Major candidates for Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State were on Sunday subjected to governorship debate at the Emmaus House Complex, Awka, the state capital.
The debate, organised by Channels Television, was an opportunity for the candidates to intimate the people on their administrative blueprints and canvassed for votes from the electorate.
The candidates were Dr. Tony Nwoye of All Progressives Congress (APC); Governor Willie Obiano of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Dr. Oseloka Obaze of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Chief Godwin Ezeemo of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA); and Chief Osita Chidioka of United People Party (UPP).
Fielding questions at the events, Governor Obiano said the vision of his administration is to make Anambra State the first choice investment destination and a hub for industrialisation and commercial activities.
Obiano noted that his mission is to create a socially stable, business-friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in Anambra State.
The APGA candidate stressed that prior to his administration, insecurity had eaten deep into the economic fabrics of the state, saying that within a year, he arrested insecurity which gave rise to influx of investors, social and economic activities.
He said, “69 people were kidnapped in the previous administration, but now, people are enjoying, walking freely and bringing traditional marriages home.
“The security in the state has attracted wealth to the state. Today, Anambra gets a billion naira every month. I have maintained constant payment of salary. My policies prevented Anambra from experiencing recession.”
Obiano said he would sustain heavy investments in agriculture. He observed that Anambra State today has started exporting tubers of yam to the United States and Europe.
Speaking on the ongoing construction of International City Airport, Obiano explained that Anambra had no financial obligations as it was a tripartite arrangements with Chinese Company.
Obiano said he grew the Anambra State economy by N1 trillion from N2.8 trillion in the administration of his predecessor to N3.98 trillion within three and half years in the office.
He said that was possible because of inflow of investment outside the state due to effective security he has provided for the state.
But Obiano declined to speak on the quarrel between him and his predecessor, Mr. Peter Obi, who has been leading the campaign against him through the candidature of Oseloka Obaze, the PDP governorship candidate.
He however said a demand to pay certain amount of money was made on him for allegedly funding his campaign but he declined because they did not owe any body.
Obiano said he was the only person who can drive the state not his opponents who have not actually have the experience to govern the State.
On his part, the candidate the APC, Dr. Tony Nwoye, said his vision had been to engage every youths meaningfully and take them off the streets.
Nwoye, who debunked the allegation associating him with cultism and vandalism, said he had been protecting the rights of the people as an activist.
He said: “I have employed over 150 youths as a legislator. I condemned the proscription of IPOB by the present administration. They are fighting for their rights and they need to be given fair hearing.
“I will build vast roads especially in the rural communities to connect other agrarian communities to expedite exportation.
Nwoye said his administration would anchor on education, health, housing, infrastructure, portable water and many more.
Also, the candidate of the PDP, Dr. Oseloka Obaze, noted he would conduct local government election within six months of his emergence as governor.
Obaze maintained that he would fix the state to retain its glorious position which it had lost.
In another development, the candidate of the UPP, Chief Osita Chidioka, restated that he would apply principal of wisdom and morality in his government.
Chidoka explained he would embrace high vision and sustainability as well as change the bearings of the state and invest more on individuals and infrastructure.
The UPP candidate also harped on the need to give freedom to the people as enshrined in the constitution.
The Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate, Chief Godwin Ezeemo, believed that investing on the people of the state is the best factor of development.
The candidates in their closing remarks promised to lift the state if elected.
The debate ended by peaceful exchange of pleasantries by the candidates.
Alphonsus Nweze and John Ndu, Awka