Dr. Marcelli Chinagorom Oguh is the Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), United Kingdom (UK) chapter, and an aspirant for the Ezinihitte/Ahiazu Mbaise Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives. He spoke to EJIKEME OMENAZU on his party’s plan to take over South East come 2019 elections, as well as some crucial national issues. Excerpts:
Many Nigerians have been reacting negatively to President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year address? Would you say that such reactions are justified?
In a democracy like Nigeria, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. So, I believe such critics are justified in their reactions. In a hind sight, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been in power at the federal level for about two and half years now. What achievements have we seen across the nation? The government failed to address the fact that the president spent years criticising fuel subsidy, stating that it was a scam. However, it has now emerged that the government has been secretly paying fuel subsidies. Is this a way a country should be run in secrecy? The APC government has not delivered any of its election promises. Two and half years on, they are still blaming the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Now, they are shifting the blame to the petroleum marketers’ association. This is laughable.
The Federal Government plans to withdraw $1billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the prosecution of insurgency. What is your take on this development?
We were told that the Boko Haram had been decimated, how then is the Federal Government withdrawing $1billion from Excess Crude Account to fight insurgency? The money in that account does not solely belong to the Federal Government. Who is fooling who? Such amount can be used to develop the entire Eastern Region. It can build the Second Niger Bridge. Yet, no such attention is given to the problems of the East. Rather, the amount is being earmarked to fight insurgency in the north. This is hypocrisy of the highest order. So, are now to believe now that the Boko Haram was not decimated as we were originally told? Could the APC government be feeding the people with lies all along?
The National Assembly is yet to pass the 2018 budget, with the House of Representatives saying that the oil benchmark it was based on was unrealistic, while the Senate said the 2017 budget had not been well implemented. How do you see this development?
The Senate and House of Representatives have made it categorically clear that they are unwilling to pass the budget because of inconsistence, errors and inaccuracies. In view of this, it is highly unlikely that it will be passed anytime soon. If the budget is not passed on time, the government functions may be affected negatively. If you go memory lane, the first budget of this present government was delayed because it was heavily padded. Why do Nigerian lawmakers put up with this all the time? This is the time for the lawmakers to act to ensure that the Executive does things properly.
Bearing in mind the result of the last Anambra State governorship election, do you think the PDP can control South East in the 2019 elections as it claims that the zone is its base?
The result of Anambra election in which APGA won all the 21 local governments was a clear indication and prophecy of what will come to be in the South East come 2019. The people of South East have realised that they can only achieve a meaningful dialogue by speaking in one voice and that voice is APGA. Make no mistake about it, APGA will take the South East by storm come 2019. PDP will never control the South East again. For the APC, it will be an endangered species in the whole of Eastern Nigeria come 2019.
APGA has indicated that it would field a presidential candidate in the 2019. What is it doing to attract members across the country to be able to make serious impact in the election?
The decision to field a presidential candidate was made by the national chairman and his executives. It is not something to speculate ahead of time. Let us watch and see what happens before then. As the saying goes, a week is too long in politics.
Coming to your state, Imo State, between PDP, APC, the ruling party, and APGA, how do you think the state will go in 2019? Do you think that power will really shift to Owerri Central Senatorial District in the next election?
You know, this question has already been answered. There is no doubt in my mind, and I can even place a bet. APGA will win Imo State. It will clear all the 27 local governments come 2019. We would rather prefer that the Owerri Senatorial District should provide the governor. However, it does not matter where the governor comes from. What matters is that APGA will take back what rightfully belongs to it, which was hijacked by Governor Rochas Okorocha, either by hook or crook.
How would you access the administration of Governor Rochas Okorocha so far?
What I think of Rochas Okorocha administration? In a nutshell, it is the worst government Imo State has ever seen. This is someone who cares less in making citizens jobless and homeless. Instead of paying workers’ salaries and providing amenities in the state, he is busy spending millions of Naira to mould statues. Instead of paying pensioners, he is busy spending millions of Naira on Christmas tree.
What is your view on the recent creation of the Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment, with the governor’s sister, Mrs Ogechi Ololo, as the commissioner?
It is as laughable. It was earlier called Ministry of Happiness and Couples Fulfilment before the governor hurriedly amended the name. I never heard of any country with Ministry of Happiness and Couples Fulfilment. Can we now rightly say that the Imo State government has become a family affair, for one to create a ministry to accommodate one’s sister? It is a slap on the face of Imolites. Patience is a virtue. Imolites have put up with Okorocha for the last six and half years. I am sure they can wait for another one and half years. An APGA governor will rewrite his wrongs.
What would you say is your motive to seek to represent your constituency at the House of Representatives?
Well, I am touched by the poor condition of our people. Mbaise as a whole has suffered neglect under all administrations, be it the PDP or APC. We lack good roads. The schools lack good structures, libraries and laboratories. Our people are not given positions in government. Mbaise has been marginalised over the years. I, as an individual, have done few things in my constituency, like rehabilitation of community roads, rebuilding of community school structures, providing books and sports equipment. I have also done some empowerments, especially among the women, including the widows, and established a trust fund to assist them to provide for their families. But, there is a limit one can do as an individual. That is why I decided to return home to help our people get the dividends of democracy, more so as those who had been representing the area had not justified the mandate given to them by the people. It is our hope that APGA will repeat the Anambra magic in Imo State, and bring a better life to our people under the party’s government.
It is our hope that APGA will not only win in Mbaise, but will also control the state government, thereby ending the several decades of maladministration in Imo State, just as the party has been able to do in Anambra State.
The post An APGA Governor Will Rewrite Okorocha’s Wrongs – Oguh appeared first on Independent Nigeria.
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Author: Ejikeme Omenazu