Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa Former governors of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, have accused the Henry Seriake Dickson administration of squandering N1.8 trillion in six years. The duo, addressing party members in Yenagoa, said that the APC is a party intent on looking out…
By Chinelo Obogo
Dr. Alexander Obiogbolu, is one the governorship aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election.
He has thrown a challenge to the Obiano-led administration to provide, with clarity, some of his so-called achievements.
Anambra election is about two months away, giving the dwindling popularity of your party, do you see the PDP making any impact?
It is certainly wrong to state that the PDP popularity is dwindling. The defection of some leaders in the party to the ruling party is not a clear sign of dwindling popularity but rather the exhibition of lack of character amongst some of the political class in Nigeria. We may have had problems in the past, but with the recent decision of the Supreme Court, we have put all that behind us. If you review the results of the last general elections, you will discover that the PDP did marvelously well in the South East which will signal to any observer that the party is popular and generally accepted in this region.
Thus, even in Anambra State where the APGA heads the government, our party is still more acceptable to the good people of the state. You can see it by the way we have won elections in recent times despite some of the issues that have bedeviled our party. Our loss of the governorship position is more as a result of division over the candidature for the election than people’s love for the ruling APGA.
Don’t you think the achievements of the present government could also affect the chances of your party?
I have continued to ask, can someone detail, not generalize and explain, what work has been done so we can qualify the enormity of that work done, which will imply that the claimed work done by the Obiano administration will be stacked and compared against that of his predecessors, Dr. Chris Ngige of PDP or Mr. Peter Obi of APGA or against some of his current colleagues in other states in the country? I recollect his Imo State colleague, Owelle Rochas Okorocha recently challenging him to publish his achievements so people could rate who has done better. I am not aware he has published such except to continue to trade unkind words with Okorocha. Take for instance in road rehabilitation and construction, Ngige accomplished an average of 80km of road per annum, whilst Obi averaged 100km of road per annum. Let Obiano list his own roads completed in the last 35 months, so we know his average.
Remember Ngige governed for 34 months. Let Obiano show us his claimed success in so-called Agriculture. Apart from the MOUs signed, show us the progress and accomplishments and not just taunting constantly after 35 months the number of MOUs signed. MOUs are just understandings and agreements, so show us the results.
What exactly is Governor Obiano doing presently that he isn’t doing well or enough that you can do better?
I can tell you that going by the accomplishments of the two governments that preceded Governor Obiano’s administration; certainly he is dragging us back and reducing the speed of development that his predecessor Peter Obi had set in motion. As such, I continue to state that we can do it better than him. Another four years of Willie Obiano and his profligacy and bad fiscal management, will make Anambra State become broke. Our administration will do it much better in Agriculture which we both agree is the foundation for economic revolution in our state.
I can assure you that our administration would focus on all sectors, from health to education to effective and functional emergency services to wealth creation and security. However, I am not unmindful that many would place us in same category with others and say it is politics or that others have said so. What I would always say is that I am not others, nor Obiano. I have held public office in my state within a span of 25 years and have held chief executive positions and my records are there for verification. Oganiru Anambra ideology is very clear and we have by the grace and mercy of God consistently advocated this in the past 14 years. It is not about you or me but about taking our state to where we want to be. Corruption can’t affect us if our leaders are not corrupt, slow development cannot deter us if our leaders have vision, and of course our people can only rejoice when good leaders are in authority.
If there is anything Anambra State is known for especially during elections, it is violence, what will the situation be in 2019?
Again, these are assertions that are not founded on empirical facts. Even at the zenith of imposition of Governor of Anambra State in April 2007 on the people by the erstwhile chief Obasanjo-led federal government, our people did not resort to violence. They rallied behind their leaders who came out to declare that they will not give legitimacy to that government which became the shortest government in history of Nigeria till date. Ndi Anambra are not violent people and that can be seen from so many situations. Our youths who have continued to advocate restructuring have continued to do so peacefully despite the killings and arrests. What we yearn today just like the rest of the country are selfless and visionary leaders. So, I can beat my chest and tell you that as someone who had participated in all elections since 1998, Anambra State does not witness violence, and that is why I have urged the governor to realize he has a lot to do to keep this beautiful tradition of limited friction. He must be very proactive both in words and body posturing and ensure that all contestants preach peace and comradeship.