From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Frontline industrialist cum politician, Chief Sam Ikefuna has declared that political parties might play less or no role in the choice of the next governor of the state.
In this interview, Ikefuna who is the Managing Director and Chairman of Samzek Holdings Limited and Samzek Industries, said Anambra people will vote on the basis of the individual candidate’s capacity on the November 6 election.
Anambra will be holding election on November 6, what will you say about the forthcoming exercise?
It is going to be an interesting one because Anambra State has been wallowing in difficult times for now, ranging from insecurity and lack of jobs for our youths. This government has destroyed the economy that the economy can no longer produce jobs for our youths. So, we want a change of direction, we want a government that has purpose, a government that has vision, a government that is oriented towards youth development. That is what we are looking for, that is what Anambra state needs now. We don’t want to continue in this direction, we’ve been doing one thing the same way and we can’t get any change from that. We have changed the approach, we have to have a different strategy which we will adopt and follow for us to get a different result.
In doing what you said, what way would Anambra and her people look during this election?
We want somebody who has a strategic purpose to approach and deal with the problems, with the menace that is afflicting this state. We want somebody who has seen a lot of things in the businesses and companies he has run and I see that in Chief Val Ozigbo. He is somebody that I have known for quite a long time; somebody that I know how focused he is and I know his capacity to deliver, his capacity to strategize, to galvanize the indigenes of the state towards the achievement and attainment of good goals for the state.
So, you want the people of the state to this time go for PDP because I know Ozigbo is PDP?
Yes, Chief Val Ozigbo is the PDP governorship standard bearer for Anambra. He is somebody I know that can deliver; he is humble, he is smart, he has the wisdom of God in him and from the companies he has run, from his track record, you will know that he is somebody who knows where he is going and he has the wherewithal to get to that his destination. We don’t want somebody who has just not run any business, no company; we don’t want somebody who has just been in one office or the other. This is somebody who has been in the private sector for a long time; he has been in the banking industry, he has been in the entertainment industry; he has also been in management of large corporations. That is what we want, somebody who has got good experience both in Nigeria here and abroad. He has ran Transcorp and Transcorp holds a lot of companies under it and he has NGOs, has private companies; so he has seen it all, so he has the experience that is needed to steer the ship of Anambra to the right direction.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has been in government for a very long time now and there is this slogan, Nkaa bu nka’nyi; how do you think PDP can upturn APGA’s hold on the state?
It is interesting, you know the citizens of Anambra are looking for dividends of democracy; they are looking for a government that will deliver not just a government that will answer the name that is representing the Igbo or the party of the Igbo. We want a government that will get to the grassroots to develop local governments. There is no economy that can grow without really developing the local governments.
But look at our local governments; they are very docile, they don’t do anything, what they do is they just go to the office, at the end of the month they pay salaries and that is all. They don’t have any project, they don’t have any programme. It is the local government that is the stimulus of the economic development, economic growth just like what you have in the United States of America and other areas.
So when your local government has been rendered impotent, when your local government has been destroyed, disabled, there is no way you can grow; what is still keeping Anambra is because Anambra people are in control of the commerce; you have the markets.
So, the issue is not party, the issue is the person that will deliver to the people. The issue is the person that will bring added value to the table, the issue is somebody who has the ideas of how to steer Anambra state to the right direction. Go to everywhere now, there is lawlessness, the youths are not getting employment; I can’t remember when Anambra last gave employment to their youths. These are not things we should be here in the 21st century. So what we are saying is the right person, the person that possesses the right qualities, the capacity to deliver those programmes; that is what we are looking for and that person is Valentine Ozigbo, he is the person that has these qualities and has the capacity to deliver and that is why we are supporting him, that is why I am supporting him. He is somebody that I’ve known for years, right from when he came out from college. He is somebody I’ve seen turn around companies, seen solve problems. We don’t want somebody that will come and relax in an office just to be going to parties, just to be having fun. Delivering services is not about having fun, is not about eating Suya or doing barbecue, it is not about drinking and becoming high, we want somebody who can sit down, identify the problems of Anambra especially the problems of the youth. If your youths don’t have future, that generation has failed; if your youths don’t have vision, you don’t have people to hand over the torch. We want somebody who has vision, somebody who is articulate, who also have the capacity to turn those visions into reality. We want somebody who will change the direction our youths are going to, everywhere you go to in Anambra State you see youths using all kinds of drugs, this is not what we want for our youths. My heart bleeds when I see that, even in Awkuzu where I am from; I have been going around, doing crusade trying to move youths out from that dungeon. So we want a government that can sensitize the youths, we want a government that can bring their youths to discussion table, hear them and find solution to their problems. We want a government that will be inclusive youth-wise, include the youth in whatever they are doing and not one that will go for people of my own generation, no. If you go to the US, before a child graduates from the university, two to three months before graduation, they have got jobs; they are selecting the one to choose but in Anambra, with all our potentials, we cannot provide anything for our youth; we are busy, the people in government and office now are just busy enjoying themselves.
That is not what we want, nothing is okay now; things are not going the way they should and that is why we want a change that is why we want a new person to come into the Government House. To me, it is not an issue of political party but an issue of who can deliver; who has the vision and can map out strategy of bringing those visions into reality.