How will you reconcile with the Ubas that participated in the parallel primary and did INEC monitor your election?
I am the only candidate of PDP in Anambra and the only recipient of the party certificate of return and so every other claim, I leave you to do inquiries, I don’t want to comment on those.
What I’m basically focusing on is rebuilding, reuniting and getting everybody on board including Ubas who happen to be friends and neighbors. So indeed, what I assured Ndi Anambra is that I will be the consensus candidate of a greater majority and this is what has become today. Long before we started this journey and even as we got closer to the primary, all I was doing was making sure that every single leader gave them courtesy visits and all of that. It’s made me. This is why as soon as the results were announced, even some of those aspirants clapped for me on the podium in the audience. That is why, like I said before, a lot of them have come around to see how we can all work together because we have a common agenda to win. We are tired of losing in Anambra, especially the governorship level, Anambra people are eager to win. Let’s not allow what may have happened and rumors being peddled to diminish the importance of this day. So let’s focus on this certificate of return if any other person claims to have one present it!
Have you been able to reach out to all others aspirants?
Yes, from the very night, I was announced the winner, I took off to embark on a reconciliation effort. Nobody has seen me partying and celebrating since that day, because I know the bottom that I carry on behalf of the Ndi Anambra.
We know that the single most important issue we need to address is the need for consensus. So, I have been to the residence of some of the aspirants; I’ve visited Obiora Okwowko; I have visited Maduka, Chris Asukuo and others. You can see one of the aspirants is here and few more are coming. It can only be possible because we’ve been engaging and not just on a bilateral basis also as a team. Last night for instance, I hosted the leadership of our party and in that we had five aspirants and a few more who are not in Abuja took permission why they couldn’t come. So the point is, we want to go into this not as Valentine but as a team of the aspirants because that’s one way victory will be assured. So be rest assured we’re doing the needful to get everybody on board.
Arising from here what is your message for the people of Anambra?
Again, I think this is where we begin to jettison the status quo and embrace a new reality. We want to change our story for good and it’s going to be by the way governance is basically activated in Anambra state. I want to return power to the people. I want them to be involved in what we do and that’s why one of the approaches we have adopted is what I called community based. When they become part and parcel of the governance process, they own the process. And of course, when you do that and you see that they’re part of that process and we begin to execute fiercely. There’s no way they’re not going to be excited about the outcome. So we have touched on the areas we believe will be impactful, not just sector wise. When I was talking about the areas I missed one of the most important things which is security. If you ask a number of people what is important to them; I have done this over and over. Always ask, ‘what do you want from your next governor.’ So you don’t sit in the comfort of your home and design a blueprint that may not fit into their needs. What was the need of an area may not be the same with another. What we’re doing in Anambra area is to take agricultural processing to a next level. What we are doing in Onitsha zone is a commercial hub to the level that will bring prosperity, especially to those our businessmen and women, which Anambra people are known for. What we’re doing in Nnewi is different because we want to make sure that Nnewi becomes the epicenter of industrialization in Nigeria.
The same thing to old Agwata, we feel that it can be an epic centre for technology where we can breed a group of young youngsters that will be a solution provider to not just Anambra people but to world problems. In that manner, Okwa city can be an epicenter for tourism, hospitality, education, and, of course, also medical facilities. When we have touched on all of these, you will see dividend of democracy where poverty is eradicated or reduced, where, literacy is improved and quality of the education heightened; where healthcare is provided to the poor and the needy; where security is provided, where the roads are built, where infrastructures are provided, and so on and so forth. I believe that at the end of the day Anambra will be an exemplary state and we will set a new standard for governance in Nigeria.
How prepared are you for federal power or might as you go into the election?
Two things I will drop here: number one, when we get to the bridge, we over cross the bridge. Number two, whenever the federal collides with people, the people will always trump. Thank you.
What is your relationship with PDP governors?
Yeah, let me say this. I was hoping you would say you spoke with a PDP governor. Because when you do you understand that I have their full backing. In the next few days I’ll be embarking on a tour. I have already visited the leader of PDP in Imo state. And it’s been wonderful the reception we received and the support they pledged. I visited the leader of PDP in Ebonyi the same thing, Pius Ayim. Go on and engage and check with him you’ll find out that indeed, we have the solidarity of Ebonyi. We’ll be visiting the governor of Enugu, say the next few days and that of Abia state, make sure we cover the five states of course, we’re coming from Anambra already. This morning I just had a meeting with His Excellency Peter Obi who is a leader in Anambra state, and with these men, we are sure of support from the Southeast. I’ll go beyond that. Let me also remind you most of these governors have been my friends long before now. It’s not a case of because one just emerged a winner. And I can tell you that all you’ve been getting is speculation that is not backed by any fact. What is exciting is the number of calls I’ve received from major leaders of our party across Nigeria and beyond, congratulated me and let me know how excited they are because they know that indeed, I’m not just another candidate. I am a candidate that can bring ultimate victory. There’s no election we have not had candidate of PDP, but they have seen one that will translate the candidacy to victory. And that’s what I represent. And that is exciting too. Again I wish you were at the NWC earlier, they are happy that somebody credible, transparent, who has what it takes, the contacts, the network. It is not just the governor alone, remember I also represent the private sector; they are bringing in their support without any conditions. These are people who have an interest in seeing that one of their own is in the race. I also have backing of major politicians. So I’m bringing the best of the two into this, which none of my other colleagues could actually do. This is part of the reason why I believe God has done it for me. If there is any contact I don’t have, thank God I have the other aspirants working with me, they will bring those contacts and together we’ll win the mandate. So with that we have nothing to lose.
I believe that at the end of the day Anambra will be an exemplary state and we will set a new standard for governance in Nigeria.
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