Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Chief of Staff, Imo State Government House, Uche Nwosu, has said his governorship ambition on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is a divine mandate.
Nwosu who spoke with Daily Sun in Abuja on the sidelines of the just concluded APC national convention, also dismissed fears of those who think he would be a puppet governor to the current governor of the state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
What is your take on this convention?
My take on this convention is that it will get APC stronger again as a party and at the end of this convention; we shall be more focused with the emergence of whoever will become the chairman. As it is now, Adams Oshiomhole is like coming unopposed. So, I think that after this convention, APC will be stronger again.
Your governorship ambition: is God involved in it? Have you handed it over to God?
It is a divine mandate because I know very well that there is the hand of God in it. Everything is going well and I know that God has destined that.
Why the move to become governor and not any other office?
I am not only having the move to become governor, because you also have to know what being governor is all about and what it takes to be governor. You can’t just wake up one morning and say you want to be governor. You would have gone through the nitty-gritty of governance and also know what the people want and what
you are going to give to the people in industrialisation, agriculture, education, health and so many of them. It is only when you have sat down in your quiet place and have studied the issues of governance, especially when it relates to the state that you can make up your mind. It is not by waking up one morning to say that you are contesting or running for governorship.
Your ambition is being threatened by different forces. What is actually going on?
It is because it is going to work. Whatever that will surely work will have people becoming afraid of it. If you are contesting for any office and nobody is talking to you, you know that you are not popular.
When you are a strong contender, you must have opposition because opposition
is what makes you win election. But when there is no opposition, you will have to watch it because it is either people see you as someone who cannot win or they think you can’t pull the weight. But when they see that you can pull the weight, you can win election, opposition will increase, but at the end of the day, the majority will carry the vote and victory will come.
Why do you think your traducers are not viewing your ambition from the perspective you spoke to?
Everybody has his own ambition; everybody has his own take when it comes to politics. Owelle Rochas Okorocha, being our leader, has positioned most of the younger ones we have today in Imo State. When you come to Imo, you see younger people doing well in politics. It will take somebody like him to groom younger ones. Things are fast changing! You don’t expect a governor that is exiting to bring somebody who will destroy all the legacies. Take Lagos as an example: Lagos is growing fast because somebody laid a structure and another person will come and continue and another person will come and continue. And that is what governance is all about. It is not when another person comes; he will destroy it and start up a new process again. So, this is what it is.
At some point, there was the Catholic Church angle under the leadership of Archbishop A.J.V Obinna. Have you reconciled with the Church?
We don’t have any problem with the Church.
The issue of zoning seems to be playing out, that you are from Orlu zone. What is your take on this?
Zoning is not in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and zoning does not put food on the table of the poor man. Zoning does not bring about the best candidate in politics. In America, there is no zoning; in the United Kingdom, there is no zoning. Those that brought democracy do not see zoning. So, zoning is only when a man cannot succeed or cannot win election, he will start talking about zoning.
But the governor is championing zoning at the national level. How do you reconcile these two positions?
Governor has never championed zoning at the national level. What the governor said is that after President Buhari wins, then everybody is free to come out – that after President Buhari’s second term, Igbo will come and they need the support of the north. He said whoever that comes, need the support of the other zone. So, zoning does not bring out the quality of a good candidate because you can zone it to a particular zone and at the end of the day, you bring out somebody who is weak, whereas there is the best candidate from another zone.
From the perspective of the party structure in Imo State, how feasible is your ambition?
Very, very perfect; very strong! You will remember that the APC was nurtured, groomed and introduced to the Southeast by Okorocha. The same thing in Imo State! So, it is not about APC, it is about who is piloting the affairs of APC. You can have somebody piloting, but the grassroots APC will not stand. You can have another person who is grassroots oriented that when you talk about the party, the party is strong. The APC is strong in Imo State today because of Okorocha. He is very close to the masses. His developmental projects have made APC strong and have made other people come into the APC.
Are you prepared to extend the olive branch to the other side?
We are one family. Everybody should come on board. There is no division. But one thing is that the governor is the leader of the party in the state. We are one family. Imo is one. So, whoever that wants to work with the governor, the governor is open, and he has always opened the door for everybody to come in.
Are you sure you will not be a puppet governor?
No, no, no, no! People don’t know Rochas. The Rochas I know very well, once he leaves that office, time will not allow him to come back.