“My spirit has told me no one told me that between now and middle of January, there will be mass defection/decampment from APC.”
Chief Ossai Emmanuel Abiodun Okafor is a retired Assistant Comptroller of Immigration. He hails from Osumohu in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. Okafor is the Coordinator of Atiku Southeast Change the Change Group.
In this interview he spoke on strategies geared towards actualizing the election of Atiku in 2019 election.
How did you become Southeast Coordinator of Atiku Change the Change Group?
I was appointed Coordinator of Southeast Atiku Change the Change Group during a convention held in Abuja on November 21, where Dr Nath, the chairman of the Support Group, Atiku’s wife was represented and others.
What are the strategies you have put in place to achieve the objectives of your position?
It is massive. We are mobilizing from the grassroots, from the units to the wards, local governments to the states and to the national. We are not just talking, going to people’s houses. We are feeling the people’s pulses to know how they feel. We have been passing the message. The only way that can make you live in this country for the next four years is to throw away this government and vote for Atiku for the future of your children. It is a massive trend, if you watch the PDP campaign in Sokoto, the story is good as you can tell it. You saw the crowd in Ibadan that is not even PDP state, you can tell the story. The Southeast where I am representing, Atiku is the man.
Why do you think Atiku will do better than Buhari?
I don’t know where you want me to start. You want me to start in business? You want me to start with the economy? Buhari has always declared 300 cows. So, he has been managing 300 cattle for the past how many years and the cattle do not increase, and the cattle do not decrease. Atiku has fleet of companies, fleet of industries in Nigeria and has humans, persons working in those companies and every one of them is paid. So, if you come to economy Atiku is a good economic manager. Politically, you can look at Atiku, he has friends cut across the all the geo-political zones in Nigeria. Even within the wives he is marrying, he married outside his tribe and they are all living well. Politically, you can imagine how he was humiliated in the past between him and Obasanjo, and he kept his head low and he continued until now the rift is over. Atiku has political experience. Remember that Shehu Musa Yar’Adua left the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) camp for Atiku and Atiku managed it. And you can never define Nigerian political landscape without talking about the PDM. So, he has the political experience and he knows what to do at a particular time.
How is the 2019 election going to be?
It is going to be tough as we envisaged, but the point is that the voice of the people would prevail. The APC has been doing all this…, but one thing I want to tell you is this, my spirit has told me no one told me that between now and middle of January, there will be mass defection/decampment from APC. They will have no option, I don’t think there will be any election. I think he will even throw in the towel before the time.
IPOB has been saying there will be no election in the Southeast. How do you look at it?
I look at it as a political propaganda. There is no way there will not be election in the Southeast. One, we still belong to the sovereign state called Nigeria. The right of every man in a sovereign state is obligation, privileges and rights. So, IPOB doesn’t have any constitutional right to deprive anybody from his constitutional right. IPOB does not have constitutional obligation to deprive anybody from his obligation paying taxes and doing what the Nigeria Constitution posited. IPOB has no right to deprive anybody from the goodies that come from rights and obligations that is the privileges that will come. So, IPOB is talking and the people on ground in the East know. I don’t want to talk about IPOB, it’s like one trying to stab his heart. I am a Biafran, but I am not an IPOB member. Every Igbo person who saw the intimidation and humiliation that the Igbo have passed through, I was one of the persons that suffered and survived marginalization in the civil service. So, IPOB needs to fine-tune some certain things. We are talking about restructuring and that restructuring we do not know whether we are talking about confederation where every state will become independent. We must define IPOB. We must define what they are singing; Biafra is not just the ultimate, but I want it to come, but it has to come in free, it has to come as an organized state. It must not be handled by hoodlum and vagabonds. There is no nuisance value that must be attached to it. It must be done by the elite. I assure everybody that there will be election and the Igbo believe there will be elections. So, whatever they are saying they are saying what the modern boys nowadays called pasmaga. That’s how I look at it.
INEC revealed that there are many uncollected PVCs in the Southeast. Could this be as a result of the IPOB threat that there will be no election in the zone?
All these things are propaganda, there is mobilization. Like now I’m in Lagos, I will go back to the East and the whole idea is to go and mobilize people. We want to find organs to disseminate this information to the grassroots, equipping everybody for 2019 making everybody feel belonged and what will make you to belong is to have your voters’ card. We also want to tell people that they don’t need to give their voters’ cards to anybody. Don’t give it out, it is your right; I believe this is just propaganda to weaken their opponent. It is not true. No Igbo man is selling his card and you know it is against the constitution of Nigeria, the moment one is caught doing that you know the consequences.
Do you think Atiku will be successful in 2019 election?
Atiku is not just a success. Attack is no more a name. Atiku is now a brand in Nigeria. Everywhere we are talking Atikulation. Atiku this, Atiku that. Every Nigerian except you are influenced by spirit not just human; Atiku is being talked about. Everybody is expecting Atiku’s victory. That is why we keyed into it and we are working hard to see that we actualize it and I believe with God it is going to work out. So, Atiku has all it takes to be a president of this country.
What is your advice to Nigerians?
My advice to Nigerians is to come out en masse to vote. Put your hand where Atiku’s name is. After voting for Atiku, don’t just go to your house and lie down, monitor your vote. Sit down there and be celebrating because we are victorious already.