“Our people are angry, they are angry because their mandate was stolen in 2015… and they’re ready to reclaim their mandate in 2019.”
Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
A chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and senatorial candidate in Abia North, Chief David Onuoha, speaks on Abia politics, saying the people must reclaim their mandate that was stolen in 2015, by voting out Governor Okezie Ikpeazu next year.
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With your success in business, why did you go into politics?
I have always excelled in everything I do, and in politics, I also expect to excel; by that I mean that I want to leave a mark, my footprints on the sands of time, so that many years after I have left, I will be remembered as one of those who came and delivered dividends of democracy to their people. We talk of Igbo leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Michael Okpara and our one time governor, Chief Sam Mbakwe, those were men that came and worked selflessly to uplift the Igbo race and left a mark. Some of the infrastructure we enjoy today were provided by these individuals I have mentioned and so many others I have not mentioned. My yearning, my desire is to be counted amongst those that impacted on the lives of our people. That’s why I ventured into politics. I am from Abia North Senatorial District, today, I can safely say that we do not have a senator representing the zone.
But there is a PDP senator representing the people of Abia North. How come you say they don’t have one?
I say so because there is nothing on ground to show that we have a senator, there is no federal presence in Abia North. There is absolutely nothing. I want to tell our people to expect excellence, something different come 2019, a different kind of representation when I get there. Today, the road from Isuikwuato to Uturu is cut into half. There was absolutely no reason why anybody should have waited till that happened before we start running up and down, making great statements.
We do not have any hospital working in Abia North now, yet we have somebody we call a senator who should draw the attention of the Federal Government to the fact that our people are suffering, but he is not doing that, he is busy looking after himself and his family. We have to change that; that is one of the reasons why I ventured into politics. The fact that for many years, we have been complaining from our comfort zones must stop. I urge our people from Abia North to shine their eyes, come 2019, they must decide with their PVCs. Enough is enough, if you permit me to use Igbo language, I would say that ‘Anaghi eme onye ukpa Eze,’ meaning that you don’t put the crown on the head of a poor man. There are Igbo politicians, who were hungry before they ventured into politics, some had failed in their different vocations before venturing into politics, so what do you expect? You cannot give what you don’t have. These are politicians that will first fill their pockets before they think of doing anything for the masses. That must stop; I want to ask our people to brace up for the work ahead. Having done with primaries, we shall go into the main election and this election must be won, just like we did in 2015. This one must not be stolen like that of 2015, that I can promise you.
In 2015, your party urged the electorate to vote that you would protect your votes and when the issue of protection came, you lost it; what actually happened?
In 2015, using me as example; which will also go for Dr Alex Otti; our flag bearer then, we came into the race, not really prepared because we did not have the required experience, and we were too gentlemanly in all the things we did. We wanted to play strictly by the rules; like the fine gentlemen we are. But now we have learnt our lessons because we have been burnt, we are putting measures in place now that we did not have the opportunity of putting in place in 2015. If you remember, we all were in PDP and after the booboo-yaya that saw us leave PDP; we had very little time to prepare. Now, we are prepared, we have put structures on ground that will make it impossible for anybody to steal our votes, we have advised ourselves that politics is a game where if it requires playing dirty; you play dirty, if it requires playing by the rules, as the gentlemen we are, we will always play by the rules. But we will not run away from trouble this time; we are ready, we are prepared. Our people are angry, they are angry because their mandate was stolen in 2015. They have fire burning in their stomachs, and they’re ready to reclaim their mandate in 2019, nothing will stop them. We are prepared, we have put structures in place that will make it impossible for anybody to steal our mandate, we have provided foot soldiers, human beings that will guard our votes; we are optimistic and also very sure that this time around, nobody will steal our votes.
My advice to Abians is that they must vote wisely this time, it is not enough to cast your votes on the day of election and go home, you must be there to protect it, my disappointment in 2015 was that whereas the people were yearning for a change; they desired it so much and there was a land slide victory; yet, when that mandate was stolen, everybody just ran back into their houses; that was not good.
Don’t you think that the current crisis in your party will affect it in 2019?
We are together, this house is not divided, the point is that there are jokers clowning around, and their clowning cannot stop us. We have people, who are paid agents that are trying to destabilise APGA, it will not work. You saw what went on regarding our primary, the APGA gubernatorial primary.