Thursday, 7 February 2019

I Am More Of A Leader Than A Politician, AAC Gubernatorial Candidate Dr. Chidi Cadet Nwanyanwu says in an Exclusive Interview.

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Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoorDr. Chidi Cadet Nwanyanwu the governorship candidate of the African Action Congress is a patriotic Nigerian with a heart of gold. His passion for a better life for the people of Nigeria is unmatched. His driving force to be Enugu State Governor is largely to impact positively on his people.

In this one hour exclusive interview, the governorship candidate spoke extensively on his political background, his passion for the people of his state and indeed all Nigerians and his political manifesto. Read the interview below:

Question: Dr. Chidi, can you tell us a little more about your political experience? 
Answer:  Well, my political background, I really don’t see myself as a politician, I see myself as a leader. All my life I have found myself in situations of leadership and it came to a climax when I became born again and when it became clear to me where I was headed in life was when I joined Family Worship Centre church in Abuja under the founding Pastor of the church Pastor Inalegwu Omakwu, he trained us to be leaders and that’s where I really developed my skills as a leader. From that point on I have been serving as a leader in various capacities. I left  the shores of Nigeria to Canada and I found myself rising up to the position of President the Enugu State Indigenes in Canada and when I finished serving as the President of Enugu State Association,  I went on to become the President of the Nigerian Canadian Association there in Canada. When I was President of NCA, we agitated, we protested, we did all kind of things to make the government know we were not satisfied with what was happening in Nigeria and those times they called us internet thugs, that we were just barking on the internet, that if we were serious, we should come back home and be a part of efforts to bring about change in the country. So I took that challenge and decided to come back to Nigeria to be a part of the election. For me,  its always been about leadership not about being a politician. At a time, I held so many leadership position in my Secondary school, in my university days but the later ones had a direct impact on my pursuing the position of Enugu State Governor.

Question: The narrative in Nigeria is that most politicians are in it for their self interest but what is the driving force for you?
Answer: It’s not prideful to say where I stay in Canada, am a trained Architect and my wife also studied Architecture and together we have a construction company. When I was in Nigeria, I was doing well as a professional too. What am trying to say is that in Canada I live a very comfortable life and I have a good job. I really don’t need to come down to Nigeria. A lot of people misunderstand me when I say this, but that’s the truth. I can as well stay oversee and enjoy the good life there, because life there is really good, you can’t compare it to what is obtainable here in Nigeria. The system works, it’s not perfect but things are guaranteed to a certain level. But I have family here in Nigeria, my heart is in Nigeria, this is where I was born, I am passionate about what happens in Nigeria, so it will be foolhardy for anybody to think that am in this for my pocket. It’s actually more difficult, all my friends think that I am crazy; my colleagues think that I am out of my mind to leave my business in Canada and come down to Nigeria. I came down here because I want to see a change in the system in Nigeria. My driving force is that people are dying, my colleagues whom I left school with a lot of them don’t even have jobs. My motivation is that Nigeria has reached a level where we are ranking as the poorest nation in the world and yet we are among the rich because of the resources we have. Something is wrong, I can’t just sit down and watch my generation, watch my friends, watch loved ones that I left behind when I left the country, watch them struggling. Am on Facebook, am on twitter I can’t block those account so I am in tune with what is happening and I know these guys are suffering. I can’t sleep well seeing all these sufferings, it bugs me and I don’t want to pass through this generation asking myself what did I do about the problems that I saw, that God showed me because I am aware of what is happening and I should be able to ask myself what did you do? Okay so I need to be a part of what is going on, I need to make sure that at the end of it all I should be able to tell myself I did my best. I contributed to trying to find a solution to the problem, then I can sleep peacefully.

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoorQuestion: As a newbie in the political terrain in Nigeria, what kind of reception have you received from your people in Enugu and what are your challenges so far?

Answer: Well the kind of challenges I have experienced in Enugu is peculiar to Nigeria as whole. Nigeria has fallen to a level of decadence where societal values are at it’s worse, so many values that people cherish in the past seems to have eroded in our society, all people just think about is money, give me money but I don’t blame them because for so many years, they have been pounded by politicians, they have been denied their ability to being empowered, they make sure that they do not empower the people so when you are not empowered, your morale value drops, you don’t have the power to make money is so low. When you don’t have money, poverty is a terrible thing, it robs you of so many things, your confidence and all. Because people don’t have money in their pocket, when these politicians come around, they are able to entice them with N1, 000 with N2, 000, so that’s what they did to them. They make sure that these people remain beggarly and poor so that when it’s time for politics, they can dangle this money like carrot before them and people will go after this money. It has changed their perception of what politics is all about, it has changed their perception of what campaigning is all about, so when you come to them talking about ideology they are not interested, they just want you to give them money. They actually told me that the guy who came before me like a day or two before shared money, why am I not sharing money to them? When you investigate what happened, all this guy was that he went to the bank, he changed money into a couple of hundred naira notes and he just came to the middle of the market where people are gathered and tear the money and throw it in the air and you see people are struggling for the money and he goes to another part of the market, at the end of the day he spends like N5, 000 and it is buzzing everywhere that the guy is sharing money all over the place. A woman called me in the village and said, hey you need to come o, you need to bring something and share to the women that the man who came last week brought rice, indomie, vegetable oil etc. I asked her how many of it did you get? She told me she got 3 sachet of indomie, when she told me that, I thought she said 3 boxes of indomie but no she got 3 small sachets of indomie. It is annoying to me because that shows how our politicians have decided to insult our society that is so unfair. How can you go into the village and go so low to treat our mothers like that, you share 3 pieces of indomie and they will vote for you because of those 3 pieces of indomie? So these are the kind of challenges we have been meeting here. But I have being doing town hall meetings, door to door and grassroot campaign and people are beginning to change, there’s still a lot more work for us to do but the much we have done so far is yielding a lot of result. I have been to places and after talking to the people I ask them, after hearing me, do you still want me to give you N1,000 or are you going to be angry and go after those people who stole your money, whom you gave money to build roads, hospitals, to build primary school block, to equip that science laboratory, to equip the computer room in your kid’s school and they eat all that money. Now they come back to you during election sharing peanuts and they are laughing at you and insulting you. Do you still want me to start giving you N1,000 like them? And am telling you, 95% of the time, they were charged and they said no, they don’t need money from me. So these are some of the things we have been facing in doing our campaign here in Enugu.

Image may contain: 2 people, textQuestion: Corruption is said to be the bane of our growth here in Nigeria. If elected governor how will you effectively fight corruption?

Answer: One way to fight corruption is to make sure that you put the right people in the positions where people are suppose to sit and police corruption. It doesn’t take rocket science to fight corruption. Let me go back to how our party AAC was constituted, we don’t depend on god fathers, god mother, money bags and stuff like that, that’s the genesis of fighting corruption. Because we do not have god fathers, you don’t have people who are going to call you, lots of people have even called me to meetings saying we like you, we like your passion, we like the fact that you have ideology but come let’s sit down and sign a few agreement and then we will sponsor you, we will put our financial muscle behind you and then I have refused, I have rejected that, because that is not the principle upon which I party run. When you allow the money bags to be the ones that sponsor you, then when you get into position of authority you have to dance to their tune, they have to be the ones that you will give the contract. So when we don’t have people like that, everything will be done on merit. The lawyers in our judiciary will be people who will get there by merit, the Supervisor in the LG who will be in charge of monitoring the contractor will be picked by merit, not people that are put there by the god fathers and god mothers who sponsor you. So that way we will be able to check corruption because people when you appoint the right people to the right position, they will do their job well because they are not answerable to anybody, they are answerable to the people that put them there. I keep telling the people of Enugu State that the Governor is not your boss, he is your servant. I keep telling them I will be your servant. The money that is used to execute contract is not the governor’s money. The idea that you have to beg the Governor to be able to come to your location or local government to approve projects for you and then you go back and then he comes on another day to organize a very big ceremony to commission the project and the people thank him so much and try not to get him angry is very wrong. The Governor is a Public Servant of the people, the money is for the people, and the Governor does not own the money. By the way we are structured as a party we are already eliminating corruption.

Question: What’s your infrastructural development plan for Enugu State?
Answer: In my four point plan for Enugu State which I call my MEGA Vision for Enugu State, which says we want to Make Enugu Great Again and one item which is the  means we are going to introduce Advanced World Class Infrastructure. Like I told you before, I am a trained architect and I practiced very well in Nigeria, I understand Nigeria Construction Industry, I have also practiced in almost all the continent in the world and I have a construction company in Canada so construction is what I do and I understand what infrastructure means. We are going to bring into Enugu State what is obtainable elsewhere in the world. It does not take money, it just takes doing the right things, infact here in Enugu State we have building materials that can do world class construction, and they are readily available here. We have granite, we have sand, and we even have limestone here. So everything that we need to do a world class infrastructure is there in Enugu State. Beyond that, infrastructure is not just buildings, it also involves services like mass transportation and on that I have always talked about a mono rail project in Enugu, we will bring back that project that have been abandoned by the government. For the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, which is a Federal institution, we are going to make sure that we mount pressure on the federal government to see that the right things are done. I actually had another interview with a young doctor who works in that hospital and he was able to expose the way things are done in UNTH with a lot bureaucracy, complicated system that make things not to be done right. As long as these institutions are in Enugu State we are going to make sure that we are part of what happens, they will have to be answerable to us. When you say federal government institutions, where is the federal government human beings, the people are indigenes of Enugu, the federal road passes through Enugu is not Enugu citizens that drive through them, when an accident happens is it the federal person? When we get involved we are going to make sure that the federal government does what they are suppose to do. We will ask questions, we will put pressure until they do the right thing because there’s a right thing to done just that the corruption in the system does not allow for the right thing to be done and everybody just gives a blind eyes to all these things happening. If they can’t fix the road, we will close the road and stop everybody from using it until they fix it, if they can’t fix our airport we will stop the plane from landing there, so that’s what we are going to do.

Question: What’s your plan on empowering the youth and people of Enugu State?

Answer: The core of my vision for Enugu State, my MEGA vision M stands for Multiplication of Jobs. We’re going to multiply jobs in agriculture in Enugu State. We are going to embark in massive large scale mechanized agriculture. The Enugu State have very fertile land, we have good weather, we have everything, the people here are strong and they are hardworking. In a place that has everything, good vegetation, we still bring in food from outside Enugu State. Infact, we bring in trailer load of food stuff from Northern Nigeria that is not acceptable. I don’t have any problem with Northern Nigeria but it is all wrong that you will be bringing food from an environment that has drought that they have to do so much to be able to water the ground, they have to build dam and back up irrigation project to be able to farm. You have to bring produce from those places down to a place where all you have to do is drop corn on the ground without even doing anything and it will grow very well. By embarking on massive mechanize farming; we will be a catalyst for providing jobs. It is not just farming, when you have big farms in all the local government areas you generate jobs for those who will work directly on the farm, for those who will be doing productions that is by-product of farm produce, those in charge of storage and haulage like trailers will come and be going, you need to have food processing factories like people making chips out of potatoes, yam, people manufacturing juice, processing tomatoes, cookies, cornflakes, there’s so much byproduct out of agriculture. Agriculture has the potential to employ all the unemployed youths so you see how one thing leads to another. Just by focusing on agriculture, we will be able to absorb everybody. The youth don’t have to go to the farms with holes, no this is 2019, this is the time where we have tractors operated by GPS programming and we have multi harvester that harvest produce so people don’t work like they use to. You can actually go and work in a farm with neat clothes and come out and your clothes are still neat. Young people will be trained to get involved. People will be working in the offices because we are going to be exporting to other States and countries. I actually brought a team of Canadians to some State here in Nigeria. They came and they had an agreement with the State Government and now they are exporting produce to Canada from the State. I did that when I was not anything in the State, when I was just a President of Nigerian Association in Canada. When I am the Governor of the State, I will do much more.

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing, hat and outdoorE is enhancing the economy of Enugu State, where we will build a mega market at the night mile corner. People pass the night mile corner in Enugu to go and shop in Onitsha in Anambra State. They pass the night mile corner to go shop in Aba in Abia State and to shop in Port Harcourt in Rivers State. Now we will stop all that loss of revenue in Enugu State by building a mega market at the night mile corner when we do that all these people don’t have to pass through our place to go and do their trading in other States because we will provide for them what they have there. To encourage people to do their business in Enugu we are going to make sure that we turn the area around the airport Emene, it’s going to be a task free zone and we will develop the cargo way also, so that people can import things from Dubai, from China and sell it right in Enugu and enter the plane and go back. They will come to Enugu airport because they won’t be paying import duties. Under all of this is education and other aspect in the expanded vision.

Under G which is the last one because I already talked about A. G is Great Health Insurance Scheme for citizens of Enugu. There’s already a health insurance scheme but we are going to develop the one in Enugu so much that all people need to do is go into a hospital get treated and they don’t have to pay anything. I have a committee of trained professionals and we already have that in the African Action Congress that have looked into this and have worked it out and they know that it is very possible. They know that the State can afford it and that is what we are going to do. We are also going to do that in education, every student will be able to go to school without paying school fees. You already know that AAC has promised and guaranteed a N100,000.00 not minimum wage but living wage to every civil servant in Nigeria and that is what we are going to implement in Enugu State.

Question: How will your Government foster Peace, Unity and Security in Enugu State and Nigeria as a whole?

Answer: Under the bigger manifesto of the Africa Action Congress which has the acronym SPIB|YHID, number one on that manifesto is Security. I keep saying it’s not rocket science, as long as you put the right people in the right position to control everything that happens in the state. People go into crime most times because of their condition, they are either unemployed, they are poor; you know society influence them in one way or the other. As we come into government, it does not matter what season of the year, I live in Canada where they only have three months window to do all their agricultural activities yet they are able to produce enough food for the whole country and even export it outside the country. If they can do it within three months of good weather, we have 12 months of good weather. By the time we embark on our agriculture plan, put money in people’s pocket, and give people a place where they are working, that will already cut down crime by a huge percentage. A lot of time criminals are aided by security operatives but when you have the right people employed in security forces, we will be able to cut that. Also we need to equip the people who fight crime. When there is a crime, I remember a time when they were trying to deal with herdsmen here in Enugu, when it happens it is ridicule that even these people will come with their stick, they will walk to the place, they will the crime and they will walk away, they don’t even drive away, they don’t have cars and yet we can’t catch them. In 2019, are you kidding me? What about drones? Someone was telling me they have people with hideouts in Enugu where victims of kidnap are kept, what! All you need to do is you can set up a drone and the drone will map out different hideouts that criminals are using, you will be able to burst that up and if you burst all the hideout they will not be able to operate because what makes crime strive is when you are not able to go to their base to destroy it. When you destroy their base they will not be able to operate. So we will use modern technology to be able to fight crime, we will use the idea of putting the right people in the right place and we will give the right people strength to fight crime. It is very easy, it’s been done, it is not rocket science. And you know that as the Governor of the State and as Chief Security Officer, If the CSO does not hold meetings with all security operatives from time to time then you won’t know what is happening. Most time there’s no synergy among the security department in the State, everybody is just doing their own. There’s misinformation, they are not collaborating and so they don’t even know their limits. We will make sure that the head the Military, the head of the Police, the head Federal Road Safety Commission, Civil Defense, and Air Force, everybody who is involved in our security should have meeting from time to time so that they know what the other person is doing. The situation in Nigeria is where you come to the road and you have Road Safety, Police, Army, Civil Defense, MOT all of them waiting for the same one road user. Can you imagine that while all of them are they on the express, crime is going on and there is no body to go and attend to the crime. It is because they are not doing what they are suppose to be doing that’s why they will go and guard the home of individuals. So those are the ways I plan to tackle security.
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Closing Words:
Well, we will keep pushing until we get it right. The journey of a million miles must start with one step. We just cannot keep on saying, there’s no way we can beat this people. If we just sit down and talk, then we really can’t do anything and there’s no justification for us to complain when the wrong people get in power.

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