AMAECHI PERCY ONYEJEKWE
Sir Ugochukwu Udemezue is the President-General of Nzuko Ora Nnewi (Nnewi Town Union) and a successful businessman. In this interview with Correspondent, AMAECHI PERCY ONYEJEKWE, he speaks on some topical national issues including the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, marginalization and plight of minorities saying that qualitative governance is the best democracy for Nigeria.
There has been calls for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration exercise (CVR) to be done at the wards level nationwide. How do you see the exercise in your area?
It is doubtful as to why government does not know that the exercise should be done as supposed. How can you just carry only one registration machine to Nnewi North to register the whole town made up of many wards. Can’t the registration be done at the wards? Won’t the exercise be better done at the wards? And the INEC officials come late to work. Sometimes they come by 11 am and go back at 12 noon. Sometimes they say the machine is weak or broke and they close work at 2pm or 3pm. This is not registration! Soon we will be counting days and the date would be gone with nothing achieved! And they will write at the secretariat that the exercise was successful in Nnewi North. So, I am dissatisfied with the way the exercise is being done. I totally disagree with the exercise to be done at the local government secretariat because many people would not be registered and they would be disenfranchised. It is better done at the ward level. It would be easier for us at the ward level. One machine for a local government is not enough. There should be at least ten machines. And there should be days for each class of people and individuals. States and local governments should look into the matter, the Anambra State House of Assembly, Nnewi North Local Government Chairman, in the person of Prince Chukwudi Orizu and Governor Willie Obiano should do something now before our people are disenfranchised. Government should talk to INEC chairman, Governor Obiano should talk to INEC! Soon the election will be here and many would be denied their right to vote.
APC- led Federal Government is said not to be doing well so far while marginalization of Igbo and other minorities have continued unabated. What is your view?
Who says the All Progressives Congress, APC government is not doing well? Who says so? The only problem is head of APC government, President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari is sick. Being that he is sick, his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo should be allowed to work in his place. Buhari has no bad intentions for Nigeria. He has good intentions for Nigeria. In the present situation what he should do is delegate his powers to the vice president or resign. Relinquishing some of his powers won’t mean that he is not in-charge. But failure to do so might not augur well in the interim. Good governance means that government initiates positive policies and implements them for the good of the people. It means that the central government implements those policies and spreads infrastructure, economic development across the federation not minding differences arising from tribe, religion, sex or political affiliation. That is what shows good governance. That is qualitative leadership.
What is is your view on the corruption fight of the APC government which is said to be lopsided?
Whoever that swallows whatever amount of money should be made to vomit it irrespective of party affiliation or position. Buhari has in mind that he is fighting corruption but the fight should not be made to appear as if it is being directed against certain persons of a particular group, party or position. It should be universal and impartial. I don’t believe that any corruption is being fought. Those in government know those who took what is meant for the service of the masses illegally. Those people should be made to return their alleged loot. But let it not be done in a way as to suggest some people were being selected to be victimized for one reason or another.
There is an allegation that some political parties have come to disorganize the existing order in Anambra state prior to the November 18 governorship election. What is your take on this?
Any party that wants to come into Anambra State should come in. This is election period, any party could come in and campaign for vote. But according to a popular proverb, one thing is clear: ‘the person I know is the one I know. My candidate is that person I know’. The leading party in Anambra today is APGA. APGA is the ruling party in the state today, and it is headed by Willie Obiano. We are not saying that Obiano knows it all neither is he perfect. People are struggling for power. This is election period where parties can come in to vie for elective position. And where things are going on well, and after looking at his score card we should give him, Obiano, a chance. After all he is from the North. It is their turn to rule for the next four years. If after assessing Willie Obiano and other aspirants from the North we are left with nothing but to vote for the candidate who has the best score.
What is your assessment of Obiano’s administration?
When you take a closer look at Obiano’s administration you will see that there is peace in the state which is a consequent of good security maintained by Obiano. We now sleep well at night unlike previous years if look at the history of the state in the area of security. In the areas of agriculture and infrastructural development in the state, one would see that the government has not done badly. We see good road network and development. For instance, the state capital is being transformed to befitting city. In fact, Awka has been transformed. It now wears a new look. There are flyovers in Awka which have helped to decongest the roads in the city. Agricultural policy of the state government has given the agricultural sector positive boost that the state can today boast of massive rice and vegetables production among other food and cash crops. So there is development in a large scale. Peter Obi did well during his tenure and he did well to have given us Obiano who toed his steps in developing the state. Dr. Chris Ngige did well too. So what we want is development of Anambra State. Obiano continued with the footsteps of predecessors. So the government of APGA has done well and they are doing well. I am the PG of Nnewi. I am not talking of parties and politics, I am talking of Willie Obiano to be returned to power after his first tenure.
Has the town union, Nzuko Ora Nnewi, endorsed Obiano for a second term in office?
I am talking as President-General of Nnewi. I am not talking for Nzuko Ora. Everybody has their political leanings and interest. I am talking of Willie. He is doing well. He has not performed below expectations. Other members of Nzuko Ora may have their opinions. I, Udemezue see Willie as a hardworking, performing Governor. With my present position as PG of Nnewi, I have come to realize that leadership is not easy job.
What is your blue print for Nnewi as newly elected President- General of Nzuko Ora Nnewi?
I have a lot of good things in stock for the development of Nnewi. But all plans are for God to implement because it is His will that should be done. Firstly, we have in plan to build a comfortable town hall for Nnewi because for a long time, since 1996 when Nzuko Ora Nnewi was registered as Nnewi Town Union, we have been sharing hall with Nnewi youths at Nnewi Youth League Hall. We shall also build a cemetery in the town to reduce the burden of burials in Nnewi. Often non indigenes have difficulties finding a place of burial for their dead. A cemetery would minimize challenges associated with burial. It won’t be a business making venture, rather it is to help people minimize the cost and burden of burring the dead. It would be of help to both indigenes and settlers alike. Apart from those mentioned, there are other important things too that should be done for our town.
For a better society