Ikenna Oguegbu is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and member Turaki Vanguard, Trade Fair Chapter, Lagos State. The Njaba, Imo State-born politician believes that Imo is bigger than anybody.
Imo people recently complained about the leadership style of Governor Rochas Okorocha, with some of them saying he runs the state like a family affair. How would you react to it?
Governor Rochas Okorocha alone is not to be blamed for the absurdity that is going on in Imo State. Imo people are also to share in the blame because they have kept quiet for too long. Right from the beginning, I have often said that I don’t believe in two term tenure for a governor. In 2015, I told my people to vote Okorocha out after his first tenure but they refused. They claimed that Rochas was giving them free education, but as far as I am concerned, there is no free education in Imo, what Okorocha is doing is robbing Peter to pay Paul. As far as Imo people are concerned, Okorocha has failed them.
How would you describe his recent endorsement of his son-In-law, Uche Nwosu as his successor?
That would amount to running the state as family business. Uche Nwosu has served as Chief of Staff to Okorocha for close to eight years and now he wants to succeed him as governor. For God sake, what are they turning this state to? Does it mean that there is no other qualified person to govern the state? This is the time for Imo people to shine their eyes and set themselves free from this shackle of oppression. I am not a member of All Progressives Congress (APC) but I’m concerned about the situation in my state and I want it changed for good.
How strong is the PDP in the ahead of 2019?
The structure of PDP in Imo State is strong and intact. If you can recall, in 2015, I was a member of APGA, but people thought that APGA would win the election. Emeka Ihedioha from nowhere got almost 397, 000 votes far ahead of the person whom people thought would win the election. In Imo, the only viable party in that state is PDP because Imo is a PDP stronghold.
You know when a man marries two wives, he would definitely love one more than the other. As far as PDP is concerned, our new chairman, Uche Secondus is doing his best to move the party forward. What we are witnessing is rebirth of PDP and the chairman has started on a good note by initiating reconciliatory move among the various factions. I give kudos to him for his effort so far.
When you look back, compare with what is happening now, would you say government of the day have lived up to its promises?
Those of us into business and other Nigerians can tell you where the shoe pinches. There is hunger in the land. Dino Melaye an APC chieftain and a serving senator even admitted that there is hunger in the land. People are suffering. This is a government that is claiming to be fighting corruption but we all knew that they are just playing to the gallery. Their fight against corruption is selective. When you are a member of the ruling party, nobody label you as corrupt, but once you are in the opposition you are labeled as corrupt. Today many of the so called progressives are looting our money and no one is even talking about that. They claimed that Jonathan did not do anything, but most of the infrastructure that we are enjoying now was initiated by the PDP. For instance the railway project commissioned recently by President Muhammadu Buhari was a project former president, Jonathan initiated. In the areas of security, the bloodshed in the land is only second to that of the civil war. People are killed under the guise of Fulani herdsmen attack and some of the governors have turned blind eyes to the plight of the people. Nigerians should wake up and challenge these anomalies in our polity.
Who do you think is favoured to pick the PDP presidential ticket?
Mere looking at what is on ground now; I believe Atiku Abubakar is the most credible person on ground to pick the ticket. First, he is the only man with the experience and the pedigree to take on the incumbent, President Buhari. PDP needs someone who can shake the north and wake them up from APC induced slumber. In South- East and South- South, PDP is on ground to deliver within short notice. It is only in North-East, North- Central and some parts of South-West that PDP has to work hard to make in-road and I know that with a detribalised personality like Atiku Abubakar, he would deliver the region. In Lagos, PDP is on ground irrespective of the fact that APC is the ruling party. Atiku got married to Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo women. He is a true Nigerian with investments across the six geopolitical zones. Such a political juggernaut deserves PDP presidential ticket in order to set the country free from the shackle of ‘one chance’ that the country has found itself under the ruling APC.