By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
CHIEF Chikodi Anarah is the Coordinator, Igboadagbe Peoples Forum, a body that draws its relevance from the Igboadagbe people found in Anambra North and Anambra Central Senatorial district. Anarah in this interview expresses the frustration of the people who he claims that despite having a sizeable proportion of the land mass and population density have not been able to produce a Governor of Anambra State. Excerpts:
SO because the Igboadagbe group has to a large extent been short changed in the process of development in Anambra state, and it is the only group in the state that has not produced a governor for the state in the past.
Now we have risen to this challenge, you know, having seen that if we continue like this it may never be possible for us to have our own slot and have a sense of belonging in the state. So the people have now come together to take their destiny into their own hands and then fight and struggle to get the position.
If you watch the lopsidedness, in terms of development in Anambra State, you will see that it tells much in favour of the Enuani and the Agbenu group. The Igboadagbe group, which have more than half of the landmass of the state, highly populated and endowed with so many resources and more importantly is the food basket of the state, have little or no development.
As a matter of fact, it is a group that you rarely find tarred roads connecting one local government to another local government in the area. Because of that level of neglect that the previous administrations have left the people group with, we are in total and serious need to get somebody from our own place to be governor, which will even be an advantage to Anambra state as a whole.
Should the person be from Anambra North?
Yes! The person must be from the Anambra North, but have to be from Igboadagbe extraction; that is what we are saying.
How are you going to express this?
We will do that by appealing to people, like we are doing. We will write, call people together, talk to them and people have already started coming together. So, we tell people that it is fair in giving everybody a sense of belonging. It is good to give every group in Anambra State a sense of belonging. It is by preaching, it is by lobbying, it is by reasoning and talking some sense into the heads of people, we are not going to be violent.
Have you met the stakeholders?
Yes! We have met with many stakeholders. In fact elder statesmen, political big wigs and, so many- even the young across Igboadagbe. People with conscience, people who know that it is good for them to realize that, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. They are the good people, they have been supporting.
Do you have people from Igboadagbe in the Anambra State Government?
We have so many of them.
Then why have they not been able to produce a governor in Anambra state?
It is because most of them have not been interested in politics, which is one. Then secondly, our people are very quiet in nature.
An Igboadagbe is good natured, is quiet, he will want to follow things and wait for God to give him his own. It is better for them to come out now because the way things are being run now we may never be able to produce any governor.
What are you going to do in order to project your candidate?
We are not going to impose on political parties but we will continue to appeal to them to look at it from the point of view of truth, fairness and honesty. Definitely they will pick people from our area. If it is only one political party that picks from Igboadagbe the whole of Igboadagbe will rally round that political party and deliver the candidate. We have enough people, whatever it takes the person will scale through.