By Mark Pippah
Dr. Alexander Obiogbolu, stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and aspirant in the forthcoming Anambra state governorship election has thrown a challenge to the Obiano-led administration, to show the people his scorecard.
Obiogbolu said the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) government in the state has failed and would be voted out in the November.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan said that there is hope of PDP returning to power in 2019. Do you honestly believe that, giving the plethora of problems bedeviling that party since 2015?
As long as there is life, there is hope. Every patriotic Nigerian should pray and hope that PDP remains a strong and united party to provide a virile opposition to the ruling APC government. We have learnt how a virile opposition keeps democracy alive and gives the people an option if they are tired with the party they gave their mandate.
Our party (PDP) failed to meet the rising aspirations of our fellow Nigerians, especially the young emerging generation. For that reason, they changed their mandate. Former President Jonathan’s statement of hope of PDP returning to power in 2019 represents our desires and I believe it can be accomplished going by the way the APC has remained clueless on what to do with the mandate they got in 2015.
The problems that have bedeviled us since 2015 is not peculiar to us if you look closely at what is happening in the APC. We have quarreled severally and have always shown the capacity to overcome issues that divide us, but it is left to see if the APC can resolve theirs or implode. Persons in authority continue to reserve special laws for themselves whilst applying another set for their opponents and citizens.
Anambra people will go to the polls later this year, is there any chance for opposition, nay the PDP?
It is true that Anambra State will be going to the polls on November 18, but it is certainly wrong to state that the PDP popularity is dwindling. The defection of some leaders in the party to the ruling party is not a clear sign of dwindling popularity but rather the exhibition of lack of character amongst some of the political class in Nigeria. Like I stated earlier, certainly we have our hands full of problems but these are certainly not insurmountable and you can see the concerted efforts by the leaders to resolve these issues. Even those who insist on seeking the final verdict of the judicial process are also inadvertently trying to resolve these issues. If you review the results of the last general elections, you will discover that the PDP did marvelously well in the South- East which will signal to any observer that the party is popular and generally accepted in this region.
Thus, even in Anambra state where the APGA heads the government, our party is still more acceptable to the good people of the state. You can see it by the way we have won elections in recent times despite some of the issues that have bedeviled our party. Our loss of the governorship position is more as a result of division over the candidature for the election than people’s love for the ruling APGA.
On the point that the present governor have done enormous work, I have continued to ask, can someone detail, not generalize and explain, what work has been done so we can qualify the enormity of that work done, which will imply that the claimed work done by the Obiano administration will be stacked and compared against that of his predecessors, Dr Chris Ngige of PDP or Mr Peter Obi of APGA or against some of his current colleagues in other states in the country? Take for instance, in road rehabilitation and construction, Ngige accomplished an average of 80km of road per annum, whilst Obi averaged 100km of road per annum. Let Obiano list his own roads completed in the last 35 months, so we know his average. In the area of security which he flaunts, I agree that he has maintained one of the achievements of Obi who was the one that chased out kidnappers and big time robbers from Anambra state, and as such we commend him for not letting us down like he has done in other sectors. However, I have continued to caution that we can’t rest on our oars in that aspect of security because that word connotes many other things apart from stopping kidnapping and reducing armed robbery. Are citizens secure when government agents beat and harass them daily? Are they safe when military and other members of the forces kill and maim innocent protesters or people who just happen to be wearing a camouflage? Are we safe when communities begin to kill each other because of land matters as is the case in the state today?
You said you want to be the next governor of Anambra state. What exactly is Governor Obiano doing presently that he isn’t doing well or enough that you can do better?
I can tell you that going by the accomplishments of the two governments that preceded Governor Obiano’s administration; certainly he is dragging us back and reducing the speed of development that his predecessor Peter Obi had set in motion. As such, I continue to state that we can do it better than him. Another four years of Willie Obiano and his profligacy and bad fiscal management, will make Anambra broke. Our administration will do it much better in Agriculture which we both agree is the foundation for economic revolution in our state. However, only God knows who will be the Governor by March 18, 2018. I believe in the maxim that the society deserves the leaders they get. If you don’t want a certain leader, you work hard to change him through the ballot. Talk to others, sit down and watch your votes counted. Technology has made it such that we have no excuse again. I don’t believe that after what Ndi Anambra have gone through especially the improved governance in the past eleven years preceding 2014, that we deserve this kind of government that Chief Willie and APGA-led government offers today. Not after savings and better fiscal management of the two governors before him. Now what we have is a wasteful government that prefers to celebrate every little thing in a big way.
If there is anything Anambra state is known for especially during election, it is violence…
(Cuts in) Again, these are assertions that are not founded on empirical facts. Even at the zenith of imposition of Governor of Anambra state in April 2007 on the people by the erstwhile Chief Obasanjo-led federal government, our people did not resort to violence. They rallied behind their leaders who came out to declare that they will not give legitimacy to that government which became the shortest government in history of Nigeria till date.
Ndi Anambra are not violent people and that can be seen from so many situations. Our youths who have continued to advocate restructuring have continued to do so peacefully despite the killings and arrests they have faced, the deportations from Lagos of our brothers, the loss of hard earned property in their places of abode have not turned our people away from the belief in God and rule of law.