The senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District at the National Assembly and an aspirant on the platform of Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, in this interview with OKEY MADUFORO, speaks on his ambition and his party’s chances in the poll
Your party, Young Progressives Party (YPP), is relatively unknown to the people of Anambra State and one wonders how the electorate will accept it in the November governorship election. How do you intend to realize your governorship ambition through the platform?
A political party is about people and every other political party started the same way YPP did. Ever since the party came on board, we have received many members of the so-called major parties, who are not happy with the way their former parties were being managed. They came from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and All Progressives Congress (APC), and we have included them in our activities.
Does YPP have visible structures across the state that can match those of the leading political parties?
In the last general election, we had candidates for all the thirty elective seats in the state House of Assembly. We also had candidates in most states of the federation.
Don’t forget that our party also fielded a presidential candidate in the election and that shows capacity. At the moment, we command followership in all the electoral wards and local government areas in Anambra State with functional offices as well.
So, what else is acceptability? The PDP in Anambra State is neck deep in crisis with several litigations and I wonder if they would be resolved before the election.
And come to think of it, the party may end up not having a candidate that would be acceptable to all and sundry. When you come to APGA, there are complains that the primary election has already been hijacked and most members of the party are not happy over that.
In the case of APC, we are yet to really know what their plans are and we are waiting to see how they can come out of the governorship primary without complains. So, you can agree with me that the YPP is the only political party that is intact.
You are the only aspirant of the party and people are saying that you have prevented others from contesting the forthcoming governorship election on the platform of the YPP. How would you respond to that?
That is not true and no one has been stopped anyone for coming to contest on the platform of the YPP. The party is open for anybody who wants to try his or her luck and the contest will be free and fair in line with the constitution and guidelines of the party.
You don’t rule out the possibility of some people trying to sponsor some people to come to contest in our party just to over-heat the polity but we are waiting and we are prepared.
A lot of people are of the view that you are contesting the governorship election in order to protect your senatorial seat, and that you are not serious?
That is all lies. You know that I have contested before under the platform of the Labour Party, so you cannot say that I am pretending. The point is that they are afraid of my profile as politician and as a businessman, and they know what I have done so far as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We have a mantra known as ‘Gosim kamfuna anya.’ That means show me let me see. Let us lay our cards on the table on what we have done for our people in Anambra State and let us also get your own scorecard. I am an employer of labour across the country and I know how many people who are on my pay role but some of the aspirants have not done anything to impact positively on the lives of our people yet they want to serve.
Reward for good work is more work and that is why I am the best. Anambra people know my capacity and that is why everywhere you go to, it is all about endorsement, from Ogbaru to Ayamelum, from Ihiala to Orumba South, From Awka North to Idemili North.
I have assisted over five thousand youths on business trips abroad and exposed them to a lot of opportunities, and ideas and they are all doing well today. How many of these aspirants have done that. Anambra people and Nigerians at large can attest to my contribution in the oil and gas sector even under difficult situations.
Recently, you founded a body known as Anambra Progressive Union and you and other members of the group have built and commissioned two COVID-19 hospitals. What informed that?
The organization is a voluntary one and we asked people to make donations which they did. Members of the union are drawn from all walks of life and they are desirous of salvaging the situation and improving our health sector for the good of the people of Anambra State.
People should not underestimate this organization because its members have capacity, and when you talk about governance of Anambra State, you can agree with me that they are a force to be considered.
We have this dream of a better Anambra State where our youths would be gainfully employed and our business men and women can have an enabling environment to do business. We are looking at an educational sector we’re our children would be trained in both vocational and basic education to become functional members of the society.
We are looking at job creation which would have a multiplayer effect on our people are these are vocational jobs in which you also have to take on people on apprenticeship to create more employment opportunities for our youths. We are also looking at agriculture in the area of assisting the real peasant farmers and not contractors, who claim to be farmers and when you make funds available, they will pocket the money and do nothing.
Some people are of the opinion that the union is a campaign team for your governorship election. What is your take on that?
No not at all! The body is essentially for socio-economic development of Anambra State and these people are spending their money to develop their state. There is no politics in it but if they choose to be interested in politics, what is wrong about that?
Insecurity is the issue in the country at the moment and a lot of people are talking about it. What are your thoughts on the issue?
The chief security officer of the country is the president likewise in the states where we have governors and the local government level where we have the council chairmen. It is their duty to protect lives and property of the people but there is a problem somewhere.
The police is now on the wanted list of unknown gun men, so are other law enforcement agents in the country.
It becomes a problem because those to protect you are victims and targets and they have to defend themselves first and even some governors are also targets, but they have to be alive to protect the citizens. I commend the southern governors over their resolution the last time they met and I pray that the synergy that they have created would go a long way in fighting Insecurity in our country and I urge the Federal Government to also do the needful in playing their own part by protecting the means of livelihood of our people. Nigerians are farmers, business people, herdsmen industrialists, those of them are in academics and security operatives.
The herdsmen should take care of their cows and do business but they should also know that the farmer has to take care of his farm to earn a living.
The concept of ranching will also help the situation and after we have the Obudu Cattle Ranch that was established during the administration of late Michael Okpara as premier of Eastern Nigeria and that includes the nine states of the South-East and South-South and the issue of herdsmen and cattle rustling did not come into play. In developed countries, a similar thing is obtainable.
The killing of policemen is indeed barbaric because it doesn’t solve the problem. They are fathers, mothers, uncles, relations and friends. Is it now a crime to work as a police man? My candid advice is that the Federal Government should expedite action on the insecurity challenge in the country and work with the respective state governments to restore sanity in the country.