“In every genuine democratic election, There are about 3 factors that drives voter’s decisions, one is security of lives and prosperity, second is welfare and third is wealth creation”
In an interview granted by the Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Abia State, Comrade Njoku Jeremiah Ajike he shed highlight on the choice of Dr Alex Otti as the candidate to beat in the 2023 Abia state gubernatorial elections.
Q: Labour Party has been able to project itself as the much anticipated ‘Third Force’ in mainstream Nigeria politics today, does that apply to Abia State where there has been a long-term Political stronghold.
NJOKU: After the first trial of democratic governance from 1999 to 2007, Abia had the slim chances of replicating the blueprints of the late Dr. Sam Mbakwe who modelled the region as South East industrial capital and center of entertainment, unfortunately, that lofty idea was scuttled for what I will consider as an unwholesome game of politics of patronage and that spelled the doomsday situation Abia state has been enmeshed in till date which you refer to as political stronghold of a certain group.
From one ‘anointed’ career civil servant to another ‘anointed’ civil servant, this time flaunting academic laurels as measurements for leadership qualities, yet it yielded any realistic outcomes, rather Abia state nosedived into leadership recklessness, where achievement are celebrated on large bill boards across the States while businesses and welfare of the citizenry continue to suffer adverse consequences of experimental leadership, worse off is, when even the drivers of the economy are neglected for months without due compensation.
“It is not a coincidence that almost all Labour Party frontline candidates are technocrats from the Private sector with similar background experience in finance, wealth creations and competent administrators
One thing the people must understand is; Labour Party is not an opposition party but a complete game changer whose time has come.
What the opposition does in times as this is to engage in brick bats, show of force, what Nigerians refers to as “gbas gbos” Politics, they throw blames and Jibes at each other in the name of campaigning.
Now, in a situation where the people never had any better options they accept whatever is presented to them willy-nilly but this has to stop with the emergence of Labour Party beginning from Abia state, because this is the headquarters of the working people of Nigeria whom are by default all members of the Labour Party.
80% of residents of Abia state are artisans, very creative and hardworking group of indigenous wealth creators that provides constructive employment from the grassroots while government complement the remaining 20%, now imagine a situation where government is controlling a minimal 20% comprising of civil servants yet it is frustrating the business community that fuels the economy of the region by its reckless policies and approach to the welfare of the people, imagine what a negative outcome such a system will create.
“One thing the people must understand is; Labour Party is not an opposition party but a complete game changer whose time has come.
This is more reason why the choice of Dr. Alex Otti, as an astute administrator, economist and a technocrat from the private sector, is preferable for the governorship candidate under Labour Party. The evidence that he will spearhead a complete reconstruction of the economic damages that has ben unleased upon this state for over 2 decades is very obvious.
Q: What can Dr. Alex Otti do differently, having made several attempts and failed in his bid to become the governor of Abia state.
“All the factors I mentioned above had been lacking in previous administration in Abia state because the men who found themselves in position of authority whether elected or ‘anointed’ lacks the capacity to manage those factors of economic reality”
NJOKU: First, let me clarify this position, Dr. Alex Otti never failed in those attempts. those of us who were on ground in Abia state knew what happened which the state is still suffering its consequences till date.
More so, there is no denying the fact that Dr. Alex had tried on one or two attempts under those political parties’ platform that were mere alternatives between the devil and he deep blue sea and every Nigerian today know what had been obtainable in those Parties of APC and PDP.
The truth remains that, there was no credible option in those days so the powers that pulls the strings in those parties had to employ those crude divisive practices of ‘anointed candidates’ rather than candidates of competence
Now you ask, what can Dr. Alex do differently; the question is, those challenges bedeviling this state since 1999 till date, have they been resolved or made to escalate.
Let me draw your attention to this; In every genuine democratic election, There are about 3 factors that drives voter’s decisions, one is security of lives and prosperity, second is welfare and third is wealth creation, by welfare I mean providing basic healthcare, Education and means of livelihood for the people and Wealth creation simply defines a system that provides job for the people, a system that will boost industry and commerce, give priority to workers welfare as drivers of economy and its sustainability.
Now back to your question; Has the previous administration addressed these troubling and embarrassing situations which has become an albatross in Abia state today – Every residents of Abia knows the truth so I am going to live it there.
All the factors I mentioned above had been lacking in previous administration in Abia state because the men who found themselves in position of authority whether elected or ‘anointed’ lacks the capacity to manage those factors of economic reality, they simply lack such background experience of prudent economic management and wealth creation.
Secondly, has the previous administration made any genuine attempt to address these 3 prime factors of development and Change.
This is the question every Abia state person and those interested in the development of the state should be asking himself.
If the ruling parties you refer to as stronghold were not able to achieve these simple indices of judgement of a working state in all the years of their existence in Abia state, what is the criteria they are going to do it now and for the new entrants also vying for same seat, what is their pedigree both in the private sector and management of resources of public trust. This is where personalities like Dr. ALEX Otti comes in handy and suitable to rectify these anomalies.
“The truth remains that, there was no credible option in those days so the powers that pulls the strings in those parties had to employ those crude divisive practices of ‘anointed candidates’ rather than candidates of competence
Q: Labour Party is relatively known in Abia state, what gives you the confidence that you will emerge victorious at the polls amidst other long time established parties in the region.
NJOKU: Labour Party stands for economic sustenance and welfare of the people as you can see in the Party Logo of a man and his wife and their child. As a party of the working people in Abia state including traders, professionals, artisans, students etc. It is not relatively known as you have alleged, rather it is a Party whose time has come and there is little anybody can do about that, is it in the organic membership registration and followership that continue to increase by day naturally, or is it in the kind of men it has positioned to take up leadership from the national level down to the state. Like I said earlier, we are not in any opposition but have emerged as redeemer of the lost glory of Abia State, we have come to rescue the situation in Abia state and this is not debatable.
Q: Would it suffice to say that your candidate Dr. Alex Otti is merely riding on the popularity of Mr. Peter Obi in Labour Party
NJOKU: Well, the party has been in existence before Mr. Peter Obi and for the records, Dr. Alex Otti joined Labour Party before Mr. Peter Obi, besides that, if we were not a disciplined party, both candidates would not have opted for labour Party, coming from two major extremes of political might.
More so, it takes only a man who have enjoyed that confidence of both the private and public sectors in managing the affairs that concerns such institutions, the people and the future of the trust bestowed upon him to lead a state like Abia out of the woods of systemic rot across virtually all the public institutions of government.
It is not a coincidence that almost all Labour Party frontline candidates are technocrats from the Private sector with similar background experience in finance, wealth creations and competent administrators with track records, from Mr. Peter Obi, to Dr. Ahmed Datti, Dr. Alex Otti – these are not your ordinary type of politicians and I do not think Abia people will be so naïve to miss such golden opportunities fate has brought upon them.
Njoku Jeremiah Ajike is the Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Abia State Chapter