2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Anambra is ready for a female Governor
Hon. Obiora Okpala is a procurement consultant, community leader and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State. In this interview with Daily Sun, he speaks on the chances of Senator Uche Ekwunife in next Saturday’s gubernatorial primaries of the PDP.
The primaries of the PDP is next Saturday. Does your candidate, Uche Ekwunife have any chance?
She’s one of the leading lawmakers in Nigeria. She has earned herself a name and has contributed in no small way to our democratic process in Nigeria. It is based on her antecedents and qualitative representation that the people are asking her to come and run. With the kind of programmes she has been able to influence to her people and the way she has carried everybody along, it is clear that she has set a benchmark. Another opportunity is calling. Since 1999, Anambra has gone through all the stages. It is obvious that our men have failed. In the eight years, the state has retrogressed. The people want someone who will come and change the system. We are business people. We need to take it to another level and make the state an industrial hub. Ekwunife has the qualities to make these things happen. These are the issues we should look at as we go into the primaries and into the election in Anambra State.
Is the PDP ready to have a woman as its candidate in Anambra?
Our party is gender sensitive. The PDP is one party that has given opportunities to women. It has given women the chance to contribute their quota. This is what the PDP has done. The PDP won’t change now. Anambra is a chauvinistic environment. They have their reservations about women taking certain positions. We need to move away from an outdated lifestyle and embrace a woman like Ekwunife. She will take the state from where we are to where we need to be. Ekwunife has the support.
Ekwunife represents Anambra Central in the Senate, but hails from Anambra South. Is she relying on zoning to win?
Zoning started with APGA in Anambra State. That was during Peter Obi. The PDP doesn’t subscribe to zoning. She’s from the South and that doesn’t matter. What we need is something to change. Currently, Anambra runs a burial economy. It comes alive at the weekend and dies by Monday. We deserve better and that’s why we need Ekwunife.
If you place Ekwunife side by side with other aspirants, does she stand a chance?
I’m not campaigning for her because I support her. I know her personally. I’ve done a forensic analysis of Anambra economy. We need a woman of her calibre. We need someone with her experience. She’s diligent. We don’t need a governor who will see governance as a bread and butter affair. We need someone to revive the economy of Anambra State. At some point in this country, Anambra’s internal revenue was one of the highest. That has changed.
Ekwunife has repeatedly been accused of jumping the ship whenever she doesn’t get the ticket of her party. If she fails to get this ticket, will she remain in PDP?
Ekwunife has come home. PDP is her last bus stop. She won’t defect is she doesn’t get the ticket. She understands state and National politics. If the PDP can just listen to the women folks of Anambra, she will win. The women have tried. We have seen women drive the vehicle of state affairs. She has a vast experience in the financial sector. She’s bringing that experience of a banker.
Peter Obi, your former governor is a banker. The current governor, Willie Obiano is a banker. Is Anambra ready to have another banker as a governor?
Ekwunife can’t run away from her history as a good banker. She has however proven herself in other areas. She has headed sensitive committees in the National Assembly. She currently heads science and technology committee in the Senate. She’s driving our technological advancement from the National Assembly. She will do well.
Will the alleged crisis in PDP in the state affect the outcome of the primaries?
It won’t. The primaries will be conducted by the national body and not by the state chapter. The crisis in the state chapter is orchestrated by some people we know. We can’t begin to mention their names. We need to let everyone know that Anambra State is ripe for a female governor. Some people who don’t want the party to come alive are behind this crisis. The PDP has suffered enough. Distractions will come. But we must remain focused and ignore the distractions.
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