On Saturday Abia State Online Media Practitioners had an explosive media Chat with Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah the President of the Master Energy Group. In this media chat, Ogah expressed disappointment at the happenings in Abia State and blamed the ruling party as the reason behind the present ugly situation of the State. Read full interview :
WITH WHAT YOU HAVE ON THE GROUND, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE ON THE LIFE OF ABIANS, IF YOU ARE GIVEN THE OPPURTUNITY TO GOVERN ABIA COME 2019?
I thank you so much for this question, but I have to tell you that there are a lot of ways to touch the lives of the people. I don’t have to be Governor to touch the life of Abians and that is what we have demonstrated with the complex you just visited. There are other ways i have developed through i touch Abians, i have people under my scholarship across the state, i embark on empowerment programs from time to time.
Moreover, i have not made up mind concerning 2019, i am still praying but i believe that i can always do something because there are so many things to be done to touch the lives of Abians and that is what i am already doing. I don’t have to be Governor to do that. For me i believe i have a lot to offer to Abians, its not about politics, i didn’t come into politics because i want to be Governor, i wanted to find a way to offer my services to the people in my own little way. I wanted to prove to the people that a lot of things they have been told that is impossible are actually possible. I wanted to demonstrate to Abians that Governance is very easy, if you truly come with the intention to serve. So i believe there is a lot i can offer to the people, like creating jobs for them, insuring that you are empowered and getting their hopes rekindled.
AS A STAKEHOLDER IN THE ABIA PROJECT, HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION?
I have said it before in the last interview i granted that the PDP in Abia State is structured like a cult that cares for its own members while the masses are left to languish. There is no vision, there is no template, there is nothing in place, there is no drive, there is no passion, no program. Abia PDP Structured Governance like a national cake to be shared zone by zone. Each zone comes to power to cut their share and go while the people suffer. Anyone who comes to power begins to think first on how to acquire properties in different parts of the world, without thinking about the people. They don’t care. Governance is about service, it is about leaving a lasting legacy.
Can you Imagine that the achievements of the old Eastern region can still not be attempted today, rather the infrastructures built then are decaying or being sold. None of todays Governors of the south east today has attempted to replicate the vision of just one man. Governance is about vision, you have to sit down and project where you want your people to be in the next 10 years, 20 years or 30 years. Payment of Salaries should not even be talked about, because it is always part of the wage bill. I believe that if you love the people, you will first of all pay them their salaries. There shouldn’t be any excuse for owing workers, because Government receives various revenues, From IGR, to Federal Allocations, to windfalls. That apart because its recurrent, lets talk about capital expenditure, where the house of legislators approve funds for a particular project several times yet the legislators cant speak out against this fraud. Is it that we are cursed?
Anyways, as far as am concerned, there will be no PDP in Abia State come 2019. I don’t see any justification for any human being dead or alive to vote for PDP in Abia state. What we are saying is that Abia must move forward. We have stayed so long in the dark. Even the people being governed should ask questions when things are going wrong, as it is today. People should speak out, that is what is needed to birth change. I am speaking the way am speaking because i don’t need anything from Abia State in my community. They have done nothing for us. I built the schools, they are the best, i built the police station, i built the hospitals and equipped them, so i don’t need government to do anything for me.
The People should stand up and say enough is enough. I can afford to go and live in America, but what about our people? Look at what is happening in Abia, businesses are packing up, no roads in Aba, nothing is going on, warehouses are being converted, what we see is moribund industries everywhere. I have told them before that we must work with the private sector to develop the state, but no business man can invest in any state, when they don’t trust the people in power. People in public office should endeavour to be open, because no matter how we try to hide the truth, it must come to the fore one day, and if you like by then run to America or Germany, you will be made to come back and pay for it, that is why you see people resisting change, because they know the evil they have perpetrated. I don’t want to loose my faith, my sanity, my conscience and intergrity because i want to be a Governor, its better i give up Governorship and have all these, because there are better days ahead.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE DUMPED PDP FOR APC, WHAT DO YOU INTEND TO DO TO IMPROVE THE IMAGE OF THE PARTY IN THE STATE?
Recall that by the time we came into PDP in 2013, the party was almost dead in Abia State, people don’t want to hear about PDP anywhere. But we changed that within a very short time. We did in the past we will still it again. We will go into our communities and inform our people. PDP is not Igbo mans Party, there is nothing like that. Abia state today needs national focus, Abia needs to be connected to the national grid politically, because there are a lot of benefits at the center, we need to reposition Abia for the good of the people.
Moreover, Abians are wonderful people, they are not too keen about the party, they are more interested in the person and for now i am not too bordered about the Governorship, i want us to first build the party, lets take APC to every nook and cranny of the state, that we will do and after that the party can field her own candidates, which will be people of unequalled character.
By October 1st we will declare and it will be a total Tsunami for the PDP in the state. We will let people know why PDP should be rooted out in Abia state. We have statistics, we have fact, we have figures, We have evidences to show to the whole world when the time comes why PDP should be phased out. So APC taking PDP out of Abia is very simple. We are already drawing the strategy. So today in Abia State, APC is the party to Reckon with.
RECENTLY THERE IS WHAT SEEMS TO BE A RAY OF HOPE IN ABIA, THE SENATE APPROVED FOR ABIA TO BORROW $200M FROM ADB, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE SIR?
A ray of hope? You call borrowing a ray of hope? Borrowing cannot be a ray of hope. It is a ray of catastrophe. For What? What are the projects they are borrowing the money for? I am totally against the taking of any more facility from anywhere. Do you know that Abia is indebted to the tune of N72bn, go and check with DMO. What have we done with the one we borrowed in the past? If they say they want o borrow, they should define what they want to do with it. If they are borrowing for commercial purposes then it is understandable, but if it is borrowing a facility that will be misappropriated, then there is no hope there, it is merely hopelessness.
The House of Assembly are not doing their job. Why will they approve for the state to borrow when the previous ones have not been properly utilised or accounted for? The state assembly should fight this battle for the people, i don’t want to believe that they have being compromised as people are saying, but they should also know that Nigerians no longer spare compromising and unperforming legislators, some legislators were even slapped in the North.
Am not against borrowing money, but you have to show what you have done with the one you borrowed before and tell us what you intend to do with the one you want to borrow. What are we even borrowing for? If Abia can be well structured, we can make well over N100m everyday from the leather industry(if they want that they can come for consultancy…laughter), its not by touting, pursuing Okada, Keke people and Trailer Drivers, the world has gone beyond that. There a lot of initiatives that needs to be developed in the state to generate cash flow from Aba, Umuahia and across the state. You don’t necessarily need to borrow. How much did Peter Obi borrow? Anambra is larger than Abia. They have rebuilt Ochanja Market, and other markets are springing up in Anambra state. And other cities like Nnewi are emerging in the state. Look at Ebonyi here, few years ago, if you were transferred to Abakaliki, you will be crying, but today people are leaving Umuahia to go and live in Abakaliki. Is it not a disaster? So i believe that the state Assembly owe the people Explanation for all the Loans they have been approving without a commensurate executed projects!
WHAT INFORMS YOUR DECISION TO INVEST AT HOME AND WHY DO YOU THINK THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO ATTRACT ANY INDUSTRIALIST?
After noticing what is going on in Nigeria, i believe that regional development is the best approach, that is how i started in 2006 to develop my place. Instead of stacking money in foreign banks, it gives me joy that i can create jobs for my people and Abia youths. And it has a ripple effect. All the money i have spent on the project you visited and the monies i spend on workers salaries still revolve around the state, because the people working for me live in Abia with their families, so they spend their money here.
Moreover i am one person that believes that i don’t need to stay in Lagos or anywhere as an old man, i should stay in my village and I should have everything i have in lagos, around me in my village. That is what i am working towards. So if God gives us life and Jesus tarries, i should be able to transform this place to a city, and everything i want, i will be able to have it here. So The major reason for investing home is to give our people hope, because the only way to eradicate vices is to create jobs, that is why there are a lot of vices in Aba, there are no jobs. Look at Golden Guinea Umuahia, do you know the number of people who lost their jobs there? Those people laid off are still living in Umuahia. Imagine what their lives and their families would be like today.
Thus if the state can partner with private investors, there is a lot of jobs that can be created. Government only needs to create an enabling environment for them. Government needs to build the people hope, the international community needs to believe in the government and trust the number one man, that is the only way to attract investors!
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