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Labour Party’ll place citizens’ welfare above needs of a few rich –Igara

Ceekay Igara is the chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Abia State. In this interview with EMMANUEL IFEANYI, he speaks on the party’s chances in the presidential and Abia State governorship elections, among other issues

How do you react whenever opposition politicians describe Labour Party a social media party?

First of all, social media is a very good channel of communication, which the whole world is enjoying today thanks to technology and there is nothing wrong with anybody enjoying the opportunities there. I’ve heard it severally from their lips that Labour Party is a social media party and whenever I hear it, I keep laughing.

I laugh about it because as I am talking to you, within a space of some days, we have printed over two hundred and fifty thousand membership cards and they have all been taken here in Abia and it is still not enough because I have been rationing it, making sure it gets to the right persons through the various chairmen in the local government areas and wards as only channels for distribution.

So, I am not disturbed by such talks because such people should keep thinking in that direction until the election is done and dusted before they wake up to reality. The second reason why I laugh at such comments is that those making such comments are not looking at the faces of Nigerians to read their minds. They do not understand that Nigerians are tired of incompetence in governance. Labour Party is the only alternative link to what Nigerians want because we have a brand. Our candidates both in the presidential election and Abia governorship election are two brands that nobody who is tired of suffering can ignore.

Labour Party is a party that even God told us since 2012 that is going to take over Abia. Since then, we have been working, relaxing and waiting for the time of God to come. We didn’t know that Mr. Peter Obi was coming. We did not know that somebody like Dr. Alex Otti was also coming. However, they came and boosted the fortunes of the party at both the national and state levels. And it is as a result that you see the influx of people into the Labour Party in Abia State and national.

In other states where elections will take place, Labour Party also has given the people candidates they can be proud to follow as a brand. So, when they call us online and a social media party, I laugh and advise them to be patient until when it is time for them to see the stuff we are really made of. The people are with us and that is what matters to us.

Apart from party symbols, is there really any difference between LP and other parties in terms of ideology?

I will not talk about anything about the other political parties but focus on our party and its ideology. Labour Party is a political party for social democrats. By social democrats, I mean it is not a party for the bourgeois. Our focus is on welfare, making people comfortable and happy, making things work for the society. We are here to give a new direction and a new sense of leadership. Labour Party was established to give focus to the workers that make up the workforce; to give focus to the hopeless. You are aware that you cannot drive a car within any town in this state without visiting the mechanic. Look at the cost implications.

It is easier for you to drive from here to Lagos and come back than driving within Aba for one week. Do you know why? The answer is that we do not have the infrastructure to support the growth of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and support our development. And that is what Labour Party has come to remove by placing the welfare of all citizens above the needs of a few rich individuals.

We are here to give a new orientation to our people and as it stands right now, Labour Party represents the entire people of this country who are not comfortable with how things are. So, you can see that we are pursuing a different thing and whatever we do is to keep our people happy and to be proud citizens of their country.

Talking down on Peter Obi’s chances is now topical among opposition politicians. Are you surprised over this?

When I was in the university, one of my lecturers told me that some people talk down on people because of inferiority complex. Peter Obi is the only candidate that has what it takes to rebrand Nigeria, so everybody is running around him.

They are already aware of the grace of God hovering around him. Despite party differences, they know very well that only an Obi can fix Nigeria in her current state where competence and ability cannot be sacrificed for anything else. Mind you, something is going on. Watch all those who talk down on Peter Obi, challenge is always coming for them because this project is divine and God is using the people of this country whom He wants to deliver from corrupt leadership to drive the project to the chagrin of those who do not want a better Nigeria where things are done properly. Peter Obi is a grace-made man, who God wants to use to deliver Nigeria out of bondage.

That is exactly why nobody can talk ill about him. People are free to express themselves but it is good that after expression, one evaluates if those he spoke to bought things one said. No Nigerian can buy whatever ill-talk against Peter Obi right now because they all know it is not worth listen-ing to. Whatever anybody is saying about him turns more positively promotional in his favour because he is God’s own project to rescue Nigerians from bad leadership.

What are the chances of Labour Party in the presidential election and governorship poll in Abia State?

We have wonderful chances. You see, in the field of marketing, when we say marketing, some people think marketing is going to the market place. Marketing is all about finding a need and filling that need. In Nigeria, we have serious problems in leadership ranging from corruption, recklessness, stealing and greed. The panacea to all these problems is Mr. Peter Obi. He is somebody who has a proven track record of competence, and a proven track record of noneinvolvement in criminality and corruption. He is somebody who lives a very simple lifestyle and his ways of doing things is part of what we need to give to our people as a new orientation.

He is a leader who leads by example. And if that is the only thing we are bringing as a brand, then it is going to revolutionalize this country. That is why Peter Obi is a wonderful brand that everybody is singing about. Now, come to Abia State, you know Dr. Alex Otti as a former managing director of a bank, whose records are also full of competence and ability to deliver. So, if you look at the two candidates from the national to state, you will see that they possess qualities that you cannot find in any other party’s candidates around.

Look at all the candidates you have in Abia for the governorship election, from All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties, who among them is better than Dr. Alex Otti? Otti is a man who has done wonderful things with personal resources and still doing. We do not need too many talks to prove that he is the best person to lead Abia right now that the state and everybody inside the state is yearning for a competent leader.

You said that Otti is the right person to govern Abia; what is he really coming to correct?

There is a whole lot he is coming to correct. Just recently, we heard about the withdrawal of accreditation for Abia State Polytechnic by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). Have you not heard that Abia State University Hospital (ABSUTH) has been overgrown by weeds as patients are no longer treated there? Are you not aware that backlogs of salaries have crippled Abia State Poltachnic? What about pensioners, who always cry from here to there? They come here regularly to cry, seeking help.

Can you move from any part of Aba easily to Asa-Nnetu Market? Can you drive on our roads? What about our educational system that has collapsed? Is cronyism not obvious in Abia State public offices? They prefer people who are not qualified for public offices to take up positions that are meant for eggheads.

There are some people in government in Abia State that I take documents to and they start asking what the documents are about after looking at them. These people are in government. Whatever you bring they put under their tables to stop it. Touting has taken over the entire Aba. Touts are chasing people all over. Touting is now a business in Abia State. So, we need a whole lot of re-orientation. We are not touts here. Our name is God’s Own State and we’re going to flush all those who are not representing both God and our people well through the electoral process by voting against them.

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