Imo deserves better than what it has – Ihedioha
With barely 14 days to the general elections, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo state, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, spoke to some journalists on his plans and why he thinks he will win, Chuks NZEH was there for The Abuja Inquirer. Excerpts:
What should Imo people expect from you if you are elected?
Expect a government with experience, huge positive background, antecedents that are traceable, pedigree, huge capacity, honesty of purpose, enthronement of the rule of Law. The practice of fear of God in governance, a systemic and deliberate approach to governance, a government that is defined by the concept of planning, we design before executing.
We shall be guided by emphasising on the restoration of the dignity of the man and once more getting our people to where they used to be, our sense of industry, positive competitiveness would be Paramount, and the restoration of our lost glory. Those are the things they are going to expect. We have experienced mis-governance and to an extent non governance, that is not the way to go about it.
Our Local governments are not functioning, those are just part of the problems. The consequential effect of the non-governance at the local governments level is very significant, it is huge because, it affects the labour force, job creation, wealth creation, because Local governments operate at the base level , so when that is absent it comes with the attendant poverty, loss of jobs, hardship, it comes with a lot . When we restore it, it will give some hope, create some jobs, revitalize and receive our economy yet again and bring development nearer to the people. So it is not just that there is lack of governance at the local level and you think that it is about persons, it is beyond the political appointments. We will get down to the very basics, so Imo people will get an opportunity to rewrite our wrongs.
Would you probe the current administration?
I will restore sanity in the system, I would reestablish the rule of law, I will make sure Imo begins to work again. I will redefine our appreciation of governance and the workings of governance in government. Acrimony will not be my hallmarks, I will not chase shadows, but I will get things working and I will right the wrongs.
If questions must be answered then they will be answered, but I won't set out to chase persons to answer questions.
You a candidate without political liabilities, would you say about that?
I was brought up to be responsible, to fear God, to do the right things, to know that there is difference between good and bad, to respect my seniors, to protect my right and that defines my upbringing, my growth, my actions and I never abuse responsibilities and opportunities, because I know that those opportunities come and it is a privilege. I took seriously every opportunity I had to serve, it is a referendum on your person, character and family background, and I have been guided by it. I thank God, if I am perceived by many people as credible, one that is regarded in terms of character and capacity over and above others.
Why has EFCC not invited you for questioning, after all your years as Deputy Speaker?
It humbles me because like I said for every action you take on earth there is a time to give account, so once you are guided by it, you will be on point.
Have you been able to mend fences with aggrieved party members?
I don't think that is the problem of PDP, because I think my candidature, excites a lot of Imo people. So any effort by anybody to dwarf my height, it won't work, any effort to demean our accomplishments, is an effort in futility, any effort to characterise our primaries as not transparent, is defeatist, because it was transparent. You cannot deny a man of the right to go to court.
however, I am discussing with as many people as I can and I have started discussing with my brother who is in court, I am confident he would see the need for us to work for the good of our state. But you know PDP, is the most stable party in the state and in fact in the country, we know where we are heading to, our trajectory is very clear.
It is not very easy to get everybody at the same time, on the same page. Notice those who also left, their characteristics are clear, are we not better than they left? The party is healthier now, more discipline, cohesive and more determined now.
Do you see the cracks in the major political parties in Imo state as an advantage to you?
Yes it is, the confusion for them, is that you don't know how to solve their problems. The problems are intractable, it is impossible to solve, because you cannot solve a character problems.
The good news is that I stand out, in the midst of candidates that humbles me that makes me to appreciate the enormity of expectations on the part of the people. So I prepare consistently and very hard, as if every hour, minute, matters, in the course of our preparation, also not taking for granted the desperation of those I am running against, I don't see them in the field, they are not talking to Imo people, I don't know whether it is for lack of what to say to the people or they do not value our people well enough. I will continue to do what I am doing, I believe on that eventful day, it would be about the people. I am hopeful that our people will take the bull by the horns.
What do you make of the south east governors’ displeasure on the choice of Peter Obi as candidate for Vice President for the PDP?
I think that was at the beginning that they raised issues of consultation, but I think we have gone past that, I expect every South easterner to support Atiku/Obi ticket, because that is where we have a stake in.
Peter Obi distinguished himself as a credible governor for 8 years in Anambra State, he redefined development. From all intent and purposes, he stands out, as one man who you can his foot prints are still there for anybody to appreciate in the state. We couldn't have gotten it any better.
What is your take on the APC promise for an Igbo President in 2023?
Who promised you? The fact of the matter is as vice president, God help us to win, we are a shoe away from the president, which will you prefer? APC has no capacity, they cannot.
President Muhammadu Buhari will not support an Igbo man to succeed him, he will not, but they have that opportunity to determine, because he would not be reelected in 2019, if the electorate vote rightly.
Can you assess the PMB's government?
President Buhari has ran a failed government, how do you assess it? How many promises have they kept? And someone deludes himself daily to say, "We have met all our promises", you begin to wonder is he in our world? Obviously not in our present world. We know there is no electricity, I have been here I have not had light, I run diesel. In our present world they said they will give N5,000, to the unemployed, I don't know how many people who have benefited. When a government deliberately deceives itself that is the height of irresponsibility.
What are your plans to engage youths, in Imo state?
When there is confidence in government many people will find accommodation, people will come to say this is what I can offer. We will create jobs and we have said, we will ensure job and wealth creation. I will partner and I will give succor to our sons and daughters with capacity.