Chief Amobi Daniel Nwokafor, the chief executive officer of Audit House in Lagos, is one of the aspirants for the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). A chartered accountant, who served as the president-general of the Awka Development Union, spoke on the nature of politics in Anambra State, saying that to move the state forward, sectionalism should be highly discouraged and why Anambra natives should embrace APC. Excerpts:
You are from Anambra State and in APC, why?
The reason I joined APC in the first place is to let people know that we are not playing the correct politics in Nigeria. In Anambra State you have APC, PDP and APGA and APGA is not in any other state apart from Anambra State, so why should we put our eggs in one basket? I mean, it’s a common knowledge that you do not do that, but that is what we are doing. In the first place it is not good politics, the good politics in the first place is for you to understand Nigeria, why should we be playing sectional politics rather than national politics, a lot people have induced in our consciousness, their feeling about APC. Amobi Nwokoafor is an Igbo man from Anambra State, if I become a member of the APC as I am today, I remain Amobi Nwokoafor from Anambra State. If you join APGA today you remain who you are still from Anambra State, if you join PDP, you are also still from Anambra State, so we are the same in terms of where we are coming from and who we are. Now, we should be different in terms of our belief and process of development, I believe that if we are very serious to develop Anambra State, it is APC. APC is at the national level, we play national politics and not sectional politics.
Anambra State indigenes are scattered everywhere all over the world and somebody needs to gather them together and make them have a focus that will develop the state and make it what it should be. Anambra State is the number one state in Nigeria. We are in Lagos and I have seen the way Lagos is, Anambra State can beat Lagos in terms of development, we are relying too much on Federal allocation, where every month we go to Abuja to share allocation coming from the Federal level, but I am an Igbo man and we are used to looking inward and that inward we are going to look, can Anambra State exist independently, economically without necessarily relying on the Federal Government, that should be the position point, how do we make Anambra State to be viable independent economically? When we put all these together, I told myself that I can do, let me offer myself to serve my people and I believe that I will get there.
In Nigeria, Anambra ranks as the most turbulent when it comes to politics, considering that you are just entering politics for the first time, do you think you have the war chest to withstand the challenges ahead?
If you make God your cornerstone, there is nothing you cannot overcome. So, in this journey I know there are stumbling blocks, there are potholes, there are locust everywhere and there are also the politics aspect of it, but I know that as long as God is our cornerstone and our pillar we will overcome, I don’t fear and as an individual I fear nobody. I know how God had made me and the qualities He has infused in me and the characteristics that stand me out, I may look calm and quiet, but I know that I can withstand any pressure. We are all human beings and we should not be afraid of another human being. I know that it is not child’s play to want to be become the governor of Anambra State and you must be ranking in the state to want to think about that, but who are the people, I am one of the ranking persons in the state, because you cannot just push that aside, I know I am equal to the task.
But still a lot of people will argue that for the past 16 years APGA had really done well in Anambra State, beginning from Peter Obi to Willie Obiano and they will say why do we need a change. And APGA will use their achievements as a campaign tool to say that we have really done well and we do not need APC?
It will be very myopic for anybody to think that way, every state in Nigeria is competing with one another, so my next question will be where do we place Anambra State in the scheme of things in Nigeria, are they the best? If you name one, two, three, four, states in Nigeria we have 36 states, will Anambra State be among the first 10, in terms of development economically and infrastructure-wise. Can members of APGA point out any major developmental strides they have achieved in the state for the past 16 years, can they point to any major monument they have been able to set up in Anambra State. Does an Igbo man has an identity? A member of APGA, what is the place of APGA in the life of Igbo nation, what is their policy trust, what do they believe, what is their ideology on how to develop the Igbo states, have they been able to drive the Igbo states, such that they will be united in their views and development? Looking at the five eastern states, where is the Igbo man in terms of development? When you compare with states like Lagos and other APC states you will see real development, so under 16 years, it’s an impossible task to have the state properly positioned for development.
How confident are you in securing the ticket of your party?
Several people have been coming up with that kind of assertions, but the point is that you do not look at it that way, because where I come from, it is said that whenever you woke up is your morning. I have taken time to develop myself and I have taken time to study Nigeria and my direct environment, which is Awka. You know I will liken my situation to Jesus Christ and the mother, who took him Jesus to a wedding, because for everything there is a time, and when the wine finished the mother asked Him to assist the newly wedded couple in making wine available and Jesus replied that at the right time it will be done that it was not his time yet. So, it does not matter that I am joining politics for the first time and vying for governorship position because I have what it takes. All these while I have been developing myself, preparing for the position, because I do not want to join politics and make noise like every other person, without contributing to the development, I want to put in place something that people will see and say, yes, somebody has passed through this position and that person is me.
What is your relationship with the leaders of the party in the state and around the country, like Senator Chris Ngige?
That is the reason I joined APC in the first place, because APC is looking at individuals and not how long you have been in the party. You know very well that Ngige alone is enough to market APC in the state based on his past deeds. They know already that I am there and all eyes are on me. I do not need to have a godfather to make in APC and that is the beauty of APC. APC in Anambra State is very democratic and because we have not take that position before, they want to present the best and that is why I am hopeful I will get the ticket.
Awka where you come from is Anambra Central, there is this power rotation agreement that the next governor of the state should come from Anambra South and not Central, because as they say Anambra Central has taken its turn and it’s the turn of South.
I may describe that scenario you painted as an implanted consciousness, people want to continue to hold power and that is why they are continually talking about zoning. There was nothing like zoning before and if we will be talking about zoning, it could be zoning among political parties. Like I said before, we are Igbo and we are all indigenes of Anambra State and we should not be just in one party, we should disperse to other parties so that we would be able to harness resources both human and otherwise, politics is matter of dialogue and negotiations, if we are talking about zoning, it should be among political parties because all of us are Igbo. I am from Anambra State, I want to tell you that the type of zoning that should be done is zoning on political party basis, where it can be zoned to APC. PDP ruled Anambra State sometime in the past, and after they had ruled APGA came in and APGA has ruled for 16 years. All of us are human beings with aspirations, it will be wrong to put us aside because we are members of APC, so it is our turn as political party to rule Anambra State. Secondly, assuming that kind of zoning you have in mind, this zoning is APGA, Peter Obi at the time as he emerged from Anambra Central was a member of APGA and he ruled for eight years. Obiano was a member of APGA is ruling for another eight years, making it 16 years. Now, if you get to Anambra South that everybody is clamouring for, they have ruled Anambra State, through Chinwoke Mbadinuju, through Chukwuemeka Ezeife and through Virgy Etiaba, so you will find out every zone in Anambra State has taken their turn. In any case it is APGA. Because we have read all sought of things in the newspapers, where council of elders allegedly met in Anambra State and decided the zoning. At that so-called council of elders meeting, did you see me there, am I not becoming an elder of Anambra State, but whom did you see there it was governor of Anambra State Obiano, who is propagating the idea of APGA.