Wednesday, December 1

Anambra poll: 2023, reason I led Mass Movement into APC, by Ex Minister

A former Minister and ex-chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince John Emeka has thrown more light on why he led the mass move of top members of the party into the All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to him, “We are now in APC to support Andy Uba, and lead our people to the Centre…”

He pointed out that in political leadership one always look out for what is best for your people -where they stand to benefit more in terms of democracy dividends like education, agriculture, infrastructure, jobs and empowerment. That it was his belief that “Anambra North Senatorial zone, especially my core area of Omambala need help from the centre. We need to be connected to the Centre of Nigeria to be able to have infrastructure development, education, empowerment and all other life enhancing facilities. That is, things that would make them excel.

“So I believe that All Progressives Congress (APC) government will remain in power. I believe that working with Sen Andy Uba we can key in to the Federal Government and attract all that we need in the state. It is very important that we have somebody who has been there before and understands the dynamics of how our Federal Republic works.”

On the rising insecurity and agitations for self rule in parts of the country, the former Minister of State for Transportation said, “Well, APC being the party in power has the major responsibility of protecting all citizens, and keep the nation together. If am the President, I will be really worried if I have multiple agitations. 

“However, it’s okay for anyone to agitate if you are marginalized or feel marginalized; including myself I will agitate if I feel unfairly treated. But the process of going about it matters. People would want to embark on arms struggle, or want to get involved in politics to be able to get to the centre to enable them present and represent the views of their people. I am totally against anything that has to do with arms. Rather, am for raising your voice when marginalized; am for seeking for what is best for your people. That is what leadership is all about. But how you go about it is the big question. We have been through the Biafran war and it wasn’t an experience anyone would want to go through again. Though I was about seven years old then. But I still recollect jet fighters bombing the Otuocha area, and the terror that a young boy of seven would feel.

“So if I have a better way of actualizing my agitation I will pursue it. More so we have a Constitution and processes that we can pursue. Young people must agitate because nobody want to be a second class citizen. Not at all. And I will never agree for my people to be second class citizens. On Islamization allegation, I don’t know or see how that is possible because we have Christians in the North and in the South. There can be some radicals, people that want to spread their religion by force. There are different tools of spreading religions. I think the most powerful tool is through the television and the media. It can reach a lot of people. It’s a free world. My concern is that I will never support anyone trying to spread his religion by force. More so, I don’t think that anyone will convince me to change from being a Christian. I never felt the pressure that everyone is being forced to become Muslim. How? When? Where is the pressure?

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He admitted that due to some misgivings that stemmed from lack of proper information that marketing an APC Governorship candidate in Anambra has been a bit daunting, even with very popular faces like himself in the lineup. “There’s no doubt about it, yes. A lot of issues including very damaging negative propaganda against the party by the opposition parties in the state have been responsible. We all know that in politics propaganda remains a potent tool. Today APC is witnessing more and more of our people coming into it. That can be explained that this party like any other formidable party belongs to all of us. I didn’t see in the APC Constitution where it says its party for Fulani, Yoruba, North, East or West.

“The constitution is there for all to verify. Anyone is free to join and participate actively in all its activities. But if you keep yourself out, that is your choice.

Personally I see it as a Nigerian party; the party at the Centre, that has bright chances to retain power beyond now. So we like to be present at the table where Nigeria business is discussed so that our people benefit from it. It doesn’t stop our very dynamic young ones who are everywhere from participating in the power equation where Nigeria is discussed in a proper way. That’s my conviction and resolve, hence I led the floodgate into the party from all other parties. To boost the chances of our candidate, Senator Andy Uba. He is a man with passion for the masses welfare and the South East geopolitical zone.

So there’s nothing strange or abnormal. To start with, we are looking at APC as a Nigerian party. Again, we are looking at a candidate of the party who has for many years touched so many lives irrespective of where you come from. Any very discerning politician, looking at the qualities of the APC candidate, looking at the possibility of the party remaining in power, looking at situation in the country; am not being sentimental, you can simply conclude that what is happening is surely what it should be.

Prince Emeka pointed out that besides his personal convictions about APC, his hopes and expectations from the party with regards to his constituents, assuming Sen Uba wins, he acknowledged that he he has a listening ear, accommodating and humane. I don’t think he will play Mr Know all. He will listen. I also believe he will be equitable in distributing things. I believe he will focus on where and how to get the state going. I know he’s someone that will engage technocrats in their core areas to get the state working optimally once again. 

That is my hope and belief, having worked with him before at the Federal level I know that he has the good of Anambra state and the South East zone at heart.

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When taken on top three things he would like him to address immediately, at the state level; then for Anambra West Council area when he wins, the ex-Minister chose Education, infrastructure and the Youths. 

He strongly believed that there’s need to keep our youths busy. To me these three things are somehow interwoven. Getting the youths engaged will ensure they do not get in the wrong direction. We have to ensure the education they get is the best, especially the Information Communication Technology which is driving today’s and tomorrow’s world. All schools must be given adequate attention. Get specialists in the areas to come and advise us. Again, note that in all area, infrastructure is key.

Looking around the state today drives me to tears, considering the huge resources coming to the state as daily and monthly revenue. That was why I said earlier long before now that if am given opportunity to choose who becomes the governor I will choose Dr Emeka Eze who was formerly of the BPE Office. He is eternally passionate and concerned about the welfare and needs of the masses. He exudes an undying love for Anambra state. To that extent I hold him in high esteem. Same as Senator Andy Uba!

Assessing the challenge of marketing Uba within the Anambra North Senatorial zone where the outgoing Gov Willie Obiano hail from, Well, his report card will show whether he has done well or not. It’s there for all to see and assess him.

“So for our dear governor the term is coming to an end and he’s going to present his report card to the people of Anambra state an they will judge. All we are going to do in our campaign is to make it issue-based and tell citizens of the state what the APC administration is going to do for them -our education, infrastructure, empowerment agenda, etc. 

“Then hope is what everyone is depending on. Looking at the caliber of people that are coming into the APC I sincerely think that the hope of Anambra people will be rekindled. Believing that the government will take care of them, and provide the basic necessities of life for the state’s economy and the people to thrive and excel. So we are all very anxious and hopeful.

He described the state of roads round the state as disaster! “It’s sadness, despair! That’s our collective feeling. We are speechless and overwhelmed by the level of abandonment and hopelessness. It is sad that the governor is from the next door. We actually feel betrayed because nobody imagined things would be this bad. There is limit to coverup because the failure is collective. We just cannot pretend anymore. We are all vicariously liable. No life-enhancing infrastructure/projects/programs, for a whole eight years, we have only seen white elephant projects that are going to be abandoned.

Every APGA member who want to defect comes to me. They bitterly cry out that ‘what has the governor done for us to use in campaigning?’ These are coming from staunch APGA people from Anambra West, Anambra East, Ayamelum, Oyi Council Areas and other parts of the state. I simply assume the governor and his kitchen cabinet are not interested in the people’s feelings and welfare. Or there is communication breakdown. There is a big gap somewhere between the government and his people. After all have seen them host any meeting with citizens, or have you heard of any channel of reaching out or contact?

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Am actually not competent to explain. I only know that his party men come crying, saying we have very bright chance of victory because APGA has nothing to campaign with.

For example, the Amansea section has become a nightmare to all users of that road for years now. Unfortunately it’s the signpost of Anambra state. It takes anyone passing there at least four hours on one spot daily. Whereas only two tippers of stone can save the ugly situation. But the governor has continued to watch man hours wasted daily at the place.

It was quite shocking to me because I drove into Anambra state few weeks ago and I spent three hours there, from 6-9pm. It was quite traumatic. I don’t understand why the Commissioners and Special Advisers cannot convince the governor to ease the pains and stress that people go through daily on that road. This can be achieved by dumping stones there temporarily. They ought not to have allowed it get to this scandalous level for the world to see the hollowness in the administration. I know someone would claim it’s a Federal road. Yes, but the federal government is in Abuja. We are the ones making daily use of the road and bearing the pains. I therefore call on the governor, appeal to the governor to help us out, give us some relief because there is nothing in it. It’s inexplicable that a journey of fifteen minutes not take three to four hours at a spot. Something is wrong. Very wrong and I cannot comprehend or understand it.

As the 2023 general election fast approaches, the ex-Minister says that it’s his wish and belief that South East participate, mobilize all to APC and win more states it will enable us make our claim at the national level that it’s the turn of Ndigbo to be at the helm of affair the nation. But before that, we need to be at the table. More states need to join to enable us demand that. Actually it should be the turn of Ndigbo. It’s one of my main reasons of joining APC. And I think a lot of prominent Nigerians will support us. A lot of prominent APC members have spoken out. We cannot be a one APC State in a comity of zones with five, six or seven states under the party and you start shouting give us, give us.

Therefore I advise Ndigbo to come into APC, join other Nigerians and go and claim what is rightly their chance and opportunity.

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