Dr. Nnamdi Nwawuo is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party, (PRP), in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State. In this interview with ECHEZONA OKAFOR of New Telegraph, he x-rays some socio-economic and political problems in the state, and why he has to join active politics.
Could you tell us what informed your decision to join politics and why you want to succeed Chief Willie Obiano as governor of Anambra State?
Providence beckoned on me to join politics with a view to contributing my quota to the development of Anambra State. This is why I have come out to aspire to be next governor of the state through the November 6 governorship election in the state. My sojourn into politics is to serve and to help. I am well prepared to serve with the fear of God, truth transparency and accountability.
My venture into politics is an act of God. The message that I will occupy political office as governor of Anambra State came about 25 years ago. I am not into governorship aspiration to loot the common treasury of Anambra people. As governor, I will not travel overseas for one day. I will be in Awka to oversee the affairs of the state, and to ensure that every aspect of governance is working.
Anambra North where you come from is predominantly peopled by farmers and people also believe they are educationally backward. What are your agenda in agriculture and education?
Under my administration, farmers will have a good day in Anambra State. I will enact a favourable policy in agriculture, and ensure that farmers have access to all necessary incentives, such as availability of seedlings, tractors and soft loan. I will make Anambra North the food basket of the state in every sense of it. In the area of education, I will ensure that all the public primary and secondary schools, as well as tertiary institutions in Anambra State would be allocated huge sum of money through the annual budget to ensure that education is on higher ped- estal than never before in the state. I will ensure adequate manpower and equipment in all the schools in the state.
There is going to be annual allowance for each school for upkeep, and which every school authority has to account for. I will also pay civil servants the new updated minimum wage.
With pockets of kidnappings, murder, and other sundry security issues in Anambra, how would your government ensure that Anambra reclaims its glory as one of the safest states in the country?
If elected, I will guarantee water tight security in Anambra State by providing all necessary equipment to the Nigeria police and other security agencies. I will also ensure a strong community vigilante service that will assist the police and other security agencies in crime fighting.
More so, I will fight crime through job creation and payment of monthly stipend to applicants. I will collaborate with business developers to develop businesses and create jobs in agriculture, science and technology, with emphasis on developing people into automobile mechanics, solar energy engineers, as well as in sports, especially football.
I will return the good old days of Rangers International Football Club in Anambra. Also, as part of crime fighting strategies, I will be paying N25, 000 monthly stipends to those that are not yet employed, to keep off crime and criminal tendencies until they get something doing.
Again, I will spend not less than 30 per cent of government energy on rural dwellers, because, there are high rate of poverty, hunger and disease attacking people in the rural area. I am from a rural community, so, I know and understand what it means to live in the rural area.
Oil was discovered in Anambra long time ago, but nothing is heard of its exploration; even with the presence of Orient Petroleum. How would you ensure that Anambra is integrated fully into the league of oil producing states if elected?
Anambra is listed among oil producing states in Nigeria; but not much is heard or seen in oil and gas in the state. As governor, I will improve on the condition of Orient Petroleum to ensure that oil and gas business is alive in the state.
A lot of people are of the view that zoning arrangement will affect you, as the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, is from the same Anambra North with you, and power is deemed to go to the southern part. There was never any power shift arrangement in Anambra State.
The Inter Party Advisory Committee, IPAC, did not endorse it. My political party, PRP, does not endorse such arrangement. It is not anywhere in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, or in the Electoral Act.
Therefore, zoning of governorship slot in Anambra has no basis, and cannot stand any argument or common sense reasoning. Moreover, how many governors have ruled Anambra State from its creation? How many of the past governors were from Anambra North? How many of them were from Anambra South and Anambra Central?
Anambra South has produced up to four persons as governors at different times. Anambra Central has also got its fair share by producing up to three persons as governors at different times. Anambra North has produced only Willie Obiano, and he is trying to complete his eight-year tenure. Put together, how many years have Anambra South and Anambra Central spent at the government house apiece?
Without mincing words, Anambra North where I come from, has not got its fair share or slot at the government house, both in terms of the number of persons they have produced as governors, and the number of years they have spent at the government house. So, I am at the right track. Again, the reason why developed democracies do not advocate zoning is that it promotes mediocrity.
Power shift limits the political space, and shuts out competent politicians from coming on board. Anambra State has since passed that level of mediocrity inherent in power shift arrangement. To me, power should be given to the most qualified and most competent.
What is your opinion about interference of Obiano’s government into the chieftaincy and town union affairs of communities in Anambra?
Every leader structures his administration the way he thinks is best for him. For me, if given the opportunity to be governor of Anambra State, I will ensure that democracy thrives at the community levels by allowing the communities to choose traditional ruler or town union leaders without government interference.
It is perceived that President Muhammadu Buhari has not been fair to the southeast in terms of appointments. Do you share the same opinion or perception?
In as much as Buhari’s government has been fair to the South-East in terms of provision of infrastructure, his government has not treated us well in terms of appointments.
Be that as it may, when I become governor, I will mobilize my colleagues in the South-East to ensure that not only would we be speaking with one voice; but will also establish cordial relationship with whatever administration that is at the center. So that whatever that are due to our region will come to us.
Lack of unity of purpose, backbiting and eye service among our stakeholders must have contributed to our problems. So, Southeast governors must unite; speak with one voice, to be able to get what is due for the region.
What do you have to say about the problems of herdsmen and farmers in the South-East?
The problem of farmers and herdsmen in the Southern Nigeria, especially the South- East, is going out of hand. Government at the center, to me, has not done enough to check the increasing problem.
On regular basis, you hear cases of mass murder of rural farmers, kidnap or rape of women in their farmlands, among other vices, all by herdsmen. There is need for active legislation both at the central, regional and state levels. This is one of the surest ways to stem this tide. This is another area the South-East governors must work hard to address.
This is also the reason I said our governors and stakeholders must unite and speak with one voice. Without unity of purpose, you will find out that our people will be at the corridors of power, where they are supposed to speak for their people; yet, they will do little or nothing, while things will continue to go wrong.
By the grace of God, once I am elected as governor of Anambra State, come November 6, 2021, I will work hard to ensure that our governors and other stakeholders are united, irrespective of religious or party affiliation, because, all these anomalies must stop!
Source: New Telegraph