There’s going to be more than fair share of democracy dividends to all communities in Anambra state if Dr Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is elected as the next governor of the state this Saturday.
The assurance was given with a firm promise not to fail the electorates by Dr Nwoye himself during a campaign rally at the Abatete Civic Centre at the weekend. While lamenting the ugly state of roads, non-provision of boreholes, healthcare facilities, erosion control measures and agriculture impute, promised to change the scenario when elected.
Nwoye who was hosted by the stakeholders in the community led by a very notable legal luminary -Chief Chuma Oguejiofor, Chief Tony Chukwuelue and the leaders of the Abatete Political Platform led by Chief Zevis Emecheta expressed.
In this exclusive chat, Chief Chuma Oguejiofor, a legal icon and son of Abatete urged the community to embrace Nwoye in view of the fact that all their support for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has yielded them nothing good but complete neglect.
He thumbed his chest assuring of Nwoye’s ability to deliver. He even committed them to hold him responsible if they vote Nwoye and he fails to deliver.
In the same vein, Chukwuelue assured that his knowledge of Nwoye transcends politics and that the candidate is a man of his words. He therefore appealed to the people to give him full and maximum votes.
Emecheta, as the leader of the non-partisan political platform sought for an assurance to carry the community along in practical terms when supported.
Chief Oguejiofor here below responds to questions from journalists on the response by Nwoye and reason he chose to participate in political matters unlike in the past.
Q: Sir you hosted the APC governorship candidate today. Surprisingly you had never come this close to politicians of their activities. What made you change this time?
That is true. I have to be here because of Dr Tony Nwoye. I met the young man about nine years ago and I saw something different in him. Ever since, I have remained his lawyer. If you are conversant with the Nigeria law reports NWLR pt 1446, you will see Chris Kato Vs Tony Nwoye(Supreme Court).
I took his matter from the Federal High Court which we won for him to represent Anambra East/West Federal Constituency. At the Court of Appeal we won, but lost at the Supreme Court.
But I encouraged him as a young man to go and prepare again, that age was on his side.
He came back during the last general election and we followed it up with a victory at the Election Tribunal and at the Court of Appeal the victory was affirmed. That is why he is in the National Assembly today.
I have been closely associated with his political odyssey.
Q: Many communities have been lamenting over lack of democracy dividends. What do say about Abatete?
When Tony Nwoye was driving down to my house this afternoon, he was filled with lamentation because of the terrible state of our roads. In law there something we call reps ipsa loquito-meaning, let the thing speak for itself.
So, in as much as am not castigating anybody, but was it not the late legend Hubert Ogunde that called on his kinsmen, saying ‘Yoruba ronu’. Use your sense and make choice of what is good for you.
The guarantee I gave my Abatete brothers and sisters was that if they vote Nwoye in and he fails to perform, that they should hold me responsible!
Don’t you think that it’s a very serious commitment?
Yes it is. Am not a politician and had never indulged in political programmes. But this time around, in this issue of Nwoye, am involved; very involved. I know that he’s not involved in politics because of the mercantile benefits.
I trust him. When you encounter him, he talks, breathes and exudes politics. Yes, no one can pretend to be proficient in what he knows nothing about. Talk about the law, yes, am game. But for politics, that young man knows it. And he knows that the only way to make a mark in politics is to deliver services to the people when you are elected.
Ok. In all these what is the priority challenge and need of Abatete that they want fixed?
Personally and to an extent for the larger members of my community, in this compound, am lucky to have a borehole that runs all year round, you can see the electric generating set supplies that light. But on the issue of road construction, its capital intensive and challenging. So I think a good well paved road network is the number one priority need of my people.
If you go to neighbouring communities like Alor, they had former Gov Chris Ngige who lifted the community up in terms of roads. And where he stopped, Dr Emeka Eze took it up and did wonderfully well. It you go to Oraukwu, they are trying through communal effort.
But you cannot compare them with Alor. Then if you go to Ideani, I think Abatete is better in terms of road network. Our main challenge is good road network.
Q: As the people prepare to file out on Saturday to cast their votes, what advice do you have for them?
Yes, many have been going round peddling all sorts of propaganda alleging that our APC representing Hausa oligarchy; and claiming that APGA is Nke anyi.
As far as I know Anambra people are very wise people who have go out and interacted with people. No one would shave my hair in my absence. I know what is good for me. And you say APGA bu Nke anyi. Ok, where is Nke Abatete?(Where is the share of Abatete?)
Or does Nke a bu Nke anyi a mere statement without purpose. Just like when we were kids and the meat in the meal was just one small one and our mother would significantly wave the tablet of mean in circular form round each of our little heads and then eat same “on our behalf”, saying that once our mother has eaten she has done so on our collective behalf.
Times have actually changed and we must have our due share in tangible terms. If not for Dr Ngige, we would still be living like in the stone-age era, no roads, no lights and no jobs. We need the roads. We need jobs for our sons and daughters.
Q: Sadly you have some of your sons no daughters in government. Does it mean their opinion means nothing to the authorities?
That is the crux of the matter. Anambra state has a defined number of communities but there is nothing to show from the state government in the last three and half years. There is need for a change.
It is sad to imagine what those presently shouting Nke a bu Nke anyi tell potential voters to convince them. It is shameful to follow someone for three and half years and he did not remember you, yet you are still nursing belief he would remember you. It is doubtful. We need to take our destiny in our hands this time around.