From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Having been in the corridors of political party administration, the Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, is eminently qualified for any elective position both at the state and national levels.
Speaking to Daily Sun, on his governorship ambition, he sounded confidently that he is the right person to wear the fitting the cap.
What is your impression about the APC membership and revalidation exercise in Anambra State and across the entire country?
I will say it has been so far, so good. It has attracted lots of interest and people are showing it in every part of the country. However, I would have preferred or wished that the registration and revalidation is by biometrics.
I feel this way because biometrics registration has lots of advantages, especially as it will go extra length to confirm the credibility of the process and the membership register. However, I will say that those in the national leadership position know why they opted for this method, but ordinarily, I would have wished we had adopted biometrics in the exercise.
Did the initial hostility from party chieftains against the exercise come to you as a surprise?
One thing you should understand is that everybody is entitled to his perception towards the process. But for me, as a loyal party member, the most interesting thing is that despite expressing those reservations, those our party leaders still got their membership revalidated.
It goes to show that they are credible loyal members of our party. It could be likened to the reservations I expressed that I would have wanted biometric registration, but it was not forthcoming, I still went ahead to revalidate my membership. In a nutshell, such reactions from our party leaders and chieftains are expected.
With INEC rolling out timetable for the Anambra governorship poll, how ready are you for the contest?
I have always been ready as I keep telling everybody. I have always made myself available to serve the people. I am driven by divine plans for me and the wish of the people. Now is to make myself available to the people and see if they can accept me. I am good to go.
Did you weigh the options considering the big fishes that will be contesting?
By every stroke of imagination and without sounding immodest, I am also a big fish especially as Anambra politics is concerned. In that case, why should I be worried about another person? They should rather be worried about me.
I have no reason to entertain any iota of fear and such does not even exist in my dictionary. There is no need for any fear especially when I am convinced about what I am coming to the table with. However, as I said earlier, I am doing my thing believing that I am driven by divine will, not selfish ambition.
What is your take on the insinuations that you are not in alignment with any of the power blocs?
What do they mean by aligning with any of the power blocs?
As far as I am concerned, I don’t believe in party factionalisation. It has never been in my character and if there is anything I have going for me today, it is my steadfast, trustworthy and focus in addition to the fact that my commitment is never in doubt.
Once I believe in something, I follow it to logical conclusion. I have a track record to show for it. I don’t believe in aligning with any group or party factionalisation.
I believe in the mainstream party and operating within the framework and manifesto designed by the party and by the end of the day, the party members will have the final say. I want to emphatically say that everything must be done to ensure that the processes are followed to logical conclusion.
Why do you always sound so confident as if the ticket is already for you?
That has always been me. I have confidence in the God that I serve and confidence in my ability. But it is left for the party to decide who will fly the flag of the party. Don’t forget that it is the party’s flag not my personal one.
At the end of the day, it is the wish of the people that will prevail. My driving force is whether I am going to do the due diligence, whether I am going to put everybody on the crucible and see what the options are, I promise that I will.
Will you accept the emergence of the party candidate through a consensus arrangement?
What do you mean by consensus arrangement and what are the criteria for the emergence of consensus candidate? If there must be such arrangement, we have to agree on the criteria and put the rules down and if we see the honesty of the intension and sincerity of the purpose, then it could be considered.
The race will be fierce in any consideration, what will be the edge APC will have over other political parties?
APC will go into the election with our enviable report card. What the APC has done for the country and the fact that we made commitment to the mainstream Nigeria politics. We will also look into what the APC has done to the Southeast.
The report card will involve the second Niger bridge which is there for everyone to see, the reconstruction of the major express roads linking the Southeast, providing an alternative power supply and many others. In fact, there are quite a lot for everybody to see and there is so much the state will gain if the APC government comes to power in the state.
More importantly, however, there is the need for the state to be connected to the centre. Anambra State cannot continue to be in opposition because it has not helped us. Now is the best time to do it than never.
In which areas have the APGA government failed that you are vying to win and correct?
There are quite a lot that have not been done right which need to be corrected. As I always say, you can only give what you have. Having done their best which is not enough, they should now give us the opportunity to provide an alternative.
I have a personal policy not to criticise government policies without offering alternative solution. The education policy in Anambra is not satisfactory to me, infrastructural policy, health policy and others are not satisfactory to me. I have alternatives which I will present in form of my vision or my new Anambra when the time comes. I strongly believe that I can change things.
What do you tell your supporters and those expressing fears that the Anambra election will be bloody?
What I want to tell them is that my ambition is not worth the pint of anybody’s blood. I don’t want anybody to fight for me for power that comes from God. It is not worth it because all things work for good for those that trust him.
My confidence is in God and good people of Anambra State. The assurance I want to give Anambra people is that I will not fail them. I want to be judged by what I say and that I will not betray the confidence they have for me.
With two governors in the Southeast, do you think the APC has made incursion into the zone?
APC has become an already established party with membership across the country including the Southeast. For every living thing, there is a growth process. Sometime past, APC has no governor in the zone, at another we have one governor, and today we have two governors.
By the grace of God, it will increase to three governors by November after the Anambra election. APC is a growth process, it will continue to grow. What we need to do is to justify the confidence of the people by doing what is right and meeting up with their expectations.
Do you think the zone has joined the mainstream APC to deserve presidential ticket?
Of course yes. With the level of consciousness, it points to the direction of our determination to take the platform. There are two stages to every election – the primary and main election. As we know in this country that only two political parties, the APC and PDP, are capable of presenting formidable candidates with the likelihood of winning presidential election in Nigeria.
For us in the APC, just like any other political party, we will contest for the ticket and for us to do that, bridges must be built and contacts made so that as we keep expanding our friendships, handshakes across and enlarging our coasts, it will provide us the opportunity to look for president of Nigeria from Igbo extraction.
We should not forget that the man in Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Osun, Calabar, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, the Southeast states and others across the country all have stakes. We need to work hard to secure the confidence of these people and make them trust us.
It is just like what we are trying to do in Anambra state, expanding our coast and support base so that it becomes all inclusive for many people to see why it has to be a president of Igbo origin. Building the bridges is an awareness that these people must vote.
What is happening in the APC goes to show a new orientation and new thinking because the reality is facing us clearly that we can’t wish the position into existence but go for it and get it. That is the way to go.
What is giving you the confidence that the North will allow an Igbo to fly the ticket of the APC?
What is wrong with giving an Igbo man the ticket of the party if I may ask? It is possible but like I said, the Igbo must work towards it and convince people. There are some critical Northerners that are opposed to Southeast president, but it has to do with democracy.
It behoves on us, the Igbo to move out to convince our brothers and sisters in the North, in the West, South and East that it is the turn of the Southeast. And once we can convince them, they will now be part of the agenda.
Are Igbo united enough to fight with common goal?
It depends on what you call unity because I know that interest can unite. One thing you must always have in mind is that we are talking about human beings with different interests and ambitions that must clash.
For instance, we are about nine that have indicated interest in running for the governorship of Anambra state and what that means is clash of nine interests and ambitions. However, if we were able to do some negotiations and horse-trading that will result in some people dropping, it is fine.
There is certainly going to be clash in the pursuit of Igbo presidency but when we now consider what the interest of the Igbo nation is, then, the interest will be the uniting force.
Is there anything that can make you sacrifice your governorship ambition?
I don’t think so but I have always said that I don’t lose sight of the fact that power belongs to God and He gives it to whoever He pleases at His own time. Let me repeat that my ambition is driven by the power of God concerning me and the wish of the Anambra people. If I have done well with NIWA, as many have testified, the best way to pay good performance, achievement and loyalty is reward and more responsibility.
What is your assessment of the APC Caretaker Committee?
They have done their best so far and we must acknowledge that fact that it is not easy to manage people especially where ambitions and interest will clash endlessly. We will continue to give them all the support we can so that they can deliver on their mandate.