The candidate of Labour Party (LP) for the November 6 governorship in Anambra State, Obiora Agbasimalo, believes that the state desperately needs a new lease of life through a committed leadership that comes with accountability. In this interview, he speaks on why he remains the best candidate to lead the state. ANAYO EZUGWU reports
What was the motivating factor for joining the Anambra State governorship race? I joined the race because Anambra State is in need of and ripe for a new lease of life. Anambra requires leadership with accountability.
It is time for the state to truly take its place and live up to the true meaning of its slogan as the “Light of the Nation.” I believe and know that I can implement the required changes Anambra needs to become that light.
Also, being a youth, I will be an example to Anambra and the nation at large that the youth are ready to take up the mantle of leadership in the land.
What do you think stands you out among other candidates?
I am selfless, I am a youth, I am energetic. I have worked in topnotch private establishments, where result-oriented performance and accountability is paramount and I will bring all these to leadership qualities to Anambra State.
Do you think Labour party is popular enough in Anambra to win the forthcoming governorship election?
There is nothing like a popular party. People should be looking out for a credible round-peg in round-hole candidate with deliverable blueprints and not false and bogus promises.
The idea of so-called popular parties, branding moneybags is our undoing in this part of the world. We should come together and put a stop it. Look out for a healthy, sane, safe and calm party that presents a youthful and wholesome puff of fresh breath to the state or nation, especially the party with a youth as its flag bearer. I bet you that Labour Party is that party.
My party will win the November gubernatorial election in Anambra State. It can also win at any other level of election in the country. The party has previously won seats at National Assembly elections and at some other time, was first runnerup in governorship elections in the state.
Labour Party is the party of civil servants, the workforce of the state, the pensioners and the artisans, among others. We have the popularity to win the November 6 election if the electoral processes are free and fair.
As for our party, we will always do the right thing. And I know that we will win by the special grace of the Almighty. So, watch us coast to victory at the election.
Anambra is a state of billionaires; do you think you have the financial muscle to win the governorship election?
It is highly unfortunate that winning elections in this country has become a highly capital intensive project. But that notwithstanding, we have the requisite financial muscle to pull it off.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing Anambra State?
There is a myriad of challenges facing Anambra State that if one starts commenting on them; a good journalist will be able to write a 10,000-page epistle on them. One of the challenges facing the state is its unutilised and unearthed wisdom, which we are going to dig up when we come on board.
Anambra has the potential to be in the forefront in areas of economic development, political leadership, infrastructural development, IT advancements, manufacturing, raw materials processing, healthcare development and legal advancement, among otehrs. Anambra State has produced great minds such as Dr. Oby Ezekwsili, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), the Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe,
Late Sir Alex Ekwueme, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Late Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie and many industrialists and business moguls. In the business environment, the state has more millionaires and billionaires per square kilometer than any other state in the country. We have enormous potentials to surpass the likes of Taiwan and Vietnam, and even India in manufacturing.
We have the potential of using our traditional apprenticeship methods to usefully engage every youth in the state and also bring them far above the poverty line. Anambra has had enough of political alertness and eagerness.
Every local government in the state has what it can contribute to the state. If well harnessed, the state can become the envy of Nigeria.
How will you raise the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state if you emerge as governor?
Income leakages and diversion are part of the issues my administration will tackle. I can grow Anambra’s IGR by at least 30 per cent from this. Other percentages will come from genuine, proper and calculated income/revenue drives from areas neglected and or taken for granted.
It is too early to explain all here but be rest assured that they abound and we are capable. I will also seek support from the centre to speedily conclude federal projects in the state to boost our IGR. Also, our ever willing brethren in the Diaspora will not be left behind.
What is your relationship with the Church which is a critical factor in winning elections in Anambra State?
The Church is indeed critical in winning elections in the state and I am in constant touch with all the religious denominations in the state. I am in the centre of friendship with all churches and indeed mosques in the state, leaving out none. I believe I would have the full backing of the church at the poll as my relationship with the Church is cordial.
What’s your relationship with Anambra political godfathers, who usually decide who gets what in the state’s polity?
I don’t know what you mean by political godfathers. Maybe you should shed more light in that area. But if you are speaking about stakeholders; that is role models and leaders, who can influence voters,
I am making wide consultations with as many of them as I can in the religious circles, the civil service, the cultural circles among traditional rulers and also among the youth. I am reaching out to all stakeholders in Anambra State soliciting their support
What is your advice to voters in Anambra ahead of the November 6 poll?
Anambra has the potential to be the best run state in the country. The voters should seek out and vote for someone that will help the state achieve its potentials. Such a person should be vibrant, youthful and budding with ideas.
Such a person should be a good team player and somebody with focus and vision. Anambrarians should avoid anyone who is bereft of ideas but whose interest is in emptying the state treasury.
The state treasury should be protected and guarded jealously. I will also Anambrarians to vote for Obiora Agbasimalo because I love them and always have their interests at heart.