• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

I have everything it takes to redeem Abia

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The race is set, what’s your level of preparation for the contest? Well, the race is not just set it has started. The elections are by the corner. We are moving on, it is not an easy process, but we thank God that we have found favour in his sight. In Abia State, it is very clear that the people want change, the people want change, the people want development and they want people with impeccable character, people with skills, vision, people that can turn things around in Abia State and all those are some of the things going for us. We have what it takes to make that change. We are widely accepted by the people.
Where did you derive the courage to leave your good job at Diamond Bank where you’re respected for the murky waters of politics? Well, the courage is an innate quality of man. If you don’t dare, you can’t win. There’s a saying that if you don’t contest, you will not win. If you contest, you may win. I think what is important is to define things properly. At this stage in my life, what is most important is not to sit in my com- fort zone and watch my people continue living in penury and my state go down as a failed state. So, the best option for me is to take up the challenge. It is difficult, but it is tough people that take on difficult challenges. So, the courage has a whole lot to do with my passion to serve my people and to turn their story around. Abia State is one of the least developed states in Nigeria. It is one of the few states blessed with both human and material resources, what is lacking is quality leadership to harness all these. And I thought I had what it takes to render that needed services. By the grace of God, I will not regret it.
Abia is not an industrialised state, how do you intend to gener- ate the needed funds to execute the projects of rescuing Abia from the current poor state? Well don’t also forget that you are speaking to a financial expert, so, anywhere money is, I should know. I know how to get it. A lot of money is available but just waiting for quality leadership; they are looking for people with pedigree, people with character, before such money is made available. There is no state that was highly developed from inception; it is people that made them what they are today. Rome was not build in a day. But if people who built Rome did not start, Rome would not have been built at all. I believe I have the capacity to generate the funding to develop Abia. I have done it for some states. I have done it for some corporate bodies. I will do it for my state because I can do so. I know where to find the resources; I know how to deploy the resources, I know what to do to develop the state and I know what to do to ensure that I create jobs for my people in the state. It will be done and I already have my blueprint.
Reagan Ufomba is saying that he has been given the ticket to contest the gubernatorial election in 2015; he is still parading himself as the APGA candidate. What is really happening? Well, I think that people are well educated, it is not about claim, I can come out and claim anything, what is most important is what INEC says, and INEC has declared that the governorship candidate for APGA in Abia State is Alex Otti and not Reagan Ufomba. So, I don’t want to dissipate energy with somebody making claim. For you to be a candidate, you need to buy a form, you need to indicate interest, you need to run the primaries, and you need to win before you become a candidate. Ufomba did not participate in the primary, so how can he be a candidate? So, I don’t think that is an issue to discuss at this time. You are looking at staying in office for two terms of eight years, what would be your scorecard in the first term to warrant the people to re-elect you? I have enumerated them time and again. And my message is very clear. One thing I want to do is to take my people away from poverty. 80percent of my people live below poverty line; that is below $1 per day. That is my major priority – to pull them out of poverty. The other one is to develop our infrastructure which is in different stages of disrepair today. The roads are in terrible shape, they have fallen apart; there’s no water anywhere, healthcare delivery is non-existent. These are some of the things I have enumerated in my manifesto. Agriculture re- mains at the very subsistence level, we need to move it to become a business so that people can, not only feed through agriculture, but can also make a living out of it- train their children, build houses, buy cars and have economic life out of agriculture. Our people can do it; it has been shown that it is possible because it has been done elsewhere. Abia people are very clear about my strategy and how I hope to achieve development for them. With what I have in mind, by the time I deliver them, it will be a walk over for second term. Some people said you were sacked in Diamond Bank; could you please react to the insinuation? I was not sacked. I resigned on my own volition. When I left Diamond Bank, my chairman said that the years I spent in the bank were the brightest years of the bank. Well, I have heard that some people said I was sacked, if not, how would I leave the bank in my right senses for uncertainty? Look, I want to as- sure my professional colleagues that I have not joined politics; I have not joined politics at all. All I want to do is to pull Abia from the unfortunate situation it has found itself for many years now. I am not the kind of person that will finish as governor and go to the Senate. No, I don’t want that. I left office because I have all it takes to redeem the state. If you are a serious governor, you don’t need to depend on federal allocation. If you do what you need to do in Aba for instance, you’ll generate a lot of money to do all you need to do. We are not going to spend our time on propaganda.