From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and one of the frontline aspirants in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief George Moghalu has given his views about security challenges in the Southeast.
He also spoke about his good intentions for women, youth, children and indeed the entire population, if he becomes governor of the state. Excerpts:
Recent killings and destructions in Anambra State leave fear that the 2021 governorship election in the state will be bloody. What’s your take?
I feel very sad about it. Like I have always said my ambition is not worth the blood of an animal not to talk of a human being. It’s not worth it and I pray also that every other person aspiring to the office should also have that in mind. I feel very sad about it, but I’m also happy because the police have taken up the charge very seriously. I hear that some people have been arrested over the killings and my prayer is that investigation should be through so that they can comfortably identify who the perpetrators are and the reason for it.
Don’t you think the killings could be politically motivated?
I would not want to pre-empt the police investigation. That would be most unfair. I will rather wait to hear from the police on the investigation they are conducting. When the report of their investigation comes out we will then know who the perpetrators are.
The issue of insecurity has continued to rise and it may not subside by the time you become the governor, if elected. What are some of the measures you will adopt to tackle the insecurity in Anambra?
There is quite a lot I will do. But I believe that the first thing we must lay emphasis on is about intelligence gathering. We must also understand as responsible citizens that it is not only a government affair. Security is everybody’s business because the security agencies can do better if they have reliable information which we the citizens can give them. Don’t forget that criminals are people’s relations. Don’t forget that these criminals live in the same society as we live, they go to the same market with us, intermingle with us. So, we should be able to collaborate with the police and other security agencies so that we can give them information that will help them in doing their work. So, I think the major emphasis should be on intelligence gathering.
So, you mean community leaders like the Igwes have a major role to play in this regard?
Yes, they have. That’s why I say these people don’t come from the air. They live with us in our communities. Everybody has a role to play.
Women constitute a very large proportion of the population, what are you going to do for them specifically when you become the governor?
When I release my manifesto you will see my plan for women and children. Women and youth are very strong factors. We are going to form a major fulcrum and policy agenda for the interest of that segment of the population and the entire Anambra people at large. I believe that they have a great role to play, that is, women and youth, very important and strategic role to play. They should be encouraged and supported.
Is there any need for re-orientation in this country generally because of the way things are going?
No more value for human life. It is unfortunate we have degenerated to that point. It is unfortunate, but the re-orientation has to start from the family. We need to have proper re-orientation at the family level. There must be attitudinal change. We have to get people to understand the need for peace and mutual understanding. If I may ask, what has gone wrong when it has to do with life? There was a time sanctity of life was respected. We must go back to that. We must think out of the box and ask ourselves basic questions. What must have gone wrong? We need to retrace our steps and deemphasize materialism. We should encourage people to understand that you are going to give the account of the life you live now. That’s what I keep telling people. It worries me maybe because of my background and orientation. There is judgment after and every position you hold is a public trust. If you don’t account for it now you account for it in the world hereafter. So, we need to do re-orientation, we need to talk to our children, our brothers and our sisters. Everybody has to be involved. We need to seek the face of God as a nation and as a people
You always sing a gospel song in Igbo language, a kind of signature tune: Asimu uchechi mee, uchechineke, asimu uchechi mee, uchechi ka mma……(let the will of God be done) each time you want to address your supporters. What’s the meaning of that?
In all my life I seek God’s face in anything I do and His time is the best. I believe that in every situation I find the opportunity, I give praise to God because all power belongs to Him. He does everything at His own time. I believe that it is only God’s will that will be done. Let His will be done is the song that is very popular with me because I know that the thought He has for us is the thought of good and not of evil. So, anytime God’s will is done you will see there is peace, you will see there is progress and there is calmness that comes with the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. So, for me, it is a way of life. So, Anambra State under my watch, if it pleases God, will give attention to the things of God. Certainly, that will be encouraged.
Did you say in your recent interview that you will do better than former Governors Peter Obi and Willie Obiano, if you become the governor of Anambra State?
If you read the body of the entire interview, in fact, I was confused when I saw it, because I didn’t see in the body of the interview anywhere I said such a thing. It is not in my position to start assessing past governors or whatever. It is in the position of the people of Anambra State to look at everybody’s antecedent, to look at everybody’s performance and to be able to now say, okay, these people have done well or a thing like that. But the only thing I said was that most of the things they have done, I will do differently. I don’t make such careless statements. But without prejudice I said a lot of things they have done, I will do differently. And let me re-emphasize one policy I have all my political life, I don’t just wake up and begin to criticize a government policy.
What do you tell Anambra electorate as the election draws nearer?
Shine your eyes. Don’t be swayed by material considerations. Be swayed by the capacity, character, integrity and ability of whoever is vying for the office of the governor and then look at track record, look at performance indices, look at experience, someone who can change the narratives, who can move Anambra State forward, who can change our story. Whatever standard you want to measure it, Anambra is a prime state in this country. Anambra has all it takes to be the leader of all the states. So, we must take into account all these qualities. Let it not be a matter of how much am I paid now. Whatever you are paid now is temporary and can easily fizzle out and you then live with the burden of your wrong choice.
Southeast governors are accused of not being pro-active in security matters because of how long it took them to form Ebubeagu vigilance outfit. What do you have to say about that?
Every governor has his programme and agenda. But I think it will not be fair to them for me to start talking that because I don’t have access to the security or intelligence that is available to them. I cannot make any informed contribution in this regard. But I think they are on top of the situation. They are concerned. They are governors of South Eastern states and they are concerned about the security challenges. They are concerned and they have no choice other than to see what they can do to protect lives and property which are the basic fundamental responsibility of government.