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General News of Monday, 5 September 2022


My mission is to liberate Benue people from endemic poverty – APC Governorship candidate

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The governorship candidate of the APC in Benue, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, announced on Sunday that his main mission in politics was to liberate the people of Benue from endemic poverty.

Alia in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that he had resolved to liberate the people of Benue from incompetent leadership.

The statement was signed by the Media Adviser to the Governorship Candidate, Mr Ado Mohammed.

He said that time had come to end “the unconscionable looting of public funds, poverty and economic backwardness” that had characterised the state since its creation on Feb. 3, 1976.

According to him, it is regrettable that most of the successive rulers of the state have sustained blatant disregard for the well being of the people of the state.

“Successive rulers of the state have failed to address the plight of the governed and have failed to harness the enormous natural and human resources of the state for the benefit of the citizenry,’’ he said.

Alia disclosed that he had put together a “bold and strategic comprehensive plan of action, aimed at reinvigorating key areas of the state’s local economy”.

He said that the blueprint would spur economic growth, generate productivity and prosperity and improve the standard of living of Benue citizens.

The governorship hopeful said that the APC campaign manifesto and development blueprint would be unveiled at the stipulated time for electioneering campaigns as outlined by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“I have always believed that a sustained comprehensive growth and technological advancement of the nation is partly hinged on equitable distribution of prosperity and improved standard of living of the people.”

Alia identified key ingredients of economic development and national transformation as agricultural transformation, food security, education, communication technology, industrialisation and commerce.

He named others as rural development, human and social development, security, tourism and environmental management.

The APC chief regretted that as the global leader with 70 per cent share of global production of yam and cassava, Nigeria was yet to be recognised as an exporter of the products.

He said that Nigeria was instead, trailing behind Ghana, which according to him, is responsible for 75 per cent of all yam exports from Africa.

“Of the 60 million tonnes of yam produced annually by Nigeria, which comes majorly from Benue State, only 200 tonnes are exported and 30 per cent of this meagre figure rots in transit, due to poor preservation.

“Yam farmers and exporters have continued to count their losses, rather than counting their gains at the end of each farming season,” Alia said.

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