Godwin Okafor is the national president, Okigwe Professionals Vanguard (OPV). He says in this interview that he is optimistic that the prospect of the South East producing the president in 2023 is high. He also speaks on the recent pronouncement of the court in favour of Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu representing Imo North in the National Assembly, saying its victory for Okigwe zone.
Senator Rochas Okorocha in a recent statement after his inauguration, said the Igbo should forget the presidency in 2023. Are you worried over what he said?
One problem Okorocha has is what I call ‘only me’ syndrome, that means, if not Okorocha, nobody else and that is a major problem which I advice him to deal with. I think he should have learnt from what happened during the last election when he squandered his goodwill. Maybe because he has seen that his ambition to become Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction has failed that is why he made that statement, but I want to tell Okorocha that the prospect of an Igbo man becoming the President of Nigeria in 2023 is bright We can do it without him.
The court has declared Benjamin Uwajumogu winner of Imo North Senatorial District and he has been sworn in as a stakeholder, how do you feel?
The court judgment has once again confirmed that INEC was right when it declared Uwajumogu winner of Imo North District in the last election. My only regret is that he should have been elected Senate President but could not participate in the election of principal officers of the ninth National Assembly. But it better late than never. The entire Okigwe was agog when the news broke because Uwajumogu delivered on his promises to our people and that is why we re-elected him. I want to use this opportunity to call on those who lost to join hands with him to develop Okigwe zone.
Many will disagree with you that Uwajumogu delivered the dividends of democracy to the people of Imo North.
That is the voice of enemies of progress who are also enemies of Okigwe who are biased and want to discredit the hard working Senator. If you go to Dioka Nzerem you will see ongoing construction of a huge agricultural settlement. It is one of the projects Uwajumogu attracted to my community and he has promised to attract roads to the area to enable farmers transport their produce to the markets. He is accessible and supportive of his constituents in his own way. As I speak to you, some of the roads he attracted to Okigwe are either completed or under construction by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and we look forward to the commencement of work in Umuaguma road and other roads in Umuoma Nzerem. If not the delay by INEC to issue him with his certificate of return, work would have commenced on major roads in Umuoma Nzerem which was abandoned by the previous government.
You expressed regret over the South-East zone losing out in the Senate presidency, could that be due to the fact that the Igbo did not vote for APC?
I don’t think so; instead it is a conspiracy against the region by lawmakers from the other geopolitical zones and former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha was a willing tool that was used to execute the plot
How do you mean?
The ruling party in 2015 gathered momentum and people from the South-East were beginning to join APC, but suddenly Okorocha started arrogating the party as his private property, then big boys and opinion makers in the zone started distancing themselves from APC. Uwajumogu tried to caution Okorocha, but he did not listen and Uwajumogu became his target hence he and his cohorts ensured that his certificate of return was delayed after the election of the principal officers of the 9th Assembly. Okorocha’s plan was to prevent Uwajumogu from being his boss in the National Assembly because as the only ranking Senator of APC from the South-East that got re-elected, Uwajumogu would have become the Senate President. Unknown to Okorocha, God as a master planner delayed Okorocha’s certificate of return too, thereby preventing him also from contesting the principal positions.