Friday 21st July, 2017
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Gov. Obiano should drop his ambition for second tenure - Moghalu

Gov. Obiano should drop his ambition for second tenure - Moghalu

Chief George Moghalu is the national auditor of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as an aspirant in the forthcoming Anambra state governorship election. In this interview with MIKE UBANI, the APC chieftain promised to change the landscape of the state if elected governor this November. He also commended the Buhari-led federal government for nearly winning the war against the terrorists, Boko Haram, as well as effecting positive reforms in the economy. Excerpts
 
What is the driving force be­hind your aspiration to occupy the Anambra state Govern­ment House, Awka?
I want to offer service; to do things differently, and primar­ily to change the landscape of Anambra state.
But the public perception is that the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, has done very well in office, and should be allowed to do a second tenure. Do you share this perspective?
No. That is a wrong assump­tion. I keep telling people that it is all about perception, and perception has never been the reality. I try to create an anal­ogy when I want to answer this question. If you are in a dark room now, and you bring in a candle light, there will be an illumination. If you bring in torchlight, you will notice an improvement in the illumina­tion. And if you bring in fluo­rescent light, there will be great­er illumination. Then, if you bring in flood light, there will be far greater illumination. So, be­cause we are in a dark state, and candle light is brought in, and there is glimmer of illumina­tion, people assume that there is an improvement. Quite alright, there is an improvement, but that is not for me what it should be. Governor Obiano has done his best; he is still doing his best. But by my own assessment, his best is not good enough, and so he should give way for the APC to govern the state.
What are those areas that he ought to have improved upon?
Generally, infrastructural development, quality infra­structural development, qual­ity educational development, issue of health, agriculture, and every aspect of leadership. I think there is a large room for improvement.
What is your assessment of President Buhari’s perfor­mance in office in the past two years given his campaign prom­ises?
To be honest with you, the Buhari administration has done very well in keeping with the promise made to the elector­ate. A few days back, I was con­fronted with this same question. I reminded the interviewer that our then Presidential candidate, who is now His Excellency, President Muhammadu Bu­hari, anchored his campaign on three issues.
SECURITY
One is security of lives and property, with emphasis on the issue of Boko Haram. Sec­ond, is the issue of fighting corruption to a standstill, and thirdly, addressing the issue of our economy. Even those who don’t like us (APC) as a party, and as a government in power acknowledge the fact that be­fore APC came into govern­ment, more than 14 local gov­ernment areas of this country was practically under the con­trol of Boko Haram terrorists, to the extent that they call it the Caliphate; their flags flying and their government in place. But today, Boko Haram is almost a thing of the past. No one inch of Nigerian soil is under the control of anybody other than the leadership of this coun­try. What you find now are snippets of attacks which is ex­pected, but in no distant future, I am sure we’ll not talk about the issue of insecurity. A few days back, to the excitement of the country, 82 of our daugh­ters abducted by Boko Haram terrorists , were released. And according to the Hon. Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mo­hammed said, efforts are being made for more of these girls who are still under the captivity of Boko Haram to be released.
CORRUPTION
The Buhari administration is addressing the issue of corrup­tion. I remember the President saying that if we don’t kill cor­ruption, corruption will kill Ni­geria. The government has set in motion measures to address this issue of corruption. You and I know what the introduc­tion of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), and the Trea­sury Single Account (TSA) pol­icy have done for the country, and just recently, the Whistle Blower Policy. I believe like a lot of Nigerians do that if we are able to kill corruption perma­nently, our challenges certainly would be addressed.
ECONOMY
When looking at our econo­my, let us ask ourselves: where did we start, and where were we before this government came in? And I tell you that before this government came in to be, oil was selling at one hundred and twenty US dollars a barrel, and you and I know that Nige­ria is a one product economy – most unfortunately. Some years back, the World Bank ad­vised our country to save; that recession was approaching, but nobody listened to them. Sadly enough, we had no savings, we had no investment in in­frastructure – look at the stage where we are in power supply today. Most unfortunately, when the present administra­tion came in to be, there was international recession, and the price of oil dropped to an unfortunate level of between twenty-eight and thirty US dollars per barrel, and this af­fected government projects. But this government in its determination to change our story, started aggressive di­versification of the economy. Today, there is aggressive invest­ment in agriculture and solid minerals sectors, all meant to create an enabling environment for the economy to grow. To­day, we have reasonable stability on the exchange rate policy. So, I am confident that by the time this administration concludes its first four-year mandate, we would have built a solid foun­dation upon which we can now build a formidable structure, and our economy will begin to thrive.
Some Nigerians hold the view that the whole saga of abduc­tion of Chibok girls is a scam. What is your reaction on this?
How can it be a scam? The girls are alive. If there is any scam, it is the inability and de­ficiency of the Peoples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) that put us where we are today. If not as a result of the ineptitude and unseriousness of the past PDP administration, we won’t be where we are today. If the past administration had pursued the issue of the Chibok girls the mo­ment it happened with commit­ment and dedication, those girls would have been recovered en­tirely at that time.
You don’t believe the sugges­tion that the Chibok girls were quartered in a private home as some people have alleged?
That’s a callous thought. So, the people who are alleging this think the government is so idle to the extent that they will take girls and quarter them in a private home and nobody knew about it. And after three years, they started bringing them out and advertising them on television. We must try to separate politics from reality.
APPOINTMENT OF PO­LITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS
Do your share the view that the South-East has been mar­ginalized by the Buhari admin­istration in the appointment of political office holders?
It’s not true. I want anybody who said that to come out with empirical facts. When ministers were appointed, the South-East got its share; board members are being appointed and I have seen Igbo names there.
Don’t you think the Fed­eral Government should have brought in more South-East­erners into this administra­tion?
As an Igbo man, I would wish that every appointment comes from the South-East. If it is a matter of wish, I would wish the President and the Vice Presi­dent, minister of finance, works, and housing come from my village. But the reality is that these appointments must reflect the federal character principle.
ROAD INFRASTRUC­TURE
The federal government re­cently awarded a major road contract in Cross River state without awarding any in the South-East. Are you also satis­fied with this treatment?
But the Federal Government has awarded contract for the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Enugu-Port Harcourt Express­way; and the Second Niger Bridge. These are projects that are being funded by the Fed­eral Government. There was a time in this country when South-East produced the Dep­uty Senate President, Deputy Speaker, House of Representa­tives, Secretary to the Govern­ment of the Federation (SGF), minister of finance, chairman, House committee on works, chairman, Senate committee on works, and the question is: why didn’t they repair the Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressways? They were flagging-off Second Niger Bridge every four years during election. That is the only bridge in history that was flagged off four times. But it is only this administration that has put money down for the project, and construction is go­ing on. If you look at the 2017 budget, the South-East is suf­ficiently accommodated, and the government is funding the budget within the limit of avail­able resources.

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