From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
With his formal declaration and flag-off of his campaign, Ogbuefi Nonso Ozoemena, from from Anambra East LGA has not only staked a claim but also made a bold statement of his readiness for the November Anambra State governorship election. The 34 year old candidate of the Youth Democratic Party (YDP) promised to revolutionaries the State through industrialization.
You have declared to contest Anambra State governorship election, how mentally and physically ready are you for the race?
It is true that I want to contest for Anambra State governorship and that is the reality on ground. I declared last weekend and I can tell you that what is about to happen in Anambra State is a revolution.
Considering your age, are you not scared of contesting for such position?
I keep telling people that as a good student of history we should be awakened by what is happening across the world right now. It is the trend of young men taking over leadership and governance of many countries. It has now become a movement.
I have the zeal and enthusiasm towards achieving the aim of leading Anambra people as the governor. It may look obviously cumbersome but I am an incurable optimist. I don’t believe in impossibility. For one to make an impact, one must conquer that enemy called fear.
As a politician, I have conquered that fear and I cannot wait to unleash what I have in stock for Ndi Anambra. I have been having very robust engagements with the people and I know that age is not a barrier. I have the capacity to lead Anambra as the governor and I am very optimistic about winning the race.
What do you really think stands you out from other candidates?
What stood me out will be my policies and programmes, my courage, consistency on issues and the content of my character. People who know me can testify that I am a young man with very consistent character. I am a very happy family man, educated and one of the most intellectually endowed person.
My age is really my uniqueness. I represent the young people of this country who have been tenant enough in their country and my declaration will kick start the movement to awaken the Nigerian youths to take their destinies in their hands.
The level of youth participation in Nigerian politics is not encouraging and I want to change that concept that have been lacking over the years. I want to take up the leadership of that movement that will spring up others from the 36 States of this country.
What is your take on the speculation in Anambra that you are in the race just to be ‘settled’ in the end?
(Laughs). Only recently my classmates in the university invited me for a meeting and asked the same question about the issue of settlement but I reminded them that I have not changed from the consistent character they knew me for way back in school.
By His grace, I have the basic needs a man of my age can achieve. I know that God created people for different reasons with some ending up as Bill Gates. But, I don’t want to be a Bill Gate. My passion is not to make the Guinness Book of records as the richest man in the world but to be read in the history book of Nigeria.
My views are different from what an average man will desire in Nigeria as his priority. Mine is to make an impact and move on. We have short time to stay on this earth and what matters is what one is able to achieve.
How much of endorsements have you received from the Anambra political godfathers?
I am aware that nobody can do without them and I am also aware that stakeholders deserve respect. I said earlier that many of them have called me but after some interactions with me, they have actually changed their minds. Don’t also forget that there is no political party in Anambra State that doesn’t have one problem or the other. All of them are enmeshed in crisis and YDP certainly seems to be the easiest platform.
In fact, what I am even scared of is the influx of people into the party because we want the party to remain a composition of brand new politicians not the recycled ones that would infiltrate the party with recycled policies. Many stakeholders that have seen my vision have endorsed me. They believe in my determination to change the political configuration of Anambra politics. I have made it clear that I am not going to discard the old people, they will still form part of the government but I want to run a Millennium compliant government whereby the people around me think the way I think. So, with their age, the elders will be able to direct me more.
I know so much about Anambra and yes I may be a rookie in seeking for election into the State’s Government House, but I am really a grassroots person. I believe in the demographic advantage of young men in Anambra. The voting pattern favours the young men that are by my side already. I strongly believe in the power of social media as a Millennium complaint person. We will utilise the impact of the social media during the Anambra governorship election and this will be my anchor point.