From Okey Sampson, Aba
Chief Francis Eneh from Ebonyi state is a staunch member of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia state. He said the mistake the Igbo made in the 2015 general election would not be repeated in 2019.
In the 2015 election, APC did not do well in the South East, is the situation going to be any different in 2019?
During the last election in the South East, we did our best, it was just that some people who did not know our mission, sabotaged our efforts, carrying unfounded propaganda that former president Goodluck Jonathan was our brother and that made people of the area to dance towards Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They were deceived; they didn’t know that APC had a better option and a better way of reorganizing the nation more than the PDP.
Take for instance, PDP ruled for 16 years and we are still battling with how to fix Aba-Owerri Road to Ikot Ekpene. But I remembered when President Muhammadu Buhari visited Aba during the electioneering; I asked him at Eze Isaac Ikonne’s palace what he would do for the city if he won the election. He answered that he was going to fix Federal roads in the city in the second year of his administration and before he could clock two years in office, work had started on those roads.
You are one of the few South East politicians that supported Buhari in 2015, why did you have so much belief in him?
You see, because of the bad governance which PDP foisted on the country, everything went bad. I was a renowned tailor in Aba, I was a known tailor even in the whole Nigeria. The clothes I made in Aba are even exported to countries like Italy, USA and other foreign countries, but today it is not so because the PDP government allowed our country to be dumping ground for all sorts of foreign goods. But Buhari said if he became the president of the country he was going to change all that and that was why I followed him and gave him my support and things have already changed in that direction.
The other time, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said in the whole of West Africa, there is nowhere pencil is produced, this is very shameful and it is something like this that the president is trying to change. This administration is changing our people’s way of life, you can now see that farmers are making the type of money they’ve never made in this country before, it is a way of telling people to go back to the land and this is encouraging. I totally support what Buhari is doing because he is God sent.
You said that Buhari is doing well, but some Nigerians think otherwise because of the economic hardship in the country today. So, where do we place your claim?
Let me tell you something, I remembered when my brother was in the army, he didn’t own a bicycle until he got to the rank of Lieutenant before he bought a motorcycle. But today you will see a very junior worker riding the most expensive cars and live in a mansion.
Buhari has now come to change all those rot of the past and people are shouting. If not for what Buhari is doing presently, we never knew that High Court Judges take bribe. I never heard before that a High Court Judge takes bribe. Do you know the meaning of a Judge? A Judge is supposed to be next to God because it is only God that will say one will die today and it will happen. The next person is the Judge, if a Judge sentences a person to 100 years jail or even said the person will die, that will be it. Then how can somebody who has the power to condemn a person to death take bribe to do that? That is what Buhari is fighting and those who have milked this country dry are not happy about that. Buhari was sent by God to correct the ills of the past.
Some people are saying they’ve not seen the change Buhari promised. What’s your take on this?
The change is already there; at least people are gradually changing their flamboyant lifestyle. You know, before, you will go to a function and see one nonentity throwing money around, but today it is not like that anymore. Money has gone out of circulation, it was not Buhari that hid them, but those who cornered our commonwealth dug the ground and hid the money inside. But I know with Buhari, he will dig the ground and bring out those hidden money and use them to develop the country. What Buhari has succeeded in doing for the country is a situation whereby if you are a farmer, you go back to farming, if you are a fisherman, you go back to your fish pond and be contented with it, if you are a driver, you do your job with pride and honour and all that. It is not when you are a tailor, you will leave it to start looking of how to sell crude oil and make quick money.
Buhari has done very well to stop the importation of some goods into the country and that will make each and everyone of us to contribute our quota for the development of the nation. Many people through this have lost their genuine businesses and this is what the Buhari administration is trying to correct and some people are not happy.
From the way things are going, do you think Buhari can effectively fight corruption in the country?
Corruption is like fire; when you bring a stick of match, light it and put it into an inflammable, it with will spread and it is only the Fire service men that can control it. I think Buhari can be likened to a good fire service man that has come to stop a raging fire lit by the PDP. Before Buhari came, Nigeria was rated as one of worst corrupt countries in the world but all that is changing now. My prayer is that after Buhari as the president, let another Buhari continue with this anti corruption war in the country.
In the 2015 presidential election, the South East did not vote for APC. Are you envisaging a change in 2019?
South East during the last election I would say had no option; they were blind because they did not see the hand writing on the wall. You say your brother is the president and that you must vote for him. You did not take into cognizance what your so called brother did for you the time he was there for six years. We are still trying to fix the road from Enugu to Aba where I live and not to talk of the road from Aba to Port Harcourt or Bayelsa or even Akwa Ibom State. All these Federal roads were not passable and you were still clamouring and clapping for the same people who failed us.
Buhari has not even completed two years and you have seen the changes he is making in terms of rehabilitation of Federal Roads in the state. If it were to be the PDP that won the election in 2015, they would have stopped the reconstruction of the Enugu/Port Harcourt Road because the people did not vote for them, but Buhari continued it. Before the president will complete his first term in office, people will definitely see the difference in governance and APC will capture the South East because as I speak, some of us are already captured and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu who is my brother and mentor in politics made that possible.