BY Abubakar Zakaria
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State has commiserated with victims of the flood disaster that occurred at the famous Ariaria International Market, Aba, leaving a trail of destruction of goods worth millions of naira.
The Abia APC Chaiman, Dr Kingsley Ononogbu conveyed the party’s sympathy to the affected traders in a statement he personally signed, saying that the disaster could have been avoided if the government of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has been sincere and purpose-driven.
He blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state “for not doing enough to avert the avoidable disaster as it got bogged down in the unending reconstruction of A- Line section of the market.
“The government created room for the disater when it failed to complete the ongoing re-construction of the A-line after promising the traders that the project would be ready before December 25 last year.
According to him, the snail pace of work at the section Ariaria market was no surprise as the Ikpeazu administration
has earned itself notoriety for failing behind completion schedule in projects executiion while expending humongous amounts and recording poor results.
He noted that the “unresponsive and irresponsible attributes of the present administration was fully at play in the flood disaster because there was no proper channelling of storm water despite repeated warnings”.
Ononogbu noted that given the strategic economic importance of the famous market as a major source of revenue for the state, the Ikpeazu administration should have ensured a seamless rehabilitation work at that section of the market.
The chairman of Abia’s main opposition party argued that an administration with a human-face which he said is what APC is coming with for Abia, would not have allowed such magnitude of disater to befall the people knowing too well that it is in power to cater for their welfare.
He faulted the government’s reaction and announcement of a two-year tax waiver for the victims as well as the panic steps to fix the problem, saying that they would be of little impact “without addressing their trauma and how to ameliorate the losses incurred by the traders”.
However, he assured the affected traders and the entire Abians that “all hope is not lost” as the chance for the people to change the condition they have found themselves for almost 24-years of PDP bad governance is now a matter of few months away.
“An APC administration will make the difference. The change we have been clamouring for in the state is almost at the corner. We must make reasonable decision now by voting for the party with ideas on how to move the state forward,” Ononogbu stated.
He lashed at the Ikpeazu government for shirking its responsibility only to chase shadows by claiming that some politicians and their agents were using the flood disater to instigate crisis in the market.
The Abia APC chairman advised the PDP-controlled Abia government to own up to its failures and failings, apologise to the affected traders and the rest of Abians and take steps to end its culture of insensitivity for the remaining period of its disastrous tenure”.