“Buhari has done nothing for the South East. Forget all those claims by Buhari’s apologists. They are all lies and propaganda.”
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Idemili North Constituency of Anambra State for next year’s National Assembly contest, Chief Ikechukwu Okosa, says the combination of Peter Obi with PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was a good political strategy that will lead to the defeat of All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, next year.
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What assurance do you have that you will win the election since Anambra State is being controlled by APGA, and you are of the PDP?
Anambra State has always been a PDP state since 1999. If not for crisis within PDP, APGA would not have taken over Anambra State. But thank God that PDP is united now. We have resolved our differences. To show Nigerians that PDP is more united in Anambra State today than never before, for the first time since 1999, this would be the first time that PDP would conduct primaries devoid of crisis. For the first time, there were no parallel primaries during the party primaries that were conducted to pick candidates for different elective offices for 2019 general elections. This should be a pointer to APGA that PDP is coming back to take over Anambra State. APGA days in Anambra State are now numbered.
And with the choice of Mr. Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State as the vice presidential candidate of PDP, PDP is now enjoying a new lease of life not only in Anambra State but throughout the entire South-East.
Why are you leaving your business for politics?
I have always been a grassroots man and I have always been involved in empowerment programme for youths, and women in my constituency. I have been empowering youths and women to be self-sufficient and self-employed by helping them to start various businesses of their own with financial assistance. Not only that, I have also been sponsoring annual youth football competition in Uke where new talents are discovered on a regular basis. It is based on my commitment to my people, and their love for me in turn that made them to appeal to me to come and serve them. So if I get elected, it would be a continuation of service at a higher level to my people.
What is your take on the choice of Mr. Peter Obi by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the vice presidential candidate of PDP for 2019 presidential contest?
The pairing of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi is a wonderful combination. Peter Obi is a good choice by Atiku, and I pray PDP win the elections because a combination of the two men is a good omen for Nigeria. Peter Obi transformed Anambra State when he was the state governor. He laid a good foundation in Anambra State; he didn’t leave debt behind after his tenure. He left surplus money in the treasury. Obi is a good manager of resources, and I believe he is going to be a great asset to Atiku, PDP and Nigeria if PDP defeat Buhari and APC in 2019.
APC and President Buhari have failed Nigerians. They’ve disappointed us. Buhari and APC have failed to deliver on their promises to Nigerians. Buhari and APC promised Nigerians that Boko Haram and the power sector will be fixed within six months, but almost four years now, Buhari and APC have only been giving excuses. At a point APC without shame told Nigerians that President Buhari is not a magician and so not much should be expected from them. It is obvious that APC has failed, and Buhari’s government has become a big burden on Nigerians.
Therefore, my advice to APC and President Buhari is that they should respect the wishes of Nigerians. Election should not be seen as a do-or-die affair. If Buhari loses, he should go, heavens will not fall. It is only by respecting the wishes of the electorate that our democracy can grow and thrive.
If Nigerians say they’ve had enough of Buhari, so be it. It should not be a do-or-die affair. The election should be transparent, free and fair. Nigeria as a nation is bigger than any individual.
One of the accusations against President Buhari is the alleged marginalisation of the South East, but Buhari’s supporters in the South East have been defending the president saying that his administration has transformed the South East beyond expectations, what’s your take on that?
Buhari has done nothing for the South East. Forget all those claims by Buhari’s apologists. They are all lies and propaganda. Compared to Jonathan, Buhari has done nothing for the South East. All the projects being commissioned today by Buhari are not his own original ideas. They were projects started by Jonathan’s administration, but which he couldn’t complete because of the change in administration. What Buhari has been commissioning are Jonathan’s projects.
What is your take on IPOB’s recent declarations that there will be no elections in the South East in 2019?
IPOB is on its own. Elections will take place, and South East people will vote. They will take active part, and vote for candidates of their choice. IPOB is making all these noise, and getting attention because the Federal Government has not done the needful to move Nigeria forward. For us to make progress as a nation, we need to restructure. Restructuring is the key to Nigeria’s rapid development and economic growth. And contrary to false claims being made by some people, Restructuring can’t lead to the breakup of Nigeria.