By Moses Nosike
Chief Nwobu Alor is the Special Adviser, Parks and Markets to the Governor of Anambra State. In this interview, he reveals certain abnormalies APGA needed to put right to strengthen the future existence of the party. Excerpts:
WHAT is your story on the crisis rocking APGA?
My story is simple. People keep saying that Nwobu Alor is quarreling with Victor Umeh, it’s not true. I don’t even believe that there is crisis. It’s just an issue of the mind. The mind set of the national chairman is that he would be the chairman of the political party for life and that he will be in control of everything even controlling the governor. He decides who to be employed and who not to be employed.
He makes a list of those to be appointed and when the governor protests he gets angry. And to this point he became too aggressive and forgot entirely the management of the party. All attempts by me and some others to call him back did not yield result. We called him several times to run this party, and that this is the only instrument we have to get into the Nigerian nation and to take our right, but he refused rather he is busy accumulating wealth and getting rich.
When it got out of hands, we started losing, and the fact that we can’t even win the five eastern states which could have been a must. The Igbos believe in this party. They regard this party as their property. It’s not just a political party. But because of bad management and dictatorship, people lost interest and look at where we are. We can’t even win here 100 per cent.
Other parties are here winning something, I feel like crying, it hurts my feeling terribly. I asked, what are we doing, the only way we can make it is to restructure the party, he refused. At a stage the two governors wrote to him that the party must be restructured and he agreed initially but later changed his mind that the party members have not been treated well and nobody knew how and then he refused.
So, I have to come out and tell people that this the time for us to come out and know if he is the sole owner of the party. So what he does is, if you criticise him, he removes you and this is the way we lost all the important personalities in the party. So the party is now empty, going down the drain. That is why I said we must remove him. He didn’t know what to do, and he said I have been removed, forgetting that for the past seven years, we have not had congress to elect state executives or ward congress, local government and state congress and then elect officers.
No election, nobody is elected. He is the one picking them, putting them into position and using them as instrument of operations. As I’m talking to you now only on the pages of newspaper I saw that I was expelled. They have not written me to come and explain. But you know in our constitution, if you commit anti-party offence, they will write you and list the number of offences and ask you to come and defend it, they set a panel and you go to the panel and defend it. The panel will now make a recommendation to the party, the party will now look at it to know whether you are wrong, suspended or expelled, and then they will write you on whatever decision.
All he did was to ask them to call a press conference and condemn Nwobu Alor, and ensure all that you can let it go all over the world. That morning they called a press conference, said all sort of things against me and said I was expelled. I have never seen such a thing in my life. It’s terrible. And people lost conscience totally and behaving like beast. What he wants is to run me down in order to get to the governor, which he has tried through the youths but he didn’t succeed. Now he felt he can go through paper and said I have been sacked.
What am I gaining from the party, I don’t hold any office in the party, not even village chairman and I’m not contesting anything at all. I’m not fighting for anything, totally nothing, rather than giving a lot of money to the party, giving them appointment, helping them in schools, giving those who are in trouble cash and you are asking me to get out, you are losing and not me. I will save a lot of money and energy, so it doesn’t make sense to me.
For some years now, Anambra state has been experiencing political crisis, what do you think can bring a lasting solution to that?
If we can go back to our mind, educate our mind, be more articulate in what we do and say. Apply the tenet of truth in everything we do or say. You will now find where you were wrong. That is why I have been saying we need some lectures, workshops, unfortunately it’s not easy, to let people know that running your fellow man down is a bad syndrom, it’s a bad act.
My prayer is that God Almighty may get into the heart of these people and show them the light so that they would do the right thing because I believe that God has power to do everything. And my advise to these people is that what they are doing is actually against them. If you run people down or pull him down syndrom, it is very active in Igboland. If we continue to do that, we will run far behind other states because they are discouraging people who are out to do something and when you are doing that then your state is running backward.
There has been a saying, in fact I have asked people to stop saying it that Ndigbo has no king, it’s a cause, that means Ndigbo don’t respect kings, it’s not good. When somebody is at your front and is achieving you accept it, praise him and God will praise you. When you have evil in your mind all the time, the evil will be developing in your system, people don’t know this. That is my own advice.
What is your message to critics of governor Peter Obi?
My message to critics is that they should not politicise everything. The issue of performance is fantastic, but political opponent are running him down so that they can have an opportunity to take over from him when he lives finally. I don’t think it’s fair. It’s against the interest of the state. But for some of us, we have been advising him not to listen to critics. You can hear what they say, if anyone is useful you can use it.
But 99.5% is force. Somebody called me one night and started abusing the governor that he didn’t build anything road when he has built almost the roads in Anambra state. My advise is that don’t run down the name of a performer because people don’t have that heart can stop doing anything saying that since I’m doing much and people don’t appreciate, I will stop. But the governor is not stopping, my governor is not stopping, he is doing more and by the time he leaves the state, he would create a legacy which nobody can meat, I promise you.
The factors that made you sold Peter Obi to the people of Anambra state for the second term in 2010?
Initially when I got a party care for Peter Obi, I sent it to him, but he returned it saying that he is not interested in politics, that if you are going to vie for any office he will fund it, but for me I’m not interested. So I forget about it. But one day he came into my house in the village with one doctor Nwosu or so. And he said uncle I want to surprise you. I was thinking he bought me a car. He said you know I told you that I’m not interested in politics but now I’m interested, and I said what?
He said why I’m here is to ask if you are going give me your support if not I will drop the idea. And I told him that I’m giving my 100% support. That is how we started, and we devised a way to go about it. I advised him not to belong to any party, but move around and tell people what you want to do for them so that everybody will come and listen to you because once you announce your membership of any party other party members will not come to listen to you when you are addressing them. So, each time we went out for campaign people kept asking us which party representing, we said no party yet, we will decide later. And the people listened and we were able to sell the message to everybody and himself is a very good speaker.
So we continued on this until three months to the election when we announced our membership of APGA. People haven heard the details he was able to impact in them, they believed in him. That is how we made it. And then my position there. I don’t know if it will be proper for me to say that here people believe in me. And anytime we were going out for campaign, people would say as long as Agoli is associating himself with this project, it must be a good project.
What are you foreseeing in 2015 in Anambra?
By 2015, Mr President will be involved. I think the lawyers should go back to their chambers and find out whether having worn-in twice if he still can contest because the maximum two tenure he may have spent months in the first tenure and full in this tenure. But in such a situation which is not normal, what does the law say? If the law permits us and we have restructured the party we would be able to have a winning capacity in the five states and partial capacity in Delta, Port Harcourt, Lagos and Kano. Then, we can come out and vie for the presidency.
What are you envisaging for Anambra governorship election in 2014?
I think we have to be extra careful so that you don’t bring in rascal that would cause a lot of damage to what Peter Obi has achieved. However, it will be the duty of all us to search for a credible candidate who will take over from Peter Obi. If we fail then we have failed the entire state.