The Enugu State Governor-elect, Peter Mbah, has promised to end perennial water scarcity within 180 days of being sworn-in as the governor of the state.
Mr Mbah stated this on Thursday in his acceptance speech as the governor-elect of the state. The in-coming governor posted a video clip of him making the speech on his verified Facebook page.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared winner of the 18 March governorship election in the state on Wednesday night.
He polled a total of 160,895 votes to defeat his closest challenger, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Chijioke Edeoga, who scored 157,552 votes.
In the acceptance speech, hours after his declaration, Mr Mbah said when inaugurated, his administration would be in a hurry to carry out developmental projects across the state including solving the water scarcity problem.
“As we bring water to all homes in Enugu Metropolis in 180 days of our being sworn in, we shall bring water, in the shortest possible time, to Nsukka, Oji River, Udi, Awgu and others too,” he said.
“We shall frontally confront the infrastructural deficits in all parts of the state and no one will be left behind,” Mr Mbah stated.
Water scarcity in Enugu has been a recurring problem for decades despite huge financial investments in the sector by successive state governments and international organisations.
Authorities said the water scarcity was exacerbated by the topography of the state and the presence of coal deposits which frustrate efforts to build boreholes.
Efforts by the Enugu State Water Corporation, a state agency tasked with the responsibility of supplying water from Oji, Iva, Ninth Mile and Ajali Rivers to households in the state, have not been very successful due to recurring equipment breakdown.
As a result, residents rely largely on hand-dug wells for water, which usually dry up during the dry season. It worsens the scarcity yearly, usually between December and March in the state.
‘Running an all-inclusive government’
Mr Edeoga of the LP hails from Enugu East District, specifically in Isi-Uzo Council Area which has a cultural link to Nsukka in Enugu North District, while Mr Mbah, the PDP candidate and governor-elect, hails from Nkanu in Enugu East District.
Since both the candidates joined the governorship race in the state, there had been intense verbal exchanges between people of Nkanu and those in Nsukka, thereby creating a political division between them.
But the governor-elect said his administration would run an “all-inclusive government” devoid of divisions between communities in the state.
“Let me restate that ours will not be a government of any section of Enugu State. It is your government, Ndi Enugu. Under our administration, there can never be division between Nsukka and Nkanu or any other section of the state. We are all brothers and sisters. Those who attempted to create a wedge between us failed woefully,” he said.
More plans for Enugu
The governor-elect also spoke on some other projects which his administration would carry out.
“As I told you during the campaign, the administration we will run will bring joy to your hearts. We will make you remember March 18, 2023 with a toothy smile.
“In infrastructure, health, tourism, education and development of our state in general, we will run a government that you can be proud of. We are in a hurry to dualize the Abakpa, Ugwuogo Nike-Nsukka road, build a monorail from Enugu to Nsukka, Udi, Awgu and construct a ring road to connect all the 17 local government areas of Enugu State,” he said.
He said his administration would “unleash tech talents in young people, and grow and nurture their interest in business and vocations skills.” He also promised to build a skill enhancement centre in each of the three senatorial districts in the state.
“We are in a hurry to build a world class theme park in Enugu. We are in a hurry to establish special economic zones in all the local government areas, as well as agro-allied processing zones and industrial parks in all our senatorial zones,” Mr Mbah added.
The governor-elect is expected to be sworn-in as governor of the state on 29 May.
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