-In addition to rebuilding Enugu, our regional capital, I’m also running because there is need for a regional political coalition
Enugu:The Enugu State Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Mr Frank Nweke Jr has emphatically stated assured members of the Enugu Sports Club that under his watch, the water problem confronting Enugu metropolis will be fixed within one year.
The former Nigerian minister of Information made the assertion on Sunday during Frank Conversation, a novel interactive session he held at the elite Enugu Sports Club opened since 1929 by the British.
During the question and answer session, after his thrilling presentation which had the theme – Reclaiming our Identity, one of the members sought to know whether he was meant that he could fix the perennial water problem bedeviling Enugu State within one year.
Without an iota of hesitation, he once again elucidated his action plan, drawing applause from the distinguished audience.
“Yes, it’s possible. Under my watch, the water problem of Enugu metropolis will be fixed in twelve months (one year).
“The water problem of the entire Enugu State will be fixed in four years. How will it be done? Every community has its own water source. For instance, in my town, Ozalla, we have Atavu. The idea is to harness the water source in each locality.
Going on, he explained that a major plank of his water provision policy would be the unbundling of the state’s water sector into three separate entities namely; production, distribution and commercials and transmission. The present State Water will then remain a regulatory agency.
With his oratory, he took members of the Club down memory lane, reminding them of the pivotal place Enugu, the Coal City occupied in the heart of every Onye Igbo.
“It is not just about the Enugu State Governorship but about the fate of Ndigbo.
Waxing rhetorical, he asked, “Why run? It’s because I’m tired of insecurity and the state of affairs in Enugu State and the South East.
“With my education and my parents’ training, I believe that I’m prepared for Governorship, at a critical time like this.
He asserted that it was left for Ndigbo to answer the critical question pertaining to the place of Ndigbo in Nigeria, stressing that the Yorubas or the Hausas or the Middle Belt or the South South won’t answer the question for Ndigbo.
According to him, “the distinguished audience here will answer it, “Buhari has never hidden his disdain for Ndigbo. APC doesn’t care about Ndigbo.
“Again, the PDP is not to be trusted, having against its own constitution just to deny Ndigbo the Presidency.
“PDP in Enugu State has been an unmitigated disaster for the past seven years. No water, terrible roads, land grabbing, etc”.
Lamenting over the seeming lack of trademark Igbo courage and tenacity by the present crop of Igbo Political actors, Nweke urged Ndigbo to “re-consider the culture of personal survival at the the expense of the people’s long time political interest.
“Some Igbos are undermining the Igbo Presidency for personal reasons and doing it gleefully.
“Politics is serious business. Everything rises and falls on leadership. If we must settle for the role of business men, we must take seriously the business of politics”
The Enugu APGA Governorship hopeful then eulogized Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, who he said, “has energized the country and has inspired hope for the young and the old and indeed all Nigerians”
According to him, Obi achieved all he did in Anambra State under APGA. He stressed that both Obi and Owelle Rochas Okorocha defeated the ruling party to win the Governorship elections in Anambra and Imo States, respectively under APGA. He urged Ndigbo to emulate the North and the South West by “consciously and patiently building their political base.
Okpara showed an example of how to acquire political power for public economic advantage. Then, you had people who understood Shared Prosperity; that politics is about service to the people, not about patronizing your friends and family members. That is who we are! Onye aghala nwanne ya! “
Nweke then listed the tremendous achievements of the Okpara regime under eight years including the including the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigercem, Nkalagu, Hotel Presidential, in Enugu and Port Harcourt, etc, stating such could be re-enacted with a regional political coalition.
“In addition to rebuilding Enugu, our regional capital, there is need for a regional political coalition. That’s why I’m running”
He reiterated his view that it was sad that Enugu State was still grappling with basic issues like water scarcity, bad roads and deep poverty. However, he stated that he intends to keep things simple and address these problems first.
He then pledged, on behalf of his team, to restore restore trust in governance.
Earlier in his welcome speech, Mr J. H. C. Nwosu, Executive Chairman, Enugu Sports Club explained that the program “was designed to provide an ample opportunity for the candidates for various political offices in the country and leaders of the various political parties, to interface and engage with members of this elite club, who incidentally are, in their own rights, prominent and influential citizens of the country – in frank and open discussions with respect to their goals, intentions, party manifestos vis-a-vis contemporary issues, especially those affecting their primary constituencies”
According to him, the APGA Governorship candidate doesn’t need “much introduction”.
“His competence, exposure, pedigree, experience and above all, his deep understanding of the socio-economic problems of Ndị Enugu in particular, can never be questioned.
“This is the time Ndi Enugu must get it right. The glory of Enugu as the former capital of the then Eastern region should be maintained. Nigerians will likely be voting individuals, no more political parties or structure.
“Mr Frank Nweke Jr, as earlier described in another forum is a silver light in the dimness of Nigerian politics. Enugu people need a leader they can trust to move the state forward”
Elder Ndukwo Ndukwo Ogbuja, Esq asked a question about the indgene/non-indigene dichotomy, “I’m from Abiriba in Abia State but I have lived here in Enugu for fifty years. I have houses here, I do business here and pay my taxes here. Yet, I cannot hold political office here. How can you address that?”
In response, Nweke said, “Under my watch, everyone will be treated equally. My wife is from Anambra State. Again, the APGA candidate for Enugu South Urban Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly election, Hon Francis Onyemenam, Ogene Umu Youth is from Umuchu in Aguata LGA of Anambra State. Enugu State should be home for all”
In his vote of thanks, a Patron of the Club, Dr Sir Ignatius Ihechukwudere Nnubia commended Frank for a job well done, “It’s not easy to talk to people who you don’t know if they will support you.
You are the first to come. We promise to support you, if you will do all that you promised.
“Enugu is not owned by only indigenes. You have serious stakeholders like us here, who have influence”