Says, Igbo, Anambra must shun sectional politics for national politics
By Clifford Ndujihe
Dr Amobi Nwokafor, a boardroom guru, chartered accountant, philanthropist, former president-general of Akwa Development Union, and Chairman Board of Trustees of the union, is one of those eyeing the Anambra State governorship seat in 2021 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Nwokafor, who is also a Certified Forensic Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Chartered Arbitrator and Chartered Tax Practitioner, in this interview, said Anambra electorate must hand their best the mandate in 2021 to take the state to the next level.
Nwokafor, who hails from Awka, Anambra Central, down-played the issue of zoning the slot to Anambra South because the three zones of the state have tasted power. If zoning was to play a role, he said it should be done on the basis of political parties.
On that score, the governorship should be zoned to APC because among the three dominant parties – APC; Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; and All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, APC is yet to rule the state, he argued.
Why are you in the race?
Anambra State indigenes are scattered everywhere all over the world and somebody needs to gather them together and make them have a focus that will develop the state and make it what it should be. Anambra State is the number one state in Nigeria.
We are in Lagos and I have seen the way Lagos is, Anambra State can beat Lagos in terms of development. We are relying too much on Federal allocation. I am an Igboman and we are used to looking inward and that inward we are going to look.
Can Anambra State exist independently economically without necessarily relying on the Federal Government? How do we make Anambra State viable, and independent economically? When we put all these together, I told myself that I can do them, let me offer myself to serve my people and I believe that I will get there.
On whether he has the financial war-chest to withstand and prosecute electoral battles in a state like Anambra
If you make God your cornerstone, there is nothing you cannot overcome. So, in this journey I know there are stumbling blocks and potholes. There are locusts everywhere and there is also the political aspect of it but I know that as long as God is our cornerstone and our pillar we will overcome.
I know that it is not a child’s play to want to become the governor of Anambra State and you must be ranking in the state to want to think about that. I am one of the ranking persons in the state, I know I am equal to the task.
Don’t you think APC is a weak platform and not popular in Anambra State?
That is the reason I joined APC in the first place, I want to let people know that we are not playing the correct politics in Nigeria. In Anambra State, you have APC, PDP and APGA and APGA is not in any other state apart from Anambra State. Why should we put our eggs in one basket? In the first place, it is not good politics. Good politics is to understand Nigeria. Why should we be playing sectional politics rather than national politics?
A lot of people have induced in our consciousness their feeling about APC. If we are very serious to develop Anambra State, it is APC. APC is at the national level, we should play national politics and not sectional politics.
On comments that Anambra does not need a change of party because in the past 16 years APGA has done well beginning from Peter Obi to Willy Obiano
It will be very myopic for anybody to think that way. Every state in Nigeria is competing with one another. Where do you place Anambra State in the scheme of things in Nigeria? Is it the best? If you name one, two, three, four states in Nigeria, we have 36 states, will Anambra State be among the first 10 in terms of development economically and infrastructure wise?
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Can members of APGA point out any major developmental stride they have to achieve in the state in the past 16 years? Can they point to any major monument they have been able to set up in Anambra State? What is the place of APGA in the life of the Igbo nation, what is their policy trust, what do they believe, what is their ideology on how to develop the Igbo states?
Have they been able to drive the Igbo states such that they will be united in their views and development? Looking at the five eastern states, where is the Igbo man in terms of development? When you compare with a state like Lagos and other APC states you will see real development.
So, in 16 years is it an impossible task to have the state properly positioned for development?
Who are your backers in APC, what is your relationship with leaders of the party in the state and around the country, like Senator Chris Ngige and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu?
That is the reason I joined APC in the first place because APC is looking at individuals and not how long you have been in the party. You know very well that Ngige alone is enough to market APC in the state based on his past deeds. They know already that I am there and all eyes are on me.
I do not need to have a godfather to make it in APC and that is the beauty of APC. APC in Anambra State is very democratic and because we have not take that position before, they want to present the best and that is why I am hopeful I will get the ticket.
You are from Awka, which is in Anambra Central that held power for 11 years through Chris Ngige and Peter Obi. Don’t you think it is too early for power to return to the zone?
I may describe that scenario you painted as an implanted consciousness, people want to continue to hold power and that is why they are continually talking about zoning. There was nothing like zoning before and if we will be talking about zoning, it should be zoning among political parties.
We are all indigenes of Anambra State and we should not be in one party, we should disperse to other parties so that we would be able to harness resources both human and otherwise. Politics is a matter of dialogue and negotiations, if we are talking about zoning, it should be among political parties.
The type of zoning that should be done is the zoning on a political party basis, where it can be zoned to APC. PDP ruled Anambra state sometime in the past, and after they had ruled APGA came in and APGA has ruled for 16 years. All of us are human beings with aspirations, it will be wrong to put us aside because we are members of APC, so it is our turn as a political party to rule Anambra State.
Secondly assuming that kind of zoning you have in mind, Peter Obi at the time at he emerged from Anambra Central was a member of APGA and he ruled for eight years. Obiano from Anambra North is a member of APGA, he is ruling for another eight years, making it 16 years of APGA.
Now if you get to Anambra South that everybody is clamouring for, they have ruled Anambra State through Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, and Virgy Etiaba. So, every zone in Anambra State has taken its turn.