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‘Anambra has potential to be best-run state’

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Agbasimalo

Obiora Agbasimalo, Labour Party (LP) candidate for the November 6, 2021, Anambra State governorship election, in this interview with ONYEDIKA AGBEDO, says his party will provide leadership with accountability if it emerges victorious at the poll. The chartered accountant and philanthropist insists that he has all it takes to implement the changes needed to make the state the true “Light of the Nation”.

Why did you join the Anambra governorship race?

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I joined the race because Anambra is in need of and is ripe for a new lease of life. Anambra requires leadership with accountability. It is time for Anambra State to truly take its place and live up to the true meaning of its national slogan as “the Light of the Nation”.

I believe and know that I can implement the required changes Anambra needs to become that Light. Also, being a youth, I would be an example to Anambra and the nation at large that the youth are ready to take up the mantle of leadership in the land.

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What do you think stands you out among other candidates?
I am selfless. I am a youth. I am energetic. I have worked in a top-notch private establishment where result oriented performance and accountability is paramount. I bring all these to leadership in Anambra.

Do you think Labour Party is popular enough in Anambra to win the forthcoming governorship election?
There is nothing like popular party. People should be looking out for credible round-peg in round-hole candidates with deliverable blue prints and not false and bogus promises. The idea of so called popular parties branding money bags; that is our undoing in this part of the world. We should come together and stop it.

Look out for a healthy, sane, safe and calm party that presents a youthful and wholesome puff of fresh breath to the state or nation, especially the party with a youth flag bearer. I bet you that Labour Party is that party. My party will win the November 6, 2021, governorship election in Anambra State. It can also win in any other level of government elections in the country.

The party has previously won seats at Federal House elections, and at some other time finished as first runner up in governorship election in the state. Labour Party is the party of the Civil Service, the workforce of the state, the pensioners, the artisans, etc. We have the popularity to win the November 6 election if the electoral processes are free and fair. As for our party, we will always do the right thing. And I know that we will win by the special grace of the Almighty. Watch us coast to victory at the elections.

Anambra is a state of billionaires; do you have the financial war chest to win the election?
It is highly unfortunate that winning elections in this country has become a highly capital intensive project. But that notwithstanding, we have the requisite financial muscle to pull it off.

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What do you think is the greatest challenge facing Anambra?
There is a myriad of challenges facing Anambra State that if one starts to comment on them, a good journalist such as you may be able to write a 10,000-page epistle on them.

One of the challenges facing the state is its unutilised and unearthed wisdom, which we are going to dig up when we come up.

Anambra has the potential to be at the fore-front in areas of economic development, political leadership, infrastructural development, IT advancements, manufacturing, raw materials processing, healthcare development, legal advancement etc.

Anambra State has produced great minds such as Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Olisa Agbakoba SAN, the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, late Sir Alex Ekwueme, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu, late Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, many industrialists and business moguls and so on. In the business environment, the state has more millionaires and billionaires per square kilometre than any other state in the country.

We have enormous potentials to surpass the likes of Taiwan and Vietnam, and even India in manufacturing. We have the potential using our traditional apprenticeship methods, to usefully engage every youth in the state and also bring them far above the poverty line.

Anambra has had enough of political alertness and eagerness. Every local government in the state has what it can contribute to the state. If well harnessed, the state would become the envy of Nigeria.

How will you raise the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) if you emerge as governor?
Income leakages and diversion are part of the issues my administration would tackle. I can grow Anambra’s IGR by at least 30 per cent from this. Other percentages will come from genuine, proper and calculated income/revenue drives from areas neglected and or taken for granted. It is too early to express all here and now. Rest assured that they abound and we are capable. I would also seek support from the centre to speedily conclude federal projects in the state to boost our IGR. Our ever-willing brethren in the diaspora will not be left behind.

What is your relationship with the Church, which is a critical factor in winning elections in Anambra?
The Church is indeed critical in winning elections in the state. I am in constant touch with all the religious denominations in the state. I am in the centre of friendship with all churches and indeed mosques in the state, leaving out none. I believe I would have the full backing of the church at the polls. I would say that my relationship with the Church is cordial.

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How well do you relate with Anambra political godfathers?
I don’t know what you mean by political godfathers. Maybe you should shed more light in that area. But if you are speaking about stakeholders, that is role models and leaders that can influence voters, I am making wide consultations with as many of them as I can in the religious circles, the civil service, in the cultural circles among traditional rulers and also among the youth. I am reaching out to all stakeholders in Anambra State soliciting their support.
What is your advice to voters in Anambra ahead of the November 6 poll?

Anambra has the potential to be the best-run state in the country. The voters should seek out and vote one that would help Anambra State to achieve its potentials. Such a person should be vibrant, youthful and budding with ideas. Such a person should be a good team player and somebody with focus and vision.

Anambrarians should avoid anybody who is bereft of ideas but whose interest is in emptying the state treasury. The state treasury should be protected and guarded jealously.

My other advice to Anambrarians is this: Vote for Obiora Agbasimalo because I love them and always have their interests at heart.

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