A governorship aspirant in Anambra State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Godwin Maduka, in this interview, speaks with OKEY MADUFORO on his ambition and the politics of Anambra State
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently announced the date for the conduct of the governorship election in Anambra State. What are your thoughts on the development?
That is a welcome development and it has also shown that all is now set for the election and it has also provided us with the timetable and guidelines for the primary elections in the respective political parties. This is the time to strategize and take necessary steps towards ensuring that I emerge as the candidate of my political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There are about 10 to 15 aspirants in your party and most of them have the capacity to win the primary election, what makes you think that you are the best?
I am the best and I remain the best. When you take a look at all those aspirants in the PDP, you will discover that most of them have been there at every election and with the same old story about their manifesto and has not change. What is more important is someone who understands the current Anambra society and that what is obtainable at this point. Anambra needs a new breed that can add the tonic for sustainable socio-economic development of our beloved state. When you talk about structure, I have the most formidable structure in the PDP and that is what I have going for me.
The PDP has in the past been known for the controversies that trailed its primary elections and that affected the party. Will this one be different?
What we have now is a new PDP with all the vigour to take over the realms of power in Anambra State. The stories of the past where you continue to experience controversies are no more and the party under the leadership of our able chairman, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, is more and better focused to return to the government house Awka. As far as our party conducts a free fair and transparent primary election, every other aspirant in the party will support the eventual candidate and we shall coast to victory. So, there will be no room for litigations and anti-party activities and there will be no crisis as it used to be.
There has been clamour for electoral reforms; do you think it is the way out of Nigeria’s electoral problems?
The problem here is that the National Assembly and the executive arm of government have to sign the bill for electoral reforms into law. When that is done, you will see transparency it the electoral process. That will also go a long way to stem incidents of electoral fraud and other sharp practices before and during elections. It is the absence of the legal framework that has been the bane of successive elections in the country. When you compare our country with other countries such as Ghana and South Africa, you will discover the difference yet we pride ourselves as the giant of Africa.
You were a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) but now with the PDP, what actually happened?
Yes, I was in APGA at some point but I left the party on personal reasons. I also felt that my ambition cannot be actualized in APGA, so I left. I had understudied all the political parties across the board and I discovered that the PDP is the only party that can change the face of governance in Anambra State and the party shares similar manifesto and agenda with what I have for the state.
Power of incumbency is a major factor in the country’s electoral process and APGA has that advantage. How do you intend to surmount this challenge if you emerge as the candidate of the PDP?
Buhari It is not always the case. Incumbency has to do with your performance as a party and if the electorate are not at home with what your party has been able to do, you cannot win based on that premise. Anambra people have become wiser and this normal band wagon effect of garbage in and garbage out is no longer acceptable in modern day politics. So, to claim that APGA will win because of incumbency is neither here nor there. The party itself may also have its challenges internally, which both of us may not know and such intra-party problems can also affect the incumbency factor you talked about.
You have a lucrative business abroad and you are also a medical practitioner, why did you choose to abandon all these to contest for the governorship of Anambra State?
At a time in one’s life, when you think you have arrived, you have to give back to the society that made you. The only way that I believe this can be achieved is to be in government and bring the wealth of experience to bear. My business is thriving and it cannot be affected by politics. I have capable human and material resources to continue to be in business with or without my being there personally.
It is being canvassed that you are a greenhorn in politics and that you will be overwhelmed by the trappings of politics. What is your response to that?
Everyone plays politics in his or her daily activitie, so where is the issue of greenhorn coming from given the kind of business that I do? I handle both human beings and finance and the act of using these variables to achieve a set goal is politics. I do not have to be neck deep in party politics to gain experience to contest election. I have also found out that most people that make it to the top in politics are not always those who you call partisan politicians.
If you are asked to state clearly what Anambra needs in governance; what would you say?
Building human capital! We have them but we are not exploiting them. We have young men and women who are waiting for the opportunity to excel and all we need is to create the environment for them. That also explains why I set up a foundation that has jump-started the process in the last 15 years. You can carry out a study in and around Anambra State to find out what Maduka Foundation is doing to impact positively on the youth, men and women.
You are from Anambra South Senatorial District and there is this clamour for rotation of power among the three senatorial districts of the state. What is your stake on the issue?
The clamour is fair and just and that is why we in Anambra South Senatorial District are saying it is our turn. Equity, they say, is equality and anyone who is kicking against that is only not only being unfair but unreasonable. In fact, there should be rotation in our country’s constitution, so that no part of the country, state or local government area would feel cheated. There should be a constitutional amendment to that effect in order to give people, zones and wards a sense of belonging in the electoral process.