“The emergence of Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah is the best thing that has happened to Abia politics in recent years…”
Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
One of the chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Ikedi Ezekwesili, a House of Assembly member, representing Umunneochi in the Abia State House of Assembly and who is aspiring to the House for the third time, speaks on the party’s primary, describing it as the best.
What is your assessment of the governorship primary that was announced in which Uche Ogah emerged as the candidate?
The emergence of Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah is the best thing that has happened to Abia politics in recent years. Abians waited for the emergence of Uche Ogah as Christians waited for the resurrection of Christ. His emergence marks the beginning of the changing of the political narratives of Abia. Abia State has not been lucky; however one looks at it, because we have not really gotten the best to meet our expectations in governance in Abia. The hope of every person in Abia ranging from the civil servants, the traders, artisans and medium and low class citizens is that Uche Ogah will bring in the highly desired environmental, and social, and political rearrangement and re-engineering of Abia.
We also hope earnestly, and faithfully believe that Uche Ogah’s government will put Abia on a pedestrian for permanent growth. If for no other thing, we are sure that he will live in Government House and govern Abia from Abia Government House, he will bring to bear his entrepreneurial acumen and the success he has made in his private life and business, all of which will rob off on Abians. This is our earnest expectations.
You talk so assuredly as if he is already inside Government House when he has contenders from other parties out there waiting to slug it out with him, what is giving you the confidence?
I am not just being prophetic about this, I am a man about the street, I live with the people, and feel their pain, joy and desire. I also know from the depth of my heart that by the jubilation that greeted his emergence as the party candidate, and this jubilation vibrated from Ukwa in far South to Arochukwu in the far North of the state, he will make it. This is the joy and jubilation Abians have been preparing for and it is just a tip of the iceberg and I am sure they are preparing to replicate the jubilation in their votes and nothing can stop them.
Information making the rounds indicate that some of your people from the southern zone, where the incumbent governor comes from are not happy that a non Ngwa man emerged as a candidate of the party, and that this might make some of them to decide to vote against APC just to ensure that their people go for a second tenure. What is you take on that?
Abians are looking out for the person that has overflowing good will, one who has the Midas touch, and can change things, someone who has the capacity to bell the cat. Abians have gone beyond sectional or sentimental politicking, we are looking for the man that will bell the cat now, both from the far south and north and even Ukwa Ngwa stock, and everybody is tired of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government. It is like we have been under a spell, under bondage, under some degree of divine punishment, God has lifted the burden from us, and the cocoon has just fallen off from our eyes. We are not looking at party now; we are not bothered where the man who will deliver the goods will come from. They have seen faithfully that Dr. Uche Ogah is the man we are waiting for, and they will vote for him irrespective of party, they will vote for his personality, the political platform, notwithstanding.
Members of other parties are crying over imposition of candidates and what they described as ‘Return method’, in which everyone that was elected last time is allowed to return to contest again, do you have such experience in your party?
Primaries in APC is a blazingly open stuff, when we did the governorship primary, everybody came out to the open to vote and at a point in my LGA, our challenge was enough voters card, because people lined up to a kilometre to vote. It was clean open, transparent and void of any dubious manipulations. Ours was the best in the state.
What message do you have for Abians as far as you party is concerned?
My message to them is that APC is the only party to embrace. We have to key to the centre, the benefit of being in the party that is controlling the power at the centre is enormous; Abians cannot afford to do otherwise. President Muhammadu Buhari is winning his election, and Abia governor must be an APC governor. All of us should collapse into APC, and it is going to be in the best interest of Abia and Abians.