Stephen Mba, a Pharmacist, is the gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) in the November 18, 2017 Anambra State governorship election. Mba in this interview with newsmen speaks about his programmes, especially agricultural and power programmes for the people of Anambra State if elected. He also speaks on what he called complete restructuring among other issues. ALPHONSUS NWEZE was there.
What are your programmes for the people of Anambra State?
I have a lot of programmes, but principally I want to make Aanmbra self sufficient in agriculture. My agricultural programme will make Anambra State self-sufficient in food production in three years of my administration.
Under my administration, Anambra State will be exporting plantain, fish, yam, animals and animal products. Anambra State will be self-sufficient in food production under my administration.
I will also encourage local industries. We will not buy or import what we can produce here. We know the problem of power in the country, but my administration will provide enough power with coal. We have abundant coal in Enugu. We can use that coal to supplement whatever power we have now.
There are political parties like APGA, APC and PDP in this race. Are you not threatened by these political parties?
I am not at all threatened by the so called big parties in this election. These parties you are talking about have been rejected by the people with their candidates.
The Peoples Democratic Party is known for its godfatherism. We don’t want such party in Anambra again. And the party is not as strong as it used to be. The party is weak now.
APGA has said it will not continue with its inability to construct roads in the state. Which road did you see the party construct? There is nothing to show for its three years in the saddle.
That is why we are favoured in this election. My party is not a new party, but has a new person in the race. And Anambra people need a virgin person in Government House from next year.
You know my party PRP is the oldest party in the country and we have the experience. APC is bitter and non-existent in the state. PDP is corrupt. People have rejected APGA. We are the party of the moment.
The dissatisfaction the people have displayed against these parties will work in our favour. It will push us to Government House in Agu Awka. The incumbent governor is spending our money in this election.
If we get to Government House he would be called upon to answer for this reckless expenditure of our commonwealth for election campaigns.
What is your view of Operation Python Dance 11 in which a lot of lives were allegedly lost?
There was no basis for Operation Python Dance 11. It was an unnecessary exercise and waste of resources. There was no breakdown of law and order in the South East.
And even if there was, the Police option have not been exhausted, that the Army should be invited. There is a process of handling such matter if assuming that there is crisis in this part of the country.
They did not follow the process, they did not exhaust it before they brought soldiers who caused mayhem in Aba, Abia State.
What is your position on restructuring?
What we need in this country is restructuring. I mean complete or true restructuring. Complete or true restructuring is where each region stand on its own, has its autonomy.
This true or complete restructuring will speed up economic development in Nigeria. The region will not be independent of its own.
The centre is in charge or control as long as there is fairness and equity. Whoever controls power in the centre must use it judiciously for overall interest of Nigerians.
But when there is marginalisation, injustice and deprivation, they will lead to continuous agitation. This present unitary system of government we operate in Nigeria at the centre cannot stand the test of time.
And that is where the people have fear, because all the resources are taken to Abuja and shared from Abuja. In complete restructuring, regions will have powers to create states, local governments.
Those regions that cannot sustain states will merge with other states within each region. That is regional autonomy. Each region can create more or shrink states. The constitution has to be changed for each region to have powers to do that.
Why are you contesting this governorship election when you comes from Awka, Anambra Central and it was said that the governorship has been zoned to the North Senatorial zone?
I don’t believe in the zoning because it has not been properly defined. If you remember, the North from the late Ukpabi Asika has ruled for 19 years, but they said we should start from the beginning of this dispensation.
And this zoning arrangement is unconstitutional because there is no law of Anbambra State House of Assembly which legalised zoning.
I am therefore begging the people to reject zoning, which has no foundation, since no law of the State House of Assembly has established it.
The type of zoning my government will advocate is the one whose law is passed by the State House of Assembly that each of the three senatorial zones should govern for four years each.
The only time the state will allow any sitting governor to do second term is when he/she has done excellently too well to merit a second term.
It is a zoning that will provide opportunity through meritocracy even in the allocation of resources for the development of the state.
My zoning in the budget will be 30-30-30 each of the three zones and the 10 percent for the Awka Capital Development. Appointment will also go the same way 30-30-30 and 10 for Awka Capital Development.
I will limit the appointment of Special Assistants to 10 or 15 and any other additional must go to the State House of Assembly for approval after explaining the reason why such extra appointments must be made.
The number of SAs as we have now are too many . Some of them are doing nothing.