Frontline Rivers State governorship candidate in the 2023 general election, Pastor Tonye Cole has expressed sadness over inability of the State government to maximize enormous economic potentials the presence of University of Port Harcourt offers, to improve the quality of life and living standards of the people.
Architect Tonye Cole made the observation while speaking at the Rivers APC campaign flag-off rally, Saturday in Uzoba, Akpor kingdom in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area.
He quarried why communities in Akpor kingdom, being hosts to the University of Port Harcourt, should not share similar technological benefits and economic possibilities, same way the people who live and do business in Yaba Lagos where UNILAG is situated do.
Tonye Cole however promised that his government will develop Akpor kingdom and towns within the University Port Harcourt environment as technology hub, to create opportunities for young people with tech ideas to develop their skills and bring them close to global economic benefits.
“I attended university of Lagos, somebody thought it wise to bring fiber optics technology to the University environment in Lagos, just as Akpor area is, they brought fibre optics technology to Yaba.
Today Yaba Lagos is Technology center in Nigeria. The technology is creating employment for many people and this is because there is a university in that environment”.
“I have been looking round Choba, Uzoba and the whole of Akpor and Uniport area, I have not seen any technology centers here, I have not seen where young people are/can develop ideas that can be sold to billion dollar companies. But guess what, that’s what we will do as your Governor”.
The Rivers APC governorship candidate recounted his 40 years experience in the area, growing up, revealing how there used to be enormous investment and employment opportunities in the area, and now the reverse is the case.
“I was telling His Majesty, your King, Akpor kingdom, this area, Choba and Uzoba, 40 years ago, I use to come here as a student from university of Lagos to Uniport to see some friends. We knew what we normally see here; Wilbross use to be here, other companies and the University of Port Harcourt”
“There used to be opportunities and jobs available here in those days. Whenever you come here, you see future. 40 years after, what I see here is poverty, hunger, begging, unemployment, cultism. This has to end”.
He promised to maximize the opportunities provided by the presence of the University in the area to develop talents and expose young people to limitless world class potentials and investments in technology sector, emphasizing that his administration when elected, will be focused on human capital development.
“I have been thinking about possibilities and the advantages of this area. The university is here, young people with technological ideas are here, all we have to do is create an environment to attract fibre optics technologies and here will be transformed”.
“Instead of our young people to run away to Lagos for opportunities, we will develop technology that will engage them here. Young people will stay here in Uniport and Akpor kingdom to develop themselves as multi millionaires in dollars, in pounds here. We will do it”.
Mr. Tonye Cole promised that the desire of his government will be to grow businessmen and entrepreneurs, noting that counting down the next 21 days to the elections, will mark the beginning of an end to poverty in Rivers State.
He pleaded with those living and doing business in the state, irrespective of party affiliations to come out with their PVCs and speak their way to freedom and prosperity, by voting the APC all the way through.
“There are roads infrastructure that still requires attention, we will do them. But what will be our primary focus as an administration will be human capital development. We want people to open businesses, we want Rivers citizens to be entrepreneurs, to be able to stand on their own”.
“My father sent me a message yesterday, he said to me, please lift people out of poverty. My father will be 83 this year, an old man’s desire for me as your Governor is that I should lift people out of poverty. That’s a good desire. China, Brazil, other countries have done it, we will do it. Poverty is evil, Rivers State is a rich state, we have people with ideas who can create opportunities, we will do it, poverty will end in Rivers State under our government”.
“The next 21 days will mark the beginning to the end of poverty in Rivers State. Rivers State is moving to APC, Rivers State is moving to Tonye Cole, we are bringing freedom, we are bringing prosperity, we will do it together”.
Earlier, the campaign train of the Rivers APC Governorship candidates of Pastor Tonye Cole and Dr Innocent Barikor had roaded on a floating ride in a campaign show along street in Obio-Akpor and embacked on door2door campaigns to traders in Rumomasi, Woji and Choba markets.
Tonye Cole and his team also paid a consultative visit to the Palaces of His Royal Majesty, Eze Ozonwuonwu Levi Amos Orlu Oriebe, Nye Nwe-Ali Akpor Kingdom in Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers State, and HRH EZE (AMB) Dr G. N. Chukwumgba
Paramount Ruler/Nye Nwe Eli Rumurolu Town and Eze Orlu Oro 1 of Evo Clan, Evo Kingdom, seeking their blessings.