…appeals to NWC to review cost
…says opposition will collaborate to remove PDP
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
A governorship aspirant in Abia State, Hon. Obinna Oriaku has said that truly the nomination forms of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC are expensive for the ordinary Nigerians to afford.
He however appealed to the National Working Committee, NWC of the party to review the prices.
Oriaku, the immediate Commissioner for Finance who officially declared his intention to run for the plum office on Tuesday in Abia said that should the NWC stick the published prices of the form, they will have no choice than to still purchase it, stressing that it was a part of the sacrifice to redeem the State.
Recall that APC on Wednesday announced to sell their nomination forms for President at N100 million while that of the governorship was placed at N50 million.
Speaking with Vanguard on the phone, Oriaku said: “It is expensive, there is no doubt especially considering the that this same form, I think, went for N25 to 27 million or so in 2015 and now it’s going for N100 million for President and N50 million for governor. It’s really expensive and I am sure many people are also concerned like me. I just hope that the NEC will adjust a bit but assuming they don’t, we still have to soldier on. It’s part of our resolve, burning zeal, part of that sacrifice to remedy and rescue Abia from the hands of the cabals. I am sure they may have their reasons but like I said, we are OK with that but we still appeal if it can be brought down a bit but where they don’t, those of us in Abia, we have resolved not to run away because of it. We are going to push further even if it means contributing money to make sure that he genuine people go in there.”
The aspirant also disclosed that what informed his decision to run for the office was to rescue Abia from economic quagmires.
“You remember I served as Commissioner of Finance from 2015 to 2019, coming from First Bank on secondment, served pro bono. I came with a lot of passion to help bring about the needed change in Abia State having been part of the Enugu State governmen especially during the 8 years of Governor Sullivan when Enugu was completely transformed. So, I have that in mind. That was basically why it was exciting joining the government of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. But within these 4 years I served, I discovered that the there is a systemic problem with the structures in State and now there are basic things we need to get right. We need to address the root of the problem. These problems are fundamental and it’s only a purposeful, sincere and passionate leadership that can only bring about the needed change. Now, it would have been easy for me to just walk away and go back to my offoce because I had an address. But because of the commitment and what I saw and what I also discovered that no body is ready or people were comfortable with what is going on in the state, I decided to go on that lone road which is to be an agent of change.That was why I left the PDP because I am also convinced that the kind of change we envisaged may be difficult to come through the PDP because we are talking about holistic, complete change of template of governance of the state.
“This needs to be change so that we can grow a new Abia and that’s why I keep saying that a new Abia is possible if we believe in it. If we are committed who are committed to it and and I can see a lot of reactions since my declaration, people who know that where we are today in the comity of States is not where Abia should be. And like I have always said we are not cursed and Abia is not redemption. It is only a sincere, passionate, purposeful leadership that can take us to out to the woods and return us to the part of growth and development”.
He also stated that his chances were bright to getting the APC ticket.
“I have a very good chance and it will very modest of me to say that I am the best but if you look at it especially those that are coming up, I doubt if there is anybody that understands the problem of the state more than I do because I was part of it for 4 years though on secondment from First Bank, not as a politician, but of course, that was also why it did not go down well with me and them because there are some things I resisted and said we can’t do it this way. So, this election has provided an opportunity, instead of standing outside, complaining, criticizing, please, be part of the system and that’s why I call on the people even from the corperate world to join hands, don’t complain and that’s why I have thrown my hat in the ring.”
Oriaku told Vanguard that he had utmost regards for other aspirants such as Dr. Alex Otti who also declared on Sunday, adding that the opposition in the state had resolved to join hands to wrestle power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“Yes, I have utmost respect for the people you mentioned especially From Alex Otti who was my executive director in the bank. All of us, there is something we are trying to do in Abia. We are encouraging every opposition, if actually the essence of my coming out is a selfless thing to the extent that we want to rescue the State, coming your to serve the state and not to suck the state, so, it shouldn’t matter any body who is actually doing the job. It mustn’t be me or you but we should be able to collaborate amongst the opposition especially if we are convinced that the person that won the election or the primaries or has the ticket shares the same values with you that Abia needs to come out again, that Abia can be better again. We are not cursed. That a new Abia is possible. Once the person has these ideas and belief, we should be able to collapse and support that person. That’s our mantra and that’s why you can see me attend the flag off of an APGA person, YPP person provided all of us have agreed that we must bring the needed change.
“So, that’s where I am and of course, I am a very young man with burning zeal, knowledge and I have so demonstrated courage because there there is something I did while serving that body had done in Abia. It doesn’t matter who takes it. I am on the same line of thoughts with Atigwe, SAN, Dr. Alex Otti, Prof. Greg Ibeh and any other progressives. So, we believe that if we come together we bake the cake and of us will be a part of that process”, Oriaku added.