Today, I bring you the concluding part of my interview with the man in charge of Special Duties in Anambra State, the gallant Primus Odili. Read on...
How does Governor Obiano intend to justify his overwhelming mandate?
The justification does not lie in the governor. The governor has nothing to justify. Taking back what belongs to you does not need any justification. You don’t need to justify the truth that your people rallied around you. It will be an aberration. You see, this is what we fail to understand and this is what our people have failed actually to look deeply into. I will ask you a very simple question and if you can justify that for me then the governor needs no justification for what took place in Anambra state. If an Hausa man decided to run for the governorship of Sokoto under APGA and dress with a red cap to campaign, do you think he will win?
If an Hausa man decided to run for governorship with all his money and dressed like an Hausa man in whatever form but under APGA and run for the governor of kaduna state, do you think he will win?
Why? Because the spirit is beyond the political party. They are not looking at as Mallam Shehu Musa, the fact is that this guy has come with something that all abhor. We don’t want this. Forget about Shehu Musa. APGA? No! So what is the justification? Can you justify that? So why does an Igbo man who ran under the platform of an Igbo party, APGA, winning in Anambra state, the heart of the Igbo man, have to justify the fact that he won among his people? You are dumbfounded, you don’t know what to say.
I am not dumbfounded. The point is, there is this thing about governors winning and abandoning projects at hand and generally not living up to expectations after they have gotten their mandates, so there is a dire need for him to live up to expectations because Anambrarians have told him, ‘we want you’.
What you don’t understand is that governor Obiano never embarked on any single project because of election and you need to understand that. What you need to understand is that governor Obiano never flagged off any single project for election purposes. Not a single one. What you don’t understand is that governor Obiano never ran and governed Anambra state as if he will be the governor tomorrow. Governor Willie Obiano has remained the governor of Anambra State and has governed Anambra state every day as if every day is the last day in office, so what does that tell you? That his thoughts are, ‘how do I give these people my best today? Assuming today is my last day, what legacy do I leave for them? What is the legacy that this people will they say I bequeathed to them assuming today is my last day? Because he is aware that he is not the owner of his life to start with. He is aware that God can call him any second even though we are not praying for that, but as a human being we take certain things into consideration and that is why at the beginning of this process like I told you, we came prepared. When we talk about the second term, his question will always be, ‘have you finished the first term? Who told you that you will be alive to see the second term? Are you God? Concentrate on what I have right now and let’s finish it. That is why when most people were talking about the governor doing things because of campaign, it sounds funny. Go to the lodge now and you will see thousands of transformers that he bought on the last week of election. When most people in his position should concentrate on spending the whole money on campaign, on running the election, he is concentrating on using the whole money that he has on doing projects that will benefit the people. If he is still purchasing over two thousand transformers within the last week of election knowing that he is not going to share those transformer during the election, what do you think he is doing? ‘Let us procure this because we need them, if I am not the governor tomorrow, whoever that comes in, let him distribute these transformers to the people’. That is the way a seasoned professional who is ready to salvage not his personal interest but interest of the people. That is the way he functions. He came to salvage the state. He came to pull us out of economic recession and that is what he is doing gradually so nobody will talk about any projects that will be abandoned because it is a promise made during campaign. If he were to abandon projects, we would have started with abandoning the projects that were started by Peter Obi, knowing the kind of problems he is having with Peter right now. Did he abandon any of those projects? Not a single one. If he did, it would have been all over the news. Even with some of the projects that were marked up ten times the value, what did he do? He called them to round table, sit down with them, tell them that the cost of this project, ‘I will not be a part of executing this project with this amount of money, this is the value right now and this is what am going to pay, if you are ready, take it, if not, bow out and let me get someone else’, and they continued, they did it because they know that he is telling them the truth. He didn’t abandon any of those projects, they stopped when there was no money and continued when money comes and he has completed over 65% of all the projects started by Peter obi that were handed over to him. That’s where he shut them up. So, if Obiano did not abandon the projects of his predecessor, why do you think he’ll abandon his own projects?
Talking about his predecessor, are there any plans by this government to accommodate both his opponents and the aggrieved people that left APGA?
Those that left APGA under Governor Willie Obiano’s administration left out of their own volition. That’s very important. Nobody sent them away. Nobody made them leave. They left out of grief because they were not allowed to squander what is there for the people and nobody should have apologies for that. Whenever they are ready to come back, they will return like the prodigal son and they will be accepted. Do you know the funny thing, at the heat of the election, the beauty of what we are doing today is that we will go out there, win this election, get our Certificate of Return, and I will take it to my predecessor and show him and ask him to come back so me can continue to build this state because it’s in the best interest of our people. So, if someone has this kind of spirit, do you think he cares less about anyone coming back? It is shame and pride that will not let them come back but they should know that whenever they come back, the door is wide open for them. The more, the merrier. American slogan has been, ‘the bigger, the better’. We are not scared of what they will bring because we know we can contain them. Let them make up their minds about returning like they woke up one morning and decided to leave. We will welcome them like the brothers we are but it is not governor Obiano that will go out there to look for people to come back and join the party.
Okay. 2019 is around the corner. What role would APGA play in the forthcoming presidential election?
That’s a hard nut to crack right now because you’ve bombarded me with questions on governance in Anambra state and governor Obiano has just won a re-election. He is faced with the task of governing Anambra state for now and that is what we want to pay attention to.
Okay. That’s fair enough. Tell me, do you intend to expand APGA outside of Anambra state?
Yes! That is the goal that every meaningful Igbo man should seek. It is our ambition and interest. Remember that I ntold you that governor Willie Obiano’s win all of a sudden became a win for all Igbo men because we suddenly woke up to the realization that ‘nke a bu nke anyi’ and we must have to salvage it together. If it’s really true that ‘nke a bu nke anyi’, then there shouldn’t be segregation within the Igbo community. We should be able to speak in one voice and I’ll bet you that the question you asked me about 2019 will begin to make sense when the other people at the other side begin to see a kindmof re-union of Igbo states coming together under one umbrella. The moment you see Anambra, Imo, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi under one party, what do you think will happen? Nigeria will go haywire. They will know that these guys mean business. The struggle since independence has been never to allow that happen. That’s why the Igbo state has been balkanized. The Igbos are the only states with more than five political parties. If I ask you right now what is the political party of the Northern states, it’s clearly APC. Same goes for the yorubas, APC and now, PDP. Why? Because it is a game of interest and when they go, they go en-masse. Now, what Is the political party of the South Eastern states? APGA, PDP, APC, QUD, GPD and so on. That is balkanizing what we have as a people. How can we make a headway with that? So, yes, there is a need for us to expand APGA and we will go out there. We are determined also to employ the same tactics that gave us the 21/21 we got in Anambra state in all the states. We will replicate same in Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, and with hands akimbo, we will wash them because it is time for the Igbo man to rise up to the challenges of the political quagmire.
Are there any new policies Anambrarians should expect in this dispensation considering that when Obiano came on board, the policy was Consolidate, Continue and Commision (CCC). What is it gonna be this time?
Thanks for the smart observation. Our Think Tanks are at work. As you know, we define what we do with slogans that motivate the people and spur them to action. We did the CCC and during the heat of the recession, we came up with ‘doing more with less’ and at the heat of the election, we came up with ‘nkea bu nke anyi’. We live in an ever changing world. The only thing that is constant is change. Our Think Tank started before the swearing in of Governor Willie Obiano. We put the structure immediately after he scaled through the primaries and got to work. So, he knew the financial state of Anambra six months before he came on board. We projected the state into the future and knew that there would be recession. That’s why we braced ourselves with Agriculture which has made Anambra stay at 1.3%GDP above recession unlike other states including the federal government. This was by the assessment of the United Nation.
Thank You for a most exhilarating experience, Sir.