roadmap that would help to lay the foundation for the sustainable development of the state.”
He regretted that 27 years after its creation, Abia had yet to witness the much expected transformation, especially in road infrastructure.
Akomas said: “Nothing has changed. Travelling from Umuahia to Arochukwu, Aba, Ikwuano and so on, the story is still the same.”
He promised to address the massive infrastructure deficit and work to ensure that the dividend of democracy spread round the three senatorial districts.
Akomas also promised to initiate deliberate policies for the revival of agriculture and industries that had remained moribund for many decades in the state.
He said that the essence was to create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth and generate revenue to make the state less dependent on federal allocation.
He gave assurance that he would be in office for one term to complete the second tenure for Abia south senatorial district.
He said: “I intend to replace Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and I will only run for one term so that I would complete the second term for Abia south.”
Akomas, who said that he was an advocate of five-year single tenure, said that he would hand over to another zone after his tenure to ensure smooth power shift.
He said: “Abia north and central have taken their eight years. It is only fair and just that Abia Central should also take eight years.
“I can only govern for one term so that power can move to another zone. I am ready to sign any document on this, which could be circulated to every nook and cranny of the state.”
The former deputy governor, who fell out of favour with his former boss, Senator Theodore Orji, leading to his resignation in 2010, commended Orji for faciltiating the power shift to Abia south.
He said that achieving the feat had finally given effect to the Abia charter of equity which, upon the creation of the state, recommended power rotation among the component units.
He promised to provide transparent, visionary and quality governance, devoid of any negative external influence.
He said: “I am running for governorship as Chris Akomas not anybody’s crony.”
He also added that he did not depend on any god-father for sponsorship.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Ministry of Transport took up the dry port, located on the Abia axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, in April 2006.