New Telegraph

2023: S’East should support Tinubu to avoid losing out –Ogah

Hon. Chinedu Ogah is the member representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency, Ebonyi State in the House of Representatives. In this interview with UCHENNA INYA, he speaks on the Tinubu/Shettima Muslim- Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peter Obi of the Labour Party, chances of the APC in Ebonyi State in next year’s general elections among other issues

 

A faction in the state APC known as old APC has been crying of marginalization. Do you think that it will affect the chances of the party in the 2023 general elections?

One thing I want you to know is that a selfish person is a selfish person. Some people are so selfish that they don’t like unity.

For me, there is no faction in Ebonyi APC. When I contested the 2019 general election that saw me occupying the House of Reps position, there were even those that claimed that they were in APC that did not support me, yet I won that election.

What we are talking about now is those that have their PVCs and greater numbers of those that have voters’ cards are all APC members. They will vote for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Shettima, our incoming governor, Chief Francis Nwifuru down to all other positions. They are all going to vote for APC candidates because 90 per cent of Ebonyians are APC. The candidates we have in APC are very credible.

What is your impression about Tinubu’s candidacy in the APC?

When you look at Bola Ahmed Tinubu antecedents, you will see many people he has built and they cut across the country likewise Shettima.

Compare these personalities with other candidates of various political parties, you will discover that the Tinubu/Shettima ticket is the right choice especially for the Igbo because they will benefit a lot under the Tinubu administration as the President of the country. We have been missing it as Igbo, when we refuse to connect to the centre, we will be complaining because we are not in the corridors of power.

 

Igbo should connect to the centre, they should connect to national politics and shun ethnicity. Even in the two tenures of President Muhammadu Buhari, all his Vice Presidential candidates were chosen from the Igbo but they turned it down. In 2015, he approached a very reputable Igbo man to be his VP and the person turned it down.

That is why the North has an alliance with the West and you cannot build a wall outside the fence. It is when you are inside the masquerade that you determine the dance of the masquerade. So, I am calling on the Igbo to follow the APC because it is the right party for them to follow so that we can get dividends of democracy for our people.

 

The party produced a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 general election. What is your take on it?

Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the right person for the 2023 presidency. Let us look at who can deliver democracy dividends for us. If dividends of democracy are coming, even if it is through a Muslim-Muslim ticket, everybody will be okay. I want to tell you, most of our Christians don’t have an open door policy for their people.

Call a Pastor to come and sign a surety for you in the bank to take a loan and see if he will agree. Go to any church when you are stranded and tell them that you want to sleep in the church and know whether they will accommodate you. Yes, the truth of the matter is that politics is about the masses; it is about the number. People can complain about Muslim-Muslim ticket. My brother, you are a journalist.

If Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu who is from South-West Muslim picks a Christian from the North and his running mate, can APC win the election? Let us be sincere, statistical analysis of politics matters. Let us be sincere because we are doing politics to win and not to lose.

What we should be talking about is does this people have the interest of Nigerians at heart which they have. They have interest in Nigeria at heart because they want stability of power, they want Nigeria stability, they want the security of Nigeria to be stable, they want to create job opportunities for the people and revive many factories so that many Nigerians can have work.

You know Tinubu has invested much in journalism which is your sector. We need such a person that can create jobs as the President and he has created jobs as an individual, how much more when he becomes the President of the country.

You are openly campaigning for Tinubu in Ebonyi State when other APC chieftains are not and are very silent on his candidacy. Why is it so?

I see very far and I am a realist. We have 36 states in the country including FCT. There are six states in the South-West. Show me one state that Peter Obi will get 30 per cent votes; show me one in the whole South-West.

Then, in the North Central, show me one state he will get the percentage. In the North-East, give me one state as a political analyst, just tell me one state in the region.

Peter Obi is from the South-East and he is contesting the election under Labour Party. Why are you not supporting him?

Don’t allow yourself to be deceived. How many Ebonyi people are pushing wheelbarrows in Anambra State that Peter Obi gave a scholarship to when he was a governor?

Show me one. Don’t we have intelligent people in Anambra? Because of certain things, people will begin to talk Obidient. Let us follow the right direction so that we will not be missing out in the scheme of things. We have everything in Igboland but we have refused to follow the right direction. I want to ask you as a journalist, how many states does the Labour Party control in the country? Who are the polling agents of the party? Who are their candidates?

Show me any candidates that can win the election in Ebonyi. I tell people the trust that politics is about the interest of the masses. How many of those people that are talking Obidient that has the interest of the masses at heart?

What do you think that made Igbo sons not to make it during the presidential primaries for the 2023 presidential election?

In PDP, Anyim Pius Anyim contested presidential primaries and Igbo are found in almost 12 out of the 36 states of the federation. It is only Ebonyi votes that he got at the primaries.

Why is it that it is only Ebonyi votes that he got if we have a common goal of producing the President of the country in 2023 or is Senator Anyim not qualified for the position?

Peter Obi aspired for the position in the PDP too. It is when he saw the danger that he ran out of the party.

In our party APC, our Governor, Dave Umahi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Nwajiuba, Nnamani and one other lady contested the presidential primary and it was only our governor that had over 30 votes and it was the votes of Ebonyi. Where are the votes of other Igbo speaking states?

It is now that you are now clapping hands that Peter Obi is a savior.

Why do you always move from Ministry to Ministry and other MDAs looking for jobs for your constituents?

Let me tell you one thing. If you don’t move to get something for your people while in the National Assembly, you cannot get it and the priorities of every elected officer are different. Every lawmaker has his or her own way of doing things.

Chinedu Ogha has his own way of doing things. So, I cannot begin to tell you that my colleagues are failures because they don’t move to Ministries to get jobs for their people, no. They have their own way of doing things and I have my own way. What is necessary is to achieve results.

The 2023 general election is going to be very interesting in the state because many political parties are contesting the election including your position. What magic do you have to win the election?

It is not a problem that I have other candidates that are contesting against me. It is all about presenting ourselves before the electorate because it is the duty of the electorate to make the choice of who they want based on our antecedents; what we have done and what we intend to do.

It is the people that elected me as their representative under the platform of APC. If I have not performed, it is their duty to vote me out. So, my strategy is the masses. It is not for you to purchase a form and become a candidate of your party.

But what are your plans for your people? So, I welcome every candidate contesting against me and I am not such a candidate that destroys another you are contesting my position. If I can see any of them, I will assist them financially by campaigning and presenting themselves before the people. Before I became a member of the House of Representatives, I have done things that speak for me which made my constituents elect me.

As a member of the House of Reps, I have continued to do those things that made the people elect me and I will continue to do those things. If I am elected again, I do more of those things I have been doing. I will focus more on human infrastructure because if we have many people that have the capacity that we can call and ask them to assist the people that need help and they are able to do that. This is what we are looking at.

So, we are not against anybody that is running against me but within you as a journalist, you should know that no other party can win an election in Ebonyi State other than APC.

You have your brother, Senator Emmanuel Onwe contesting the Senate on the platform of APGA and you have Ken Eze contesting the Senate on the platform of APC from Ezza South.   Are telling me that you are so partyoriented enough that you will canvass for votes for Ken Eze, leaving Onwe your brother?

My brother, I am talking about parties, we are not talking about individuals and the election is one day.

The Presidential, Senate and House of Reps elections are on the same day. What do you expect me to tell the masses most who are illiterates? What will you tell them when they will be given three ballot papers on that day?

What if I campaign for another party/candidate and they vote for the candidate and I lose my election? Why can’t you use your common sense before asking me this question? Senator Ucha contested the election and he won in Ikwo because his votes are attached to my own and I contested for the House of Reps.

I am talking of my own election, Chinedu Ogah and if Asiwaju wins, I will get more things for my people and you want me to be talking to another person. Senator Onwe is a good person, he is a good friend but we are talking about politics.

Every person that secured a party ticket is qualified but we are now talking of selfish interest, the interest of your party and my party is supreme.

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