Chief Amobi Daniel Nwokafor, the chief executive officer of Audit House in Lagos, is one of the aspirants for the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The chartered accountant, who served as the president-general of the Awka Development Union, spoke on the nature of politics in the state, saying that to move the state forward, sectionalism should be highly discouraged.
Why do you want to govern Anambra State?
I go home from time to time, and at every point in time, the question has always been: ‘What have you contributed to help develop your community?’ There is the need for one to join hands in developing one’s environment. When I assessed myself, I realised that I was lacking in that direction. I feel I need to serve my people.
This journey started in 2014 when the position of president-general of the Awka Development Union, Nigeria became vacant and I contested.
When I travelled to Awka to vie for that position, people started seeing me as an outsider, but I told them that as an indigene, I had the right to contest. I had developed myself over the years and felt people should benefit from my wealth of experience. The election was held and I emerged winner.
During that period, I saw a lot of gaps in development, economy, idea generation and infrastructural development of the state.
Anambra should be the number one state in Nigeria. We can beat Lagos, yet we rely so much on federation account. We need to look inwards.
Anambra is regarded as one of the most turbulent states when it comes to politics. Do you think you have the war chest to withstand the challenges ahead?
If you make God your cornerstone, there is nothing you cannot overcome. In this journey, I know there are stumbling blocks. There are also positive aspects of it, but as long as God remains my cornerstone, I have no fear. I know that I have all it takes and I will stand every pressure. I know that to become the governor of Anambra State is not a child’s play. But you cannot just push me aside with a wave of the hand. I am equal to the task.
You are a member of the APC, do you think you can sell the party to the people of Anambra, given the fact that the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has always ruled the state? It also looks like your party is not particularly on ground in the state.
I joined the APC because I have so many things to offer. I want to let you know that we are not playing the correct politics in Nigeria. The APGA is not in any other state, apart from Anambra. So why should we put our eggs in one basket? It is a common knowledge that it is not good to do that, but that is what we are doing.
Why should we continue playing sectional, rather than national politics? I believe that if we are really serious to develop Anambra State, it is the APC, which is a national party.
The APGA has been ruling the state for the past 16 years, and some people will argue that there’s no need for a change. What is your take?
It would be very myopic for anybody to think like that. States are competing with one another. My question is: Where do we place Anambra in the scheme of things in Nigeria? Out of the 36 states in the country, will Anambra be among the best, in terms of economic development and infrastructure?
The first challenge for you will be to win the party’s ticket as there are many other contenders. Some will even say you are a newcomer. Are you confident of getting the APC governorship ticket?
A lot of people are coming up with that kind of assertion, but you don’t look at it that way. Where I come from, there is a proverb that anytime you wake up is your morning. I have been developing myself.
What is your relationship with Dr Chris Ngige and other APC leaders in the state?
I joined the APC because it looks at individuals, not how long you have been in the party. Ngige knows that I am there, and I know that all eyes are on me. I don’t need to have a godfather to make it in the APC; and that is the beauty of the party. We want to present the best; that is why we are hopeful that I would get the ticket.
There is an unwritten agreement on power rotation in the state. Some people are arguing that the last person who left the seat was from Anambra Central, where you hail from; is it not too early for power to go back to that zone?
I may describe that scenario as an implanted consciousness. People want to continue to hold power, so they started talking about zoning. If we talk about zoning, it should be of political parties. Moreover, every zone in Anambra State has ruled the state. This zoning they are preaching now is a form of rigging.
It is also said that somebody from Awka cannot aspire to be governor; how would you react to this?
I have heard that indigenes of Awka cannot aspire to be governor because the state capital is located in their land, but I don’t know how true it is. It is not obtainable anywhere.
What are your thoughts on the state of the nation?
Our major problem as a country is that we are not productive because we depend on oil. If we get the economy right, every other challenge would be solved. We are also very backward in education. If we want to fix this country, we must get every child educated.