….it is like the Obama Campaign…..Tony Isama
Since he won the elections taking the Chairmanship of the North America
Action Congress, Tony Isama has not spoken to the Press. A productof the highly revered Government Secondary School Afikpo, Tony graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle and Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana.
On completion of his Youth Service, he served as a National Health Planning Officer at the Federal Ministry of Health before taking up position as the Administrator of the budding and prestigious First Consultant Medical Center, Obalande, Lagos. Back in the United States, he teamed with compatriots to organize and successfully operate a chain of nine Joint Commission accredited high tech diagnostic imaging centers in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.
With an advanced degree in Health Services and Hospital Administration, and operational experience working at high executive levels, governmental and non-governmental, Tony harnessed his peopleâ€™s skill to chaperon theÂ establishment of the first and only minority owned full service state licensed Health Maintenance Organization in the State of Maryland.
He currently runs a health resources application and management company that helps institutions and individual professionals navigate the complex and highly regulated health care environment. A student of cooperative initiatives, his operation has consistently opened up a lot of job opportunities for most of the African recent arriving immigrants. Very versed in the US/African Community Affairs, the Hon.
Chairman of the Action Congress works closely with both State and County officials in the State of Maryland to promote and champion immigrant and African affairs.
Vociferous in the promotion of good governance, accountability, and an avid supporter of diaspora technical transfer to the continent, Tony Isama who is married to Clara Isama , a multilinguist and a graduate of great Ife and Paris XIII, was on his way to Nigeria, and decided to speak to Emma Okocha, Vanguard,
Correspondent in Washington.
Below are the excerpts of the Exclusive Interview.
Vanguard: Why have you decided to talk to us now? Why are you going home at this time?
Tony Isama: Two things; We are running the most scientific elections campaign since Obama took the US Presidency. The way Action Congress is performing on the ground did not come to us here as a surprise.
Apart from the fact that the party has a charismatic candidate, we were volunteers of the Obama campaign, we had studied the structure, the details of the Obama field operations are presently braced and as I speak to you, we are about now moving in to help deliver a landslide for Governor Ngige. From now on, the Press will be the one running away from me and my team. We are on our way to Anambra to stump for Ngige.
Secondly, we are also expecting like all other good people of Anambra state that the elections would be managed appropriately, with the end resulting, in a free and fair poll, following a transparent, universally recognized democratic process.
Those were some of the conclusions reached at the last Achebe Colloquium. The good people of Anambra demand and expect same. Professor Iwu and INEC have pledged same. Nigerians and the world look to a free and fair election this time around. I would say, the stars may have lined up for a new beginning in our electoral process.
Vanguard: At the Rhode Island Colloquium it was agreed that your party should not attack fellow Progressives…
But your Front Runners have been unrelenting on their attacks on Governor Obi?
Tony Isama: Permit me, on behalf of Governor Ngige, to once again commend and thank Professor Achebe for putting Anambra State and Nigeria first. Recall that he gave up a coveted National Honor because of the way Anambra State was being maligned by miscrants with the tacit support of the past administration.
This time, he devoted the maiden Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in search of solutions: bringing the world to deliberate not only on the Anambra gubernatorial election but on other pressing issues of Nigeria.
Back to your question, our party the Action Congress is a disciplined people and solutions oriented party. We do not use words like attack and or capture.
Thus, there is a strict difference …..when the AC or Governor Ngige responds to Anambra peoples’ posers about security, the budget, state of Infrastructure, health, educational, and other high brand developmental issues as were there before his tenure, during his tenure and the correct positions of those items when the present government took over.
And of course, the money or the allocation formula before and now. Those comparisons and debates are in response to the people and they have to be made clearly, to enable the Anambra people make their own deductions and make their choice.
The no issue attacks are rather between Governor Obi, his own party stalwarts and primarily with Soludo and his money crazy brigands. The AC becuuse of our disciplined campaign and the style of delivery by our leader, the Onwa, is leading all others combined in every poll including the recent one conducted by the very neutral and reliable Lagos TV.
It is not my story. The Anambra people are telling the story themselves. There is no space under the sun when Governor Ngige comes to town. I’m not making it up. You can ask the Vanguard to ask any Anambra woman or man in Lagos or in Onitsha, Awka, Aguata….the story is the same. ”Ngigekiageeso” .
We understand that the whole Igbos in Warri , Sapele, Bomadi gave Governor Ngige the biggest reception thrown to any Igbo since the Igbo Union received Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in Aba in
1949. Those Igbos in Warri have pledged everything to support the Onwa in his battle to reclaim the peoples mandate in Anambra.
Vanguard: What can you say is responsible for the Governor’s popularity? But popularity you know does not always win elections.
Tony Isama: We understand that and we are not relaxing. Our campaign took off with voter education to raise the awareness of the average voter as to their individual civic responsibility, and to reassure the voter that his or her vote will count this time around. We also restate the obvious, Gov Ngigeâ€™s performance and his accomplishments in the 33 months he served. We bring home the fact that the work done in 33 months under unrelenting assault by detractors amounted to 25%.
We are now seeking the peoplesâ€™ mandate to balance out the 75% from our first sourjorn and add optimal value in a second missionary journey. We point the citizen to the work of the two AC action governors in Benin and Lagos In fact that is why we are moving in the big cannons of the Action Congress to Anambra before the elections.
As the AC Chairman in the Americas, we are proposing and going to press that the best performing Governor in the Nigerian Federation Governor Raji Fashola lead the campaign of good governance from Lagos to Anambra. For your note book, he is the only Governor who has appointed Anambra sons to top positions, commissioners, etc.
Also expected to lead the Ngige campaign in the coming days is the most popular of the Governors, Comrade Adams Oshimole, the consummate trade unionist, the workers leader and the man who single handedly, saved the Universities from prolonged strikes. His intervention at the critical stage, brought the needed trust in Government. These are all Action Congress Governors, always in action and the best.
You know our people are mainly travelers, they have seen the wonder that is Lagos within two years of Fashola’s tenure, and can see the metro-line, the transforming infrastructure, and all of a sudden remember that it was Anambra under Ngige that started it all. Government is no longer a mystery. A leader who is schooled, committed and courageous can from day one do it. Ngige has a covenant with the people of Anambra state.
All we are going to do is to remind them about that covenant and from which ever side they come from the people will remember the man who did it when the money was not there and when the king kong was in power.
Vanguard: Your party the Action Congress did not hesitate in putting up Dr. Ngige for this race in Anambra State unlike what has held sway in the other parties. Nationally, the Action Congress seems to be the only party coming up consistently with positions on issues. What makes your party tick? How do you see the role of the diaspora affiliates?
Tony Isama: As noted earlier, AC is a disciplined party with sound experienced, progressive and matured leadership. You can look no further than our National Chairman, His Excellency, Gov. Bisi Akande and the Secretariat of the party.
The leaders of the party all have addresses. You can point to what they have done. You can also see that the party allows its officers to their job, such that our National Publicity Secretary, Hon Lai Mohammed, ably articulates our partyâ€™s position at any given time. This discipline permeates our state branches. Thatâ€™s the difference. As for the diaspora, we are looking to bring our varied skills and knowledge into the workings of the party both at the national and state levels.