Mr. Ugochukwu Okeke, South-east zonal coordinator of Team Goodluck Nigeria 2015, a group campaigning for President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term, speaks on the activities of the organisation and development issues in Anambra, in this interview Anayo Okolie
After your active participation in the last Anambra State governorship race, what next for you in politics?
Anambra election has come and gone. And things have happened the way they did. We remain resolute and committed in doing our best to bring about the desired change in the society. Don’t forget, before the election, I had been committed to the cause of human capacity development and several philanthropic programmes. Supporting and engaging in real time development will remain my top priority whether in the government circles or anywhere.
I remain a proud member of Peoples Democratic Party from my very ward to the national level. It is true that the election is over but we believe in the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. Anambra needs to be transformed. We must start from our communities to the local government areas, political zones and the state in general. I remain committed to my slogan, which is “ka anyi dozie Anambra,” (let us build or develop Anambra).
I still believe that it is the time for youths to take over. Anambra has population, land mass, needed resources (both human and natural), and so on. Anambra can feed this country in whatever capacity you may think of. Whether you come from the south, north or central part of the state, we all need to come together and build the Anambra of our dream. And the only way to do it is through dialogue, which is contributing ideas, vast knowledge and material resources from everyone, no matter how big or small, to the table. Even the present government of APGA, if there is any way they approach us and seek our contribution, irrespective of the fact that they are not from our great party, PDP, we will make ourselves available in support, in a bid to move the state forward.
What areas do you think the present government in the state can focus on to fast-track development?
First and foremost, the present leadership needs to concentrate on the area of security. There is no investment that thrives without adequate security being in place. If the state can guarantee maximum security, investors will be willing to come and invest without being afraid of what becomes of their investment in the short or long run.
The previous governor did his best and I understand that the current governor is beginning to take steps in that regard. Once security is in place, you now think of economic development. The three senatorial zones in state have their areas of strength. Anambra North, for instance, boasts agricultural produce because of the nature of their land, which fertile and the agrarian nature of the people in that area. Anambra South is much into entrepreneurial or business activities. Anambra Central is more in industrial development. For example, in Anambra North, we have the biggest rice mill in Nigeria known as Omor Rice Mill. That rice mill needs to be resuscitated for economic gain and other attendant benefits.
Anambra remains the hob of agriculture in the entire South-east. So effort must be made to harness the potentials in this regard. We must come together to give every area the needed attention. Anambra has the capacity to generate over N50 billion every month if the right things are done. To achieve economic stability, we must invest massively in agriculture, more than we do in oil.
Do you think the Jonathan administration has delivered on his promises, especially, to the South-east?
It’s a fifty, fifty situation if you want to assess what the president has been able to do, especially for the South-east. We might not have benefited much, but I want to commend him for what he has done so far. That is why some of us who are in support of what he is doing brought ourselves together to form Team Goodluck Nigeria. We believe that the president has done well by starting the second Niger Bridge. We are going to ensure that he comes back to complete the project and others that are ongoing. His return will ensure continuity with a guarantee that he will continue his development programmes in Anambra, South-east and the country at large.
Under his government, the Igbo have enjoyed so many things. I believe that leading people is a difficult task. Even in the area where there is insurgency, he has demonstrated commitment in taking development to the people of the area. In spite of all his achievements, I believe there is room for improvement and that is why some of us are calling on him to come again to complete his good works.
President Jonathan is the most abused and misunderstood president Nigeria has ever had. I have joined in the call for him to come back for second tenure, not because he has done wonderfully well but for him to be allowed to do more in the next four years.