By Vincent Ujumadu
Hon Chris Azubogu, the member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo in the House of Representatives is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the 2021 election in Anambra State. Among his constituents, Azubogu is called ‘Mr. Project’ because of the large number of projects he had attracted to the constituency.
Before going to the national assembly, the Engineer –turned politician provided critical economic development services for some state governments during which he learnt the workings of government.
The three –term member of the House of Representatives, in this interview, says he has been consulting the people over the 2021 governorship election in the state and is encouraged by the response he has been getting from the people of Anambra State across board.
You have always talked about local investment. How will you pursue this as governor?
If our people invest in their localities, they will be improving the revenue base of the state.
There is need for conducive environment for manufacturing to thrive. The industrial park we are building in my constituency is progressing rapidly. Already the park has gulped $150 million and we’re going to source the balance of $100m from the international finance houses.
We have to develop the content of education that will help fast track research and development. If we develop skilled manpower, industries will come, economy will grow and development will come. I have what it takes to move the economy of that state forward.
Our boys are driving the investment in the Lagos area and if they invest half of what they invest in Lagos here in Anambra, our state will be better for it. I know who to meet to bring investment into our state. What Ogun State, for instance, gets from IGR is more than what the five South East states put together make.
If we implement the programe I have prepared for this state, we don’t have to rely on Abuja for our major income. Most of the people aspiring to govern this state do not understand these things. Sharing money to the people is not what will make the economy of this state to grow. I will put the right infrastructure that will galvanize the economy. If our manufacturing industries grow, our service industries will grow.
I had done this in the past. I had developed models that worked and led to economic growth.
I am not called Mr. Project for nothing. I build roads and I do not make noise. Those who perform don’t need to sing it and as it is said, it is one’s work that he will be remembered for.
Don’t you think the state will need your services more in the National Assembly?
This is my third term in the national assembly and I believe I have lived up to expectation. Besides, I am already grooming people in the art of law making. I know I cannot be there forever and besides, Anambra needs an experienced person to drive her economy at this point in time. If you look at all the states that are doing were, their governors had legislative backgrounds.
Let us tell ourselves the truth; we are not doing well politically. As a governor, I will form a team with our national assembly members to tell them the right things to do in the interest of the state. I will tell them places to go to get money for the state. There is no agency of government I have not worked with.
How optimistic are you considering the array of politicians vying for the same PDP ticket with you?
Some people are paid to join the race. So many people in our state know those who are really interested in this race. Forget the crowd. I am not perturbed by the number of people in the race.
What is important is that one has something to offer to the people of Anambra State and I am best positioned to do that. Governance is not about theory, but about practical service rendered to the people. I have won elections back to back and interacted with policy makers at the highest level.
Overtime, I had assisted many communities with projects and there is no community in my constituency that had not benefited. When I first went to the national assembly, I spent time learning the ropes. In this race I can’t be intimidated by anybody. I am confident, I am properly informed and without sounding arrogant, I can hold my own anywhere. I have spent 14 years studying Anambra and this is the time to put my studies into practice. I can show what I have done for Anambra people and I want others eyeing the governorship to show theirs.
Can it be correct to say that some notable politicians in the state already have their candidates?
It is possible some aspirants are claiming to be people’s candidates, but I am not one of such. It is too early in the game for anybody to claim anything. At the appropriate time, the aspirants would show the people what they have and the people will decide. For me, I am focused on what I will do for Anambra State. When I contested for House of Reps, the people decided that it must be me and after the election, none of my opponents went to the tribunal to challenge my victory because they knew I defeated them roundly. I know that in the coming election, the people will also support me because they know I cannot disappoint them.