Former Senator that represented Anambra North District Emma Anosike recently carried out his widowhood empowerment programme. He spoke to reporters on this project and took a look at political issues in the country. NKIRU NWAGBO was there.Excerpts:
What inspired you to embark on this widowhood empowerment venture?
What is important is to touch the lives of people around you. This is a project that has been on for over five years now and one needs to appreciate the situation that our widows find themselves; so it is important that we give them that sense of belonging and that is the essence of this scheme. I was at the lowest level in life when I went to the House of Representatives, I hadn’t up to N5,000 when I went to the National Assembly, but you know that when God wants to do something for you, He will come from different ways. My opponent, Alphonsus Igbeke was also contesting for the same seat in that election. He had the money and the clout and all the perceived followership then. But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gave me the ticket. We went to the tribunal and he won. But the Appeal Court in Enugu upturned the Judgment of the tribunal. At the Appeal, late Ikeazor (SAN) came to me and said I have been briefed to represent you through Sir Emeka Offor; I never met Emeka Offor in my life and I had no such money to hire a lawyer of that caliber. After passing through these and more, I later became a Senator, you can agree with me that there is that need to also touch the lives of people that have nobody to help them. That is my philosophy of life. Today a total of 500 women benefited from this scheme today. Last year was about 2000 because last year we included destitutes and physically challenged in the society.
How would you access the present government of the APC?
The structure of government is defective from the beginning. A Director in a federal ministry has about four children abroad, so everybody believes that people must take bribe. As far as I am concerned, we need to change the structure of governance. We should allow all the states to struggle to earn its revenue and develop themselves. If we do not have challenges we cannot survive as a country. The APC government is new and I can tell you that it is not easy. We had challenges as PDP government yet we stayed long in government yet we had problems. APC should study the country and look at resolutions and reports of the constitutional conference and work on it. We have not seen the blue print of the APC government. I suggest they should look at the CONFAB resolutions, it will enable them to know the situation before and lead them as a guide.
The government is yet to create windows to change the situation. The conference brought an open window for the new government to cash in on and they are doing nothing about it. They should show us their blue print on what they want to do so that we can follow them and understand their points of departure.
How about the government of Anambra State?
Since 1999, until now, nobody has driven across a fly over in Awka. Today it has become a reality. I am not a member of APGA but I can tell you that in some states, projects that are inherited by new governments are always abandoned but in the case of Willie Obiano, no project is abandoned till date. That shows continuity in governance. People can say that he is slow but we should not forget in a hurry that before Peter Obi left, he employed more than 5000 workers into the civil service work force few months before his departure. This man came and accommodated all these workers and he has even employed more and salaries are being paid as at when due. Meanwhile, the face of Anambra State has been changed, the security is inteact, we should be praying to God to give him the strength to continue with the pace; so, by and large, the government of Willie Obiano is not doing badly and with time, the government would do better.
How about the face –off between peter Obi and Obiano?
If you study Nigerian politics, you will discover that most governors have overbearing influence on those that they handed over to and this is not fair for governance and politics. The successors should be allowed to run their governments. There is a difference between Florence and Philomena. One needs to stand by the side and allow the new governors to do their job. Peter Obi introduced Obiano to the system, Obiano was his senior in school, CKC and both of them are products of Fidelity Bank. So why is Peter Obi shouting. This is his baby and we have to nurture the baby to maturity. Even the issue of #75billion that was handed over to Obiano APC should make their Economic Blueprint open should not be the issue at all. It cannot even fund all the projects; you remember that about 5000 people were employed by the regime of Peter Obi before he left office. He awarded and flagged off projects few months before he left office. So when you look at the regime of Gov Willie Obiano, one can score him above average in view of the circumstances that he found himself and his government. So the issue of the cash or near cash disagreement between Obiano and Obi should not come in at this point. Obiano should be allowed to discharge his duties as a governor and all these distractions should not be allowed to take place. It does not help the state at all. Peter Obi’s government had voice because he did four years learning and planning and he also used the other four years to implement but this man Obiano who should be in learning process is doing great. I know him as a prudent and friendly governor. I am a PDP man not an APGA member but when it comes to the issue of Anambra State and governance, I am also a stakeholder in the enterprise.