Zoning does not guarantee winning – Azubogu


Hon Chris Azubogu represents Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. In Anambra State, he is referred to as ‘Mr. Project ‘. A third term member at the Green Chamber, he wants to succeed Governor Willie Obiano at the Agu -Awka Government House in 2021. He has many others contesting the ticket on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party PDP against him. He spoke with select journalists in Awka on his ambition, his relationship with former Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, among others. Nwanosike Onu, was there, excerpts

There are a number of persons from your side who have shown interest to contest the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State and these people are heavy weights. Are you worried that might pose a challenge to your aspiration?

It is not about the size of the person. You said there are many people. It is a contest and it is democracy. People must make their choice. Nnewi, we are not contesting for the governorship of Nnewi. We are contesting for the governorship of Anambra State. If you like, let 10 people come out from Nnewi. When they come; they present themselves to Anambra people and they will ask questions and make their choice.

Nnewi will not decide who will become the governor of Anambra State. Anambra people will decide who will become their governor. If it is a local government election, then it will end up in Nnewi. So, we want Ndi Anambra to interrogate whoever that is actually out for this. It is their choice. All the aspirants need to come to an arena to engage themselves on issues of governance. Give us assignments to do; engage us in a debate. I am here to offer governance.

Anambra people will need to make a choice between noodles, rice and somebody who wants to put structures of governance that will improve their wellbeing; between N3, 500 and N5, 000 or somebody who will institutionalise governance so that Anambra will move forward. It is shameful that Anambra will sit back here without relevant infrastructures to drive economic development and industrialisation. Even to control the market, you have the market given to us naturally. Israelis control their sector.

It is the same thing with the Japanese. Everybody controls his sector. In Nigeria, we are to dominate the economy and we are playing with it. They are playing politics with us in the country. We have not gotten leaders that will say no to that. Once we have a good leader who will encourage our people to invest in infrastructures; we need to develop and of course, bring home some of their businesses, we will overtake everybody. Everybody must come to Anambra. Take it from me.

We understand you worked with the former governor, Mr. Peter Obi. Obi is key in this race and people believe he is supporting you to get your party’s ticket. How would you react to that?

I am not aware Peter is supporting me but I know he is not against my aspiration. Peter is my leader. Some people are already claiming that Peter has endorsed them. I have never been endorsed by anybody because it is too early in the day. Next year is the election year; we will engage in the field. Ndi Anambra will have to choose after watching all of us.

There have been divergent views about the zoning of the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State. Where do you stand on this?

Number one, I believe in equity. I worked with Peter and anybody who worked with Peter will always tell you; unless somebody who wants to deceive himself; I was one of those who encouraged Peter when he said that the governorship would go to the north. I had a brother who was contesting for that election. I was clearly against him because I told him to exercise patience; let the north have a shot. I did not support Ifeanyi Ubah in the 2014 election because we all agreed that it was going to the north.

The same thing happened in 2017. Everybody said let the north complete its tenure. That is why all political parties, including the APC, APGA, PDP gave people from the north their tickets. I said that I am contesting because I am eligible. I am contesting not because I am just from the south. I can hold my forte anywhere. However, if Anambra people have come to recognise zoning, I am in for it. And I want to warn anybody even in my party, zoning does not guarantee winning.

But without zoning, you are sure of failing. If you zone and take somebody who is incompetent, it is not a must that you will win. If you do not recognise zoning, be rest assured that you will fail the election because nobody from the south will vote for any candidate that is not from the south. Take it from me.