Less than a week to the general elections, Coordinator of Ahmed Bola Tinubu Campaign Council in Anambra State, Sen Margery Chuba Okadigbo spoke to reporters in the state on APC final touches, confidence about victory, as well as what people of the Southeast should do in order not to lose out if Tinubu wins. AWESOME EKENE was there.
What has been the results of the mobilization that you have been carrying out in the state?
A: Like you know, or maybe you don’t know, but we politicians know that everything in politics is about numbers. When you talk about numbers it has to do with the people who make up those numbers. The showing at the rally from where we started ,we call it a humble beginning and the outing we had during the rally has shown me that we are on the rise and that the APC Anambra state is in the recovery path. So with that enthusiasm and that feeling of accomplishment among party members and party faithfuls in Anambra state, I believe that come 25th February that also would be replicated in about 5,700 plus polling units in Anambra state.
You also have the 10-man canvassers you are going to use, what informed that ?
A: Of course like you know, no matter how popular anybody is, you are going to be on that day stationed at your polling units and that is where it happens . There is no way even as a State Coordinator, I will be in all those polling units on that day. Just like Presidential candidate cannot be in all the 774 local government areas in the country. So you need people, you need agents like the word is used and that person that would be you in your absence can also have those polling agents on that day.
There is this feeling that since Anambra has a Presidential candidate it would be a difficult task for the APC?
A: That is question that is very relative and that is the reason why I said that it is very relative because when you sit down to the house hold where there is a smart kid the rest of the children will not go to school when I have six children. Everyone will attend school and everyone would come out with different report cards. No how are the parents will begin to complement or reward that child is also relative . So we are not going to because of that fold our hands . We shall all go to that polling unit and we shall go to that battle field and everybody would work for his or her own and no one is going to shy away at all.
We had rallies and it was a success. The constitution of this country made it explicit that you are free to belong to any Political party and free to support any candidate of his or her choice and it did not say say that we all should belong to one party or support one candidate. That is the way it is and that is our human right as citizens of this country.
Looking at the security challenges in the South East do you expect a free fair and credible conduct of the election?
A: How confident are you that if you shut your door and windows that you will not fall victim to thieves. We do not pray for violence on that day and we are hoping for the best and we are hoping that on that day of election and after that election it would all be free and fair without incidents that you are talking about. We commit all to prayers and I believe firmly that if you will do something God in his infinite mercy would grant you that request that you prayed for.
Even those that entertain fears of voter apathy should not be discouraged and don’t forget elections would be taking place at the various wards . At the ward level we all know each other and at the ward level it is more like family reunion, like tales by moon light where everyone is outside their hurts and telling their own story and you want your own laughter to be heard lauder than the next harmlet . So I believe that it is local and people would do what I call friendly match
The issue of naira redesigning appears to have been targeted at your candidate Tinubu what is your take on that?
A: I don’t question or challenge the policies of government. It is well intended and fine but I feel that the timing was not so right. You cannot because you want to target one person and for others to to suffer. Because it is not everyone that is a politician. Some are artisans, traders and people who deal on day to day business that are paid on daily bases. Even at the construction site the man who carries cement on his head or mixture at the site wants to be paid his duly wage . So it is not targeted at anyone so to speak and that is my own understanding of it.
Everybody is involved and everybody is feeling the the pains . So why would you think that government deliberately do that because it wants to chase one person and suffer everyone? When change comes ,change is always the problem and people resist change but would it be good be good in a long run? The problem however is the the timing of the implementation and that is where people beginning to to think that it is poorly introduced. I don’t see change as something that comes easy so it is not about our candidate Bola Tinubu.
Yet another general election is coming and the South East has always lost out to the government at the center are you fore seeing that?
A: Well sadly I must say and this is in all honesty the problem of South East has been leadership. If you have the right leadership this problems will not arise. We have to deviate from leaders who are selfish, leaders who are seeking for their own self interest then you will have better folowership . So you direct people to where the Journey is heading to and tell them the truth so that they would always believe you and have confidence in your leadership.
But when you chose to go about it with the style of not being open to them about what you are doing, then you would always get right. When I started as the state Coordinator for the campaign council I made it clear that I am not going to sit in Abuja ,come back to Ogbunike ward 1 to do magic clear everybody. No ! You must get everyone involved and at the end of the day it boils down to the same thing as the grassroot movement and it is organic.
Coming to what you said earlier the South West would at every general election divide themselves along the three major political parties and so does the other geopolitical zones. So whatever happens they have stakeholders who are playing deep in the government of the day . But not in our own case where we play the lone ranger status to our own peril. Key political positions are given to those that delivered while we manage the ones that we can get and at the end we come back to the usual cry of marginalization. But in this election we are sure of the twenty five percent spread out even more and that is what we need to be key players in the new government.
What does the South East stand to benefit with Bola Tinubu as President of Nigeria?
A: Well I will only say on thing. When you look at our Presidential candidate Ahmed Bola Tinubu you look at track record of what he has done. Our people in Igbo land say that he that has human beings is greater than he that has wealth and Tinubu has this as a policy. So with Tinubu as President of Nigeria the South East should be rest assured that they would form the strong hold of his government and you know that as governor of Lagos state Tinubu empowered our people a lot in government positions and he doesn’t care if you are Igbo or Hausa Fulani because he believes in people and getting people together for good and the South East playing major roles in the socioeconomic development of this country would not be left out and that I can assure you.