Dr Orji Kalu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Abia North Senatorial seat, has vowed to ensure that Abia indigenes and non-indigenes enjoy equal educational opportunities if elected.

In a statement issued by Mr Peter Eze, Media Officer, Orji Campaign Group, Orji spoke at the commencement of his ward to ward campaigns, in Igbere, Bende Local Government Area of Abia, his country home.

Addressing his supporters in Ohumuola Igbere, Orji said that his commitment to press for equal opportunities for all was informed by the need to implement comprehensive free education in the state.

He recalled that when he served as governor of Abia for eight years, his vision was for all in the state to have equal opportunity in education.

According to him, “education is the most important factor in governance; hence the welfare of students and teachers was a priority for our government.”

“When I was governor, the educational edge that Abia people had over the rest of the country was as a result of the free compulsory primary and secondary schooling, introduced by our government.

“Through our free education policy, we were able to discourage the incidence of dropping out at primary and secondary levels of education.

“We also encouraged adult and non-formal education with several skills and acquisition centres.

“But today it is shocking that many of the schools we built have neither been expanded nor maintained’’.

He further alleged that salaries and pensions were not paid to teachers and retired civil servants in the state, as and when due.

“We are supposed to progress and not regress.

“There is something about educational environment that is no longer there. How can you owe teachers’ salaries for months,’’ Orji said.

Other communities visited by the campaign group are Amaiyi, Okafia and Amaoji.

In all the communities, the former governor promised the communities of effective representation, adding that he would use his connections to further attract projects to the area.

With him at the campaigns were APC governorship candidate for Ebonyi, Sen. Sunny Ogbuoji, among others.NAN