Uzodimma working hard to move Southeast to ruling party –Senator Anosike

From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

Chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State, Senator Emma Anosike in this interview speaks on the contributions of Gov Hope Uzodimma in taking South East to the national political grid.

You attended the APC South East meeting at Owerri not quite long now. How did it go?

It was a beautiful outing and one of the best outings we have had in the APC South East. Before the meeting, Gov Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has been working so hard towards the repositioning of the entire South East politically and economically. This is because he understands the polity and also understands that it is very important for the South East to belong to the centre and a man made in the mould of Gov Hope Uzodimma has structured himself right inside the centre and he wants his brothers and sisters to be part and parcel of what Imo State is benefiting from the government at the centre. If you go to Imo State, you will see transformation at its peak and even the issue of insecurity is being addressed while the federal presence in terms of infrastructure is visible. These are some of the things that Imo is benefiting by hooking up to the centre and that means belonging to the APC.

Come to think of it, the governor has been preaching the gospel of our people finding themselves at the centre stage of politics and governance in the country. He has not chosen to enjoy those benefits alone but to get everyone involved through the five states of the zone belonging to the APC.

What efforts do you think the governor has made to reach out to other governors and politicians in the zone to buy into this agenda?

To be candid, that meeting brought a lot of things to the fore. In the zone, we have two APC governors, the PDP has one, APGA has one and Labour Party has one governor making the APC to be in the majority. As far as he is concerned, he wants other states to come into the APC as well as the National Assembly members and state Assembly members too. At the moment, he has been sponsoring the other three states that are not in the APC. A case in point is what the Abia State Chairman of the party said at the meeting. He made it clear that Gov Uzodimma has been sponsoring the party there and that is a show of capacity and ability to lead. He has also been reaching out to political office holders in those states who are not members of the party and the results have been impressive so far.

What are the high points of the resolutions reached at the Owerri meeting?

The high points that were key at the meeting included the need for peace and security in the zone , the issue of sit-at-home order was also addressed because of the socioeconomic loses of the zone every Monday. The artisans cannot go to work to earn money to feed their families and the traders have lost so much patronage due to this order and come to think of it, the people doing this thing are our brothers and it was resolved to make them see the grave implications of what they are doing to the South East economy by their actions. There was an analogy that he made at the meeting saying that if the five governors were in APC, the Federal Government would see the zone as one that is working together and they would certainly listen to us because we are working together. Part of the resolutions is also the demand for more states in the South East. Moreover, the South East Development Commission which has been passed at the National Assembly is also key. This issue has been at the floor of the National Assembly at the 8th and 9th Assembly up till this moment and with a personality like Gov Uzodimma, the bill would be assented to by the Presidency.

These are part of the reasons why the governor is making efforts to see that the zone belongs to the centre and with that, you can imagine the level and speed of socioeconomic transformation of the zone at the end of the day.

The Colloquium that held in Nnewi recently, was it also part of the agenda at that meeting?

Parts of the discussions at the Colloquium are part of the agenda at Owerri meeting and it was re-echoed at that meeting. You cannot be talking about more states for the South East if we are not together and this issue was made manifest when we had politicians from other political parties attending the meeting and speaking with one voice. Even those that had political differences were seen exchanging pleasantries and sharing ideas because they have understood the massage of the governor. They saw the need for connectivity and homogeneity in the politics of the zone and this is very symbolic in the history of the geopolitical zone. The meeting was not just a party thing but a point of departure for Ndigbo to stop paying the lone ranger status and play deep into the centre and get what the zone deserves from the system.

But some other politicians see this as a political loss to them as they would lose their mileage and support base?

That is an act of selfishness on their part. We are talking about our collective goals that will better the zone and not individual thing. For instance, if we were in tune with the Federal Government, the Anambra state Airport would have been taken over by the Federal government at the centre and today the airport in Imo and Ebonyi states have been taken over by the Federal government and that is exactly what we are talking about and that is the message of the meeting at Owerri. So those who are afraid of what they think that they would lose are losing sight of the bigger picture which is the collective interest of the Igbo land and I can assure you that they do not have anything to lose because when we come together, those issues that they have been trying to address would be taken care of and it has great advantages to them as politicians and to the zone in general.

What fatherly role is Gov Uzodimma playing ahead of the future elections in the non APC states?

He is on top of the game and he has been galvanizing support for the party in those states. But the problem here is that everyone wants to be governor which is not possible. In Edo State, there was a primary election which was cancelled and another primary election was held which was upheld and the Senator emerged winner while the Federal House of Representatives became the running mate and that is the spirit. Now we are going to Anambra State and Governor Uzodimma is making efforts for a free, fair and credible primary election which would produce a popular candidate and running mate for the 2025 election and that is the flagship of trying to bring Anambra State and the other zones into the party.

But there are several aggrieved members of the party that are out to scuttle this agenda of APC?

Yes, we agreed that we have members who are not happy due to one reason or the other and we have been reaching out to them and holding meetings. As we speak, we are getting results and the discussions are far reaching which indicate that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is a question of gain some and lose some and most of them have been able to state their minds and solutions towards resolving those grey areas which are being put on the front burner. The governor has been speaking with stakeholders of the party in the affected states and there is no doubt that we shall certainly get there in due time.

It is being touted that Gov Uzodimma has a presidential ambition, hence those meetings?

The governor is not an ambitious man. He has been a senator and now a governor so what else do they think he wants. You see, when someone starts something that would benefit his people, they see it as nursing a political ambition. These are part of the things that kill politics of the South East. People do not see things from a progressive perspective but from a fickle minded point of view. President Ahmed Bola Tinubu has another four years to be in office and the North would take over based on the zoning arrangements and that means Uzodimma would wait for twelve years to contest for President and one wonders where such a story is coming from .Those that will gain from this agenda may not be our generation of Ndigbo but what we are doing now is to prepare a template for the betterment of the South East in future and history would never forget those foundations that we are making today.

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