Governorship aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Terver Tule has promised to eradicate what he described as ‘artificial poverty’ in Benue state within the first one if elected as the governor in 2023.
The medical expert who made the promise when he appeared on the ongoing gubernatorial debate organized by the Benue state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Makurdi said, the state was not lacking in both human and natural resources but lack of opportunity to harness the potentials.
“I will institutionalize a healthy Benue state for development and eradicate artificial scarcity and poverty. What we lack, I will harness it for greater agriculture, economic, Security, food and shelter.”
Doctor Tule who served as the Executive Secretary of the Benue State Health Management Board, noted that Benue state can survive without federal allocation like Lagos state.
“When the then President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld federal allocation to councils in Lagos state, it still survived because they were tapping from the Internally Generated Revenue to their advantage.”
He expressed worry that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has pegged the unemployment rate in Benue state at 2.3% while poverty stood at 3.9% in its recent rating; saying his 21 years as medical practitioner has placed him in a better position to know the health challenges of the state.
“You must be healthy to practice agriculture, law, business, politics and governance. Therefore, revamping and equipping the near moribund healthcare system in the rural communities of the state will receive a boost and top propriety.”
According to the medical expert, a research he carried out in the recent past indicates that 5,000 stakeholders were interviewed across the 23 local government areas where the needs of each community was captured; noting that creation in 1976, no government presence was felt in his council ward of Mbayongu in Vandeikya area.
While decrying the huge deficit of development across the state, he noted with dismay that successive regimes in the state appears to focus development plans in urban councils of Makurdi, Gboko and Otukpo at the detriment of other 20 local governments which he promised to address if elected as governor in 2023 general election.
He therefore, challenged Benue electorate to rally round him as a person with a knowledge and solution to remove the state out of the shackles of poverty since Benue state he said has no link with poverty.
Similarly, governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Archbishop Jim James Okewu has promised to build an OLYMPIC standard stadium in Makurdi the state capital as a way of rejuvenating sports in the state.
The guber aspirant explained that such a stadium will be playing host to international sporting events thereby, attracting internally Generated Revenue and arresting youth restiveness in the state.
Responding to a question, Bishop Okewu said cultism is a creation of people of like minds be it in the church, sports, Bank that accommodate only members and seen nothing wrong with it; saying only killing aspects that would be fought out if elected as governor.
He also promised to use his connection as a preacher of international repute to bring a storage system that would make mango, orange and other perishable items to stay year round.