Chief Sunday Akabueze is an activist, a business man and a financier of Labour Party. He bares his mind on why the Igbo must speak with one voice as the 2015 general elections draw nearer. He also explains why Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, his party’s candidate, is the man to beat at the November 16 elections in Anambra State .
2015 general elections are two years away. As an Igbo man, a politician and a business man, what do you think your people must do to be a force to be reckoned with in the presidential election?
The Igbo man is crucial to the unity and politics of Nigeria. Anybody who thinks otherwise is not telling himself the truth. Igbo is a solid entity with one language, culture, like the head of the broom that no one can break. If you pick a stick of broom you easily break it, but when you pick the head of the tied broom, you cannot break it and that is the Igbo. In Nigerian politics and its unity, we must speak with one voice and get what we want. It is not going to be like the other elections in Nigeria when the Igbo could not speak with one voice. This time, we must know where we are going and the south-easterners must be carried along come 2015 presidential election.
Why do you think Ifeanyi Ubah is the man to govern Anambra State?
Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has been a candidate of a political party seeking to rule Anambra State. What I mean is that he is a born leader. It started in his days in secondary school, up to the time he floated his company, Capital Oil and Gas, which has given birth to so many other companies. He is not into the governorship race of Anambra to test his popularity. If popularity is anything to go by, he is already popular in Lagos, Anambra and in the oil and gas sector. He is well known. So his decision to go into the governorship race is borne out of his desire to fix the infrastructural decay in the state.
These colonial masters did some of the roads in Anambra State you are seeing today. A few others were done by Dr. Chris Ngige when he was governor; modern infrastructure is lacking in Anambra State and this is the state that produced people like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu and so many others. The question is why this state should remain in this state of decay? That is the question we are asking and, by the grace of God, Ubah and Labour Party are on course to answer that question and I am believing God that they will answer it very well and properly too.
When Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife was the governor, he made a call through his think-home programme for Anambrarians outside to come home and invest. Unfortunately, the indices for development were not there for investors. The environment was not even conducive for investment. There is no how you can run industries without electricity; that is why most of the industries brought to the state then is either dead or comatose. Now, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah is going to make such think-home call and he is going to make the state conducive and business friendly for investors. He has set up so many committees that are making research in many sectors of the economy such as agriculture, Anambra State suppose to be the food basket of the nation. The state has vast land so rich for agriculture but these areas are so neglected. There is no access road to those places.
One of the things Ifeanyi Ubah’s administration will do to lift the state is to encourage graduate farmers. His administration will encourage commercial farming in the state and by so doing, Agricultural will boom and flourish and contribute heavily towards the economic development of the state.
Do you think it will be easy for him to actualize this dream in Labour Party, as it is believed the party is not that popular in the State?
If you come to Anambra State today, the only political party that is well organised and peaceful is the Labour Party. Before Ifeanyi Ubah decided to pitch his tent with the party, he must have thoroughly conducted a research. It is only in Labour Party that you have not seen an aspirant going to court against his party to complain of one thing or the other. Look at other parties in the state. They are fighting themselves. So tell me how these parties are expecting to do well at the polls when they are fighting internal war instead of going out to canvass for votes? While they are at their internal war, Ifeanyi Ubah is busy touring all the nooks and crannies of the state selling himself and his party’s manifesto.
How do you describe Ubah’s emergence as LP candidate?
His emergence as the LP candidate will boost Labour Party’s chances at the polls come November 16. Labour Party is lucky to have Ifeanyi Ubah as its candidate. His potentials are what the party needs to cruise to victory in the election. Ifeanyi Ubah is a very successful business man. He is made already; a fulfilled man who is being driven by the passion to serve. So, when you talk of a political party with a credible candidate in this election, it is the Labour Party. And when you talk of a candidate flying the flag of the most peaceful and organized political party in this election, it is Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah. So I will describe his emergence as the Labour Party candidate as a victory for Labour Party, Ndi Nnewi, Ndi Anambra and victory for democracy in Nigeria generally. He is the man Anambra people has been waiting for. Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah is the eagle and he has landed. I am using this fora to call on all Ndi Anambra, men, women and the youths to come out enmasse and vote him so that he will truly reposition Anambra as he has promised.
There is this agitation for power shift to Anambra North. Don’t you think that arrangement might affect him and LP in the election?
There is nothing that can affect his chances in this election except God decides otherwise. There is no man-made factor that can affect his chances. He has said this over and over again. Moreover there has never been a time in the history of Anambra State when there was zoning arrangement. No one has said, ‘Anambra North, this is your turn or Anambra South or Central, it is your turn or wait for your own turn’. So, if such arrangement is to be introduced, the three zones that make up Anambra should come together and agree. It’s not about somebody deciding where the governorship slot should go. All Progressive Grand Alliance has decided to zone its own ticket to Anambra North. Does that mean other political parties will do same? No.
Who is his godfather?
As far as I am concerned, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah doesn’t have a godfather. Some people asked this question before and his response is that they don’t know what they are talking about, because he is a godfather of his own. Infact, Ifeanyi Ubah wants to be a godfather to other candidates. What will a godfather do for him in this regard. Is it to give him money or what? By the grace of God, he has enough resources to execute his campaign to a logical conclusion. If any godfather comes in as you are speculating, he will not be able to serve the people and change their lives and he believes that is what governance is all about.