‘I Have No Doubt That INEC Is Capable And Prepared’

Chris Uba, one of the senatorial candidates in Anambra State, spoke on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) acceptance of the Ejike Oguebego-led executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its list of nominees for this month’s election and other issues. 

PDP is yet to have a clear list of nominated candidates, barely few days to the election?

You cannot participate in the election if the party did not send your name to INEC and it amounts to an electoral fraud if you see any such person on the street campaigning. It is against the Electoral Act. Anyone who has an issue should take it up with the party.

It is left for INEC to enforce that order, not me. My own is to focus and concentrate on my campaigns and the election proper. It is the duty of INEC and if it fails to enforce the order, that means there will continue to be lawlessness and chaos everywhere.

But I feel concerned, as a stakeholder, in the entire process. As a candidate, I will pursue my campaigns to win the election.

Besides going back and forth to courts since your names were published, how prepared are you to face the election?

One major thing is that I am already popular; I am a grassroots politician. When you trace the history of Anambra State since 1999 till date, I have been a major factor, supporting people for election and positions, from the governor to members of the National and State Assemblies.

So, now that I am contesting, it will not be different or a problem. I am a household name already, yet I am campaigning, like others, to win the election in Anambra and even Nigeria.

My records have done a lot of campaigns for me. I am only touring to assure and re-assure the people that I am the authentic candidate.

I also use the rallies and visits to dispel any politically motivated stories against my party, my aspiration or me and to tell the people that I mean well for them.

But your opponents within your party are threatening to upturn your emergence in court?

You have to know that in any election, even presidential election, after the declaration of the results, people always go to court. It is then the duty of the court to do the right thing.

That is what I have to say on that. There are existing laws and that is what we are following.

Many are nursing all manner of fears ahead the election, from insurgency/insecurity, INEC’s preparedness/capability, and violence to other issues. Do you have such fears?  

I have no doubt that INEC is capable and well prepared. As the leader of my party, I have to lead my people to the election for us to record a landslide victory.

I am not only campaigning in my Anambra South senatorial zone, but also in all the 21 local government areas of the state.

We started from the North, moved to the Central and then South zones.

I know that I am going to win and my people are all going to win too. I know it is a difficult task, because we are not the only people running for the election. There is APGA (All Progressive Grand Alliance) and the APC (All Progressives Congress) also.

Everything rests in the hand of God Almighty, who gives power. There is nothing any human being can do.

What do you think is the way forward for full restoration of peace in Anambra PDP?

Our party has no problem in Anambra State, because if you trace its the history from 1998, PDP has been in power. But since they created this confusion, the party then lost power in the state.

However, I have this strong feeling that from this time on, God will bring PDP back. That will extinguish any remaining crisis, disagreement or misgivings anyone may still have.

I know all those who left or have been standing by and watching will return and rejoin us. You know in politics, people will always grumble, but at the end of the day, there will be peace.

So, you see PDP retaking Anambra State?

I am 100 per cent sure! The President is going to win in Anambra landslide and other candidates are going to win.

Anambra is a traditional PDP state. There is no doubt about that.

What are the initial things to engage your attention if you are elected?

My main aim is to go and attract life- transforming development to my area for my people and ensure that what comes to them gets to them.

Lack of accountability by duty-bearers and failure of the people to ask questions have remained the biggest handicap to the electorates.

The constituency funds belong to the people and it is their right. Yearly and at intervals, I need to tell them how much I collected for the whole year and what I have done with it.

It is very unfortunate that representatives of the people have not been accounting to their people. It is indeed sad. It is the right of the people who voted them in. People are no more timid; they have opened their eyes.

I feel that henceforth, things will be different.

So, you intend to give them quarterly or annual account?

I have stated that I will donate all my monetary entitlements, including salary and allowances for the four years, to my constituency (the seven constituting local governments of Aguata, Ihiala, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ekwusigo, Orumba North and Orumba South, and we are working it out.

We will put up a committee and a dedicated account will be opened for this purpose, managed by a committee to be set up by representatives of the seven councils. They will use it for projects to be chosen by each community.

Membership of the National Assembly should not be a fulltime job and it is no supposed to be. But you know in Nigeria, they have turned it to be a full time job. It ought to be a part-time job.

You must have a business you are doing before getting there. It is when members don’t have any other means of income that they make it a fulltime job.

It should be only on special occasions or for specific reasons that members should go there, maybe two or three times in a week or month and thereafter, they should face their private businesses and other things.

Since the crisis in your party started, has anybody from the other side approached you for reconciliation?

Yes, they have been approaching us and we have been reconciling step-by-step. We are sustaining the discussions.

We have been approaching them also, because we need them to win; we cannot do everything ourselves. Every human being counts and is important in this journey, because any single vote is important to win an election. So, there is nobody that is not important, including them.

We have to go and lobby and beg them to give us the opportunity to try what they have been trying. Politics is a collective business.

What about your brother, Senator Andy?

I am not quarrelling with him; we are so close in the family and I am the youngest of the men.

The eldest, Ugochukwu, did four years and Andy is now completing four years. They have to give me the opportunity and cooperation to do four years too.

We are not quarrelling at all.