It would be recalled that Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, was one of the hotbeds of banditry, by a group of non-state actors that is usually referred to as “unknown gunmen.” To date, many natives of the various communities in Nnewi South have not gone to their ancestral home in over a year.
Worst still, the local government headquartered in Ukpor was attacked and buildings were destroyed. This is one among several other reports of violence and attacks by the armed gang(s) in Ukpor, signaling that governance is endangered in that part of Anambra State.
It was in the midst of these uncertainties that Hon. Ikenna Aniagboso was appointed as the Transition Chairman of Nnewi South LGA, by Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Anambra State Governor.
Hon. Aniagboso has been the local government Chairman of Nnewi South for a little more than six months now. Rebuilding the local government headquarters is now near completion, under the leadership of Hon. Aniagboso.
In this Exclusive interview with the West African Pilot News, Ikenna speaks on the progress he has made with his team, and the challenges they are faced with. He also talked about APGA and the party’s chances in the upcoming General Elections. Finally, Aniagboso commented on Governor Soludo’s leadership and what the future holds for the government and his party, APGA.
Below is the full interview:
Q: You have been on the saddle as Nnewi South LGA Chairman for some months now. What are your biggest win(s)? And what are your biggest challenge(s)?
A: On assuming office, the vision was clear – to make Nnewi-South LGA, safe, liveable and prosperous. You will recall that this was the clear vision of the Governor and the ideal upon which he was overwhelmingly given the mandate to lead the state by ndi Anambra. So, we simply domesticated that same vision as appropriate in line with the peculiarities of our local government, in terms of needs and comparative advantage. So, we set out to make Nnewi South the leading council area in Anambra State in Education, Health, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, rural and infrastructural development, youth development, among others.
So far, our biggest win has been the safety and security of lives and properties. This has also been our greatest challenge. But we are winning the war against crime and criminality. The effort to sustain milestones achieved is a daily routine. We cannot rest until we have regained our homeland completely.
Notwithstanding, we have successfully sold the think-home, invest-home philosophy to our people and I am happy that many of our people have received the message with happiness. This is evident in the road and school projects adopted by individuals to construct, build or remodel in our communities. Good governance thrives on partnership.
In agriculture, we also keyed into the vision of the Governor, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo to revolutionize the palm and coconut agronomy and business value chain. In this regard, no less than 5,000 seedlings were distributed to farmers across Nnewi-South.
In health, we have created awareness and now engaging stakeholders for the upgrading and remodeling of primary healthcare centres in our communities. Generally, the work is enormous but we are making good progress that reflects in the lives of our people.
Q: The 2023 General Election is here. What is your assessment of APGA’s chances?
A: APGA’s chances in the coming election are bright, very bright. The Party fielded strong and credible candidates for the federal and state legislature, not just in our own constituency but in Anambra State. We also have good candidates as in other states.
The national campaign flag-off of the Party on January 14 was a clear indication of the Party’s popularity and national outlook. APGA is positioned to compete effectively as the third-largest political Party in Nigeria. So I can tell you that our party will have an excellent outing both on February 25th and on March 11.
Q: How would you rate the campaigns so far, that is, putting your party affiliation by the side?
A: The campaigns have been good so far. The effort to debate on issues of national importance has taken centre stage. People are more aware and the process is becoming more transparent and competitive. In the near future, it will be an exclusive contest of competent people. However, the deviation from verbal exchanges and all manner of theatricals, especially on social media, remains a distraction. But you can see that our candidates have lived up to the highest ideals in political campaigns in terms of their various engagements.
Q: I understand there are those saying that the House of Assembly seat for your constituency should be zoned to Amichi, your village. Mr. Chairman, what is your position on this?
A: My community and other communities within our local government encourage equitable and fair distribution of power. We have an equitable distribution of power in the local government, as we speak. So, there is really no point. But then, I know that my community is filled with men of deep understanding, who have the best interests of the community at heart. I am confident, therefore, that our people will support their preferred candidate based on competence. In APGA, we have our own candidate for that position and he is competent. The world cares about competence. So, any agenda not in that mould is usually unable to fly because it doesn’t have what it takes to fly. We are progressives, and we can’t move backward.
My Party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has a candidate, and his name is Chief Sonny Frederick Ozobialu. He is currently representing the people of Nnewi-South constituency 1 in the Assembly and because he served his people with utmost dedication building at least one project in all the communities in the constituency; the people will vote for him to represent us for a second term.
Q: I would like you to rate the performance of Governor Soludo, nearly one year in office. On a scale of 1 to 10, based on the actual work done so far, what is Governor Soludo’s rating?
A: Gov Soludo has done very well so far. In only 10 months in office, he has awarded roads measuring no less than 261km all over the State. He has also mobilized contractors to site, paying from 30% to 50% mobilization to them. The Governor has been busy recently, touring the State to inspect the roads being constructed. All the 21 local governments have at least one road undergoing construction. Mr Governor also employed 5,000 teachers, ensuring first that the process of employment was transparent and based purely on merit. He has engaged our youths effectively through the 1 youth 2 skills initiative, where youths are equipped with skills that will make them compete effectively in the global market.
What is more, the Solution Innovation Districts are set to go to further engage the youths and equip them with ICT skills that will enable them with modern tech skills and they to earn a good living by working remotely for global organizations.
The clean and green initiative of Mr. Governor is driving the goal of a safe, clean, liveable, and prosperous environment envisioned by the governor, just as the distribution of thousands of palm and coconut seedlings to all the communities in Anambra State is pushing the drive for a novel agro-economy in the State.
These among many developmental initiatives of the governor which include the constant effort to ensure the safety of lives and properties place the governor on a high pedestal of success. One can only imagine what his achievements will be in four years if he has achieved this much in 10 months without borrowing a kobo. So, if you ask me, l will score Mr. Governor 10/10. It is important to note, however, that we are not there yet, but we are surely on the road to a greater Anambra. Therefore, we are left without a doubt that the Solution is finally here.
- Africa Illustrious Award 2023 Edition to Honour African Change Makers - September 19, 2023
- Mmesoma Ejikeme Undergoing Government-Sponsored Counseling - September 15, 2023
- Why is Enugu State Attractive to the International Community? - September 13, 2023