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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Anambra 2013: Why people will prefer Ngige to others –Igbokwe

Anambra 2013: Why people will prefer Ngige to others –Igbokwe
Chief Joe Igbokwe is the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview with Chinelo Obogo, he took a critical look at the political pedigree and antecedents of his party’s governorship candidate in Anambra State, Dr. Chris Ngige, and declared that state people would prefer him to other contestants.
How have you resolved the crisis that trailed the emergence of Senator Chris Ngige, as APC candidate?

Senator Chris Ngige has no serious competitor right from day one and even those who showed interest to square up with him know this fact very well. Ngige has a fantastic, excellent and unquestionable pedigree that tends to dwarf the personality of other candidates. Comparing Ngige and these other contestants is like comparing apple and orange. It is like comparing President Obama and President Jonathan. It is like comparing the capacity of a brand new 504 pick-up van with the capacity of a 30-year old Mark truck. Ngige’s antecedents have rendered nugatory the ambition of these other contestants. His structures in Anambra State are formidable, alive and strong. So, what you call a crisis is the mere imagination of those that expected crisis in the emergence of Ngige but who were disappointed in the transparent way and manner the primaries were conducted by the APC. It is a fact that apart from Ngige, every other candidate in the election is wading through serious intra-party crisis. So, there was no crisis to resolve except in the fertile imagination of the opponents of Ngige.

How has been the campaign so far?
The campaign train is moving as expected, riding the smooth roads, then bumpy roads, climbing the hills and descending with grace and dignity, breaking ossified beliefs and heresies, engaging the high and the low, drilling the deepest wells, making politics sexy and adorable. The campaign is moving with common sense (even though common sense is not common), reaching to Igbo in Nigeria and Igbo in diaspora that what happens in Anambra must not worry every Igbo man. Without sounding immodest Anambra is the engine of Igboland. Anambra State parades the highest class of intellectuals in the South-East and South-South. Anambra State is one of the richest states in Nigeria.
Most celebrated leaders in the East of Nigeria are from Anambra State. In Anambra State, wealth is almost distributed house to house. In fact, a school of thought says if Anambra State is not good Igboland cannot be good. It is based on this compelling need to keep Anambra State strong that informed our decision to beg Ngige to run again and our people are happy that he accepted. Consequently anywhere we go there are shouts of ONWA GA ETI  OZO(The sun will shine again)

What effect has the relocation of Anambra indigenes from Lagos had on the chance of Ngige in the coming election?
A sound and patriotic policy not targeted at any particular ethnic group just to make Lagos livable, clean and decent has been grabbed by ethnic chance takers and miserable politicians to score cheap and dangerous political points. The plan of these political nitwits and dwarfs is to use the so-called deportation to bring Ngige to their level. These clowns know that they are not in the same political page with the former Governor and Senator Chris Ngige and therefore their devilish plan is to beat down Ngige from his towering height to their miserable level by engaging in primordial sentiments and ethnic pre-occupation. It has failed and it will remain so.
It is dangerous politics that may rock the boat and put to danger the cordial and well-respected relationship between Igbo and Yoruba that dates back to 1970, if not properly handled. The chance takers and peddlers of misinformation will fail. In 2011 Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State deported 29 Akwa-Ibom State and Ebonyi State indigenes on the pretext that they were begging in Awka and Onitsha and heaven did not fall. About the same time Governor Orji of Abia State sacked over 3,000 indigenes of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, and Ebonyi States from the Abia Civil Service and sentenced tens of thousands of Igbo men and their families to untimely death, eternal poverty and degradation yet heaven did not fall. As I write this I hear that some lawyers said they want to take Governor Fashola to court for the so-called deportation. Ok fine. But let me ask the same lawyers to have the courage to take Governor Obi and Orji to court also if they are not tribal warlords. Again, as at today, Lagos still hosts more Anambra people than Anambra State. Anambra people generate more wealth in Lagos than in Anambra so who loses in the devilish plot to use 14 destitute victims of poor, timid and rural governance in Anambra, who were chased into Lagos to live under the bridges for primitive politics in the end? But, as I said, the Igboman is not foolish and will like to know why a government feels its citizens are better off living as destitutes under the bridges of Lagos than in their home state.

Don’t you think that rally in Onitsha on the day the Obi of Onitsha was celebrating Ofala festival a political miscalculation?
Again, another dangerous politics to reduce the towering image of Senator Chris Ngige. If reality is to prevail, Ngige Campaign organisation had extensive discussion with the palace secretary on the matter and the campaign organisation was asked to go on since the Ofala festival in Onitsha is always conducted without asking people to close shops or markets because Onitsha people are civilised people, who practise their well-respected tradition with grace, respect and profound dignity. Unfortunately, by the time the campaign organisation was talking to the palace secretary, our own HRH Igwe (Dr.) Alfred Achebe, was in retreat (the normal tradition before the Ofala festival). I am sure the palace secretary did not get the nod of His Royal Highness before he asked the campaign organisation to go on. This is the mistake. Senator Ngige is a traditionalist, who understands Onitsha tradition very well and he could not have ignored the highly revered Obi of Onitsha. Beyond all these, however, it speaks of the depths and the height of depravity some people have taken Anambra politics to,  for them to believe that such issues and not the general welfare of the people will count in the coming election. They will be in for a shocker at the end of the day because the common masses, who know the intricacies and conspiracies between the present APGA government and the PDP Federal Government  which want to sell APGA as a knockdown carcass to the PDP Federal Government.

How are you addressing the issue of power shift agitation to Anambra North?
In Anambra State, we do not believe in the doctrine of power shift because we do not celebrate mediocrity. Only the best is good enough for Ndi Anambra, Ndigbo and Nigeria. Four years is too much for a vibrant and a very important state to lose in the name of zoning. In Anambra State, we believe that if need be to form a football team for the state, only the best is good enough. If eleven players come from Nnewi North, so be it. Zoning breeds incompetence, mediocrity and backwardness in governance. You fall back to such compromise considerations when you have failed in governance. When Dr. Chris Ngige was governor between 2003 and 2006, every corner in Anambra felt his impact. He didn’t need to appeal to primitive sectionalism that breeds such factors as zoning to leverage his tremendous transformative powers in all nooks and crannies of Anambra.

What is your candid assessment of Ngige’s chance in the coming election?
There are 10 reasons why Ngige will be elected Governor on November 16, 2013?
Dr Chris Ngige is a trained Medical Doctor of almost 40 years. He was in the Federal civil service for 18 years.  He has served as a Governor for three years and made unprecedented impact under very difficult and dangerous circumstances.  He is serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is first President General of Aka Ikenga, an organization of Igbo intellectuals. He liberated Anambra State from despicable money bags and notorious godfathers. Of all the candidates contesting for the Anambra Governorship, Senator Ngige is the most experienced both in politics and governance. Ngige is the only candidate that opened the eyes of the people of Anambra State that there is money in Government contrary to the picture previous Governors painted. Ngige initiated and started the extensive road network we have in Anambra today. Ngige is the boldest, the most courageous, capacity driven, independent minded, most outspoken, fearless, strong willed, and firm among the lots.

Can you briefly give an insight into what he has in stock for Anambra people?
The taste of the pudding is in the taste. Anambra has tasted the Ngige pudding and needs no other factor to know he remains the best among the lots. The APC governors are putting up superlative performances in their respective states because they draw richly from the party manifesto and belief which place the people above all other considerations in governance. We have star performers in the APC who believe in the works of their hands to gain electoral approval and not those who believe in writing election results whether they perform or not. Senator Ngige is coming back to reposition and retool Anambra State. Insecurity in a cash-driven state like Anambra is the biggest problem. Ngige will bring security to Anambra State the way he did it before. Our people must travel home to enjoy their mansions without being harassed by kidnappers, armed robbers and petty thieves. Next is that we want to make the state capital Awka to look like a capital of a State like Anambra. APC wants to rebuild our educational institutions, our hospitals, our courts etc. APC wants to boost the economy of Anambra and Igboland by making Onitsha a seaport. APC wants to build a world class Airport in Anambra State. APC wants to lift embargo on employment in Anambra State put on hold since 2006.

What makes you feel that Senator Ngige is better than others?
A good product sells itself. Ngige opened the eyes of Anambra people to know that governance goes beyond paying salaries and pensions. Ngige revolutionalized road construction in Anambra. Ngige proved beyond reasonable doubt that leadership goes with responsibility in Anambra State. Ngige proved that leadership is not measured by might. Ngige does not believe in wealth without work, Ngige believes that a government must be responsible and responsive. Ngige is a super brand. It is also important to know that the capacities of other candidates put together cannot be equal to the capacity of Senator Chris Ngige.


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