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Monday, September 04, 2017

Anambra Election Will Be A Walk In The Park For Obiano – Oye

Anambra is the only state where the governor was elected under the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) nearly four years ago. The state will again go to the poll on November 18 to elect a governor at a time when APGA is in crisis. 

The National Chairman of the party, Dr. Victor Ike Oye, whose faction of the party has to fly its flag for the second time, once again elected Governor Willie Obiano, in this interview, told Daily Trust on Sunday that there is no crisis in the party, and that the primary election conducted by Chief Martins Agbaso was just a distraction.

How prepared is APGA for the November 18 Anambra governorship election?

The people are ready and they cannot wait to have this governor for another four years. He (Willie Obiano) has performed excellently. Anambra has what we call 11 enablers.

He has four pillars and the 11 enablers. The four pillars are christened IOTA: The first is Industrialisation.

Before the advent of the present administration, there was no middle class and that was one of the major problems in the country - lack of a middle class; it is either you are rich or poor.

The governor decided to come with the IOTA acronym to create manufacturing industries that would engage our youths that have graduated for years without work. This is to restore the middle class and boost industrialisation.

Over 28 foreign investors have indicated interest in Anambra State. Out of this, eight of them have brought in their investment, amounting to $5.57bn.

In what specific areas are they investing?

 In manufacturing for instance, there is the Linging Farm, which is the largest producer of day-old chicks in the entire South East. It is producing 240,000 crates of eggs daily. It is a massive investment. We have a tomato puree company. The last letter of the acronym means agriculture. The second letter is oil and gas. Anambra has oil and gas deposit in an area called Umueri, Aguleri. The problem then was lack of a link road to the site. There is the Orient Petroleum which is in charge of this oilfield and they are working with the state government to construct a road that would lead to the oilfield, and that was why the Anambra State Government constructed the longest bridge in Anambra. The bridge is about 254 metres and it links Anambra and Kogi states. So people can move in three hours and cover the 28 communities that were cut off from one another.

With all these achievements, the governor still needs a platform, which is APGA, but there is crisis in the party…

(Cuts in) There is no crisis in APGA. Anything reported outside that is illegal, unconstitutional and unacceptable. I am in the office and where is the other man you all refer to as the factional chairman?

He is at the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court is on vacation and in the Supreme Court you do not have vacation justices as we have in the lower courts. You are free to go and file a paper, not that they have done that, I am only saying anyone can file a paper, it is mere propaganda.

What led to this situation was a fraudulent order issued by a court in Enugu and it is called Order of Mandamus. Order of Mandamus can be issued where the order of the court is fragrantly flouted, but in this case, there was no prior order and I was not even a party in the suit. The so-called Martin Agbaso was not a party to the suit. So where is the order from that makes it binding on me?

Section 243 of the constitution grants me the right to fair hearing. I have written a 105-page petition to the NJC to sack the judge for incompetence and criminality. How could you have issued an order when I was not a party to the suit? I was in Chicago when someone called me that a court in Enugu issued an order and that it was filed by one Mike Alioke, not even Martin Agbaso.

You conducted a primary in which Governor Obiano emerged victorious. The other APGA faction conducted another primary and announced a candidate, claiming INEC monitored their primary; where does that place you?

 In 2015 Agbaso resigned his membership of APGA to go and contest for governorship in the PDP. He contested in the PDP primary in Imo State and scored only one vote out of 1000; it means he voted for himself alone. He contested against former Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps, Emeka Ihedioha, and others, he was defeated. In the present situation, he has not returned to APGA, he is not registered in his ward and the sign of membership of a party is to be a member in your ward. Ask him to produce his membership card signed by me as the National Chairman of APGA.

Go to his village, Emekauku Ward I, they have rejected him, they don’t know him. The state EXCO does not know him. He was operating from Enugu with three expelled members of APGA-Jerry Obasi, Chuks Nworga and Okechukwu Nkolagu. They were expelled on December 21, 2016 at the Awka convention for anti-party activities. He does not have the legitimate, moral, social and right to act for or on behalf of APGA. He is only grandstanding.

 I have always been the validly elected chairman at the party’s convention. And the APGA constitution is clear on how a national chairman can be removed as contained in Section 20 (3b). So where does Agbaso come from. He is not a member of the party, he is nothing here. The court described him as an interloper, and the party described him as an impostor.

Go to Anambra State, the people are bubbling, they are ready to go. This governor has touched their lives positively and they want him back. If you have performed, you have nothing to fear. And we do things appropriately here as can be seen in his emergence as the party’s flagbearer at the primary. We are also happy at the way things worked out in the Court of Appeal in Enugu which vacated the Order of Mandamus and ordered that the status quo should be maintained.

What do you say of the UPP which says it will take over Anambra from you?

They are already fighting with claims and counter-claims. Someone was killed and one of them said the primary should have been postponed.

What do you say to comments attributed to the APC and the PDP that they would capitalise on this friction to snatch the state from APGA?

Which APC? They are day dreaming. They know they cannot even organise their own house and produce a candidate and yet they want to look into APGA. They are already accusing each other of bribery. If I were INEC, I would disqualify the APC.

The PDP is having their problems, too. They have postponed their primary election too due to lack of internal democracy. If there is no internal democracy, and if there is no God in what you do, there would be confusion.

What would you say about the breakdown of the relationship between Governor Obiano and his predecessor, Peter Obi?

Since Trump became the US President, did you hear of Obama talking or criticising him? Once you finish you go. It is only in Nigeria that people retire and still talk and criticise the incumbent.

What is your assessment of President Buhari’s government?

President Muhammadu Buhari is God-sent. In the life of every nation, there is always the divine hand. Goodluck Jonathan came and left after six years. Buhari has come; everything about him comes from God, not man. Nobody can decide his fate but God. I pray for him every day. I was the one that said that those who wished Buhari dead should die first. We can make this nation work. Look at corruption; whoever said Buhari did not fight corruption, that person is not fair. Look at the Treasury Single Account (TSA), it means bye-bye to corruption. Government saves billions every month that were going into private pockets; now nobody can do that again, at all.

Hate speeches would not help this nation. When Buhari came initially, all his appointments were skewed towards the North. Who wouldn’t do that? We would all do the same thing. You know we’re growing as a nation. Now he has realised and he has said it particularly to the South Easterners that he is going to do something to balance the inequilibrium; that is a leader. Nobody in life is perfect; we can build a strong united nation burying out hatchets as a people.

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