Comrade Christian Chime is an All Progressives Congress (APC) youth leader in Delta State. In this interview with INNEH BARTH, he examined the crisis in the state chapter of the party and how it can be solved.
APC has been in crisis since your group, that is Ogboru group, joined the party…
No! it was an individual issue, politics is all about numbers, people coming together. In 2015, the primary that brought President Buhari, they were guided as group and as at then I was at the Labour Party. While in Labour Party, I was having interest in Buhari. Before, the LP then adopted President Goodluck Jonathan, I opted for Buhari and if not because of my active participation in politics and in the group, I could have been suspended. I told them that with Buhari, Ogboru would be able to win the governorship election because they have similar experiences and began their political struggle in 2003. Buhari and Ogboru always come out to be second after each election and they have similar mission, that is to fight for the people. So, when I was in LP, I had friends in APC and I used tell them that if APC gives the Buhari the ticket he would defeat Goodluck Jonathan and it happened. So, the problem of APC in Delta State, was caused by the lopsided congress in 2018 conducted by the former national chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun in the state. We all were working together until the congress and after that congress there was complete disarray in the party. That congress was not inclusive, the congress committee chairman in Delta State, Alhaji Sani Dododoo came with good intention but some people felt they own the party. The truth is that the former party chairman Chief John Oyegun did not conduct an inclusive congress in the state.
What is the way forward?
All the leaders, presently, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Chief Ogboru, Olorogun Otega, Ibe kachikwu, Cairo ojougboh, Victor Ochie, all the leader including the party chairman Jones Erue and Cyril Ogodo should come together. Ogodo was Vice to Jones so both of them should come together. Now Senator Omo-Agege is the DSP and if anything happens Delta State will lose. There are so many thing we can achieve together as a united party.
Now that Omo-Agege has emerged DSP, what is your agenda for him?
He should invest on the party that brought him to power. As a Niger Delta man he should help the president to succeed, create opportunities for youths empowerment, as a born politician and a skimmer, he should use that benevolent advantage to reposition APC in the state, failure to do that history will not be kind to him.
Some people are making issues out of Senator Omo-Agege kneeling down while greeting president Buhari, what is your take on this?
Kneeling is a sign and it accords oun respect in African culture, and such culture propels the aspirations of people in life. Especially in Yoruba, Benin, Urhobo, Ndokwa etc were people knee or sleep to greet elderly person. As such by age Buhari is elderly to Omo-Agege, hirarchy of power, he’s higher than him. Omo-Agege kneeling to greet Buhari shows that the president and national assembly will have a smooth administration in these 9th senate.
Are you satisfied with PMB’s policies?
I am satisfied with his leadership style.
So, what are those indices that givs you satisfaction?
His style of handling security issues, people failed to understand, it is better not to start a crisis at all. He came to inherit the security challenges. In terms of infrastructure, he has been trying look at the projects currently ongoing in the country. Second Niger Bridge, Onitsha, Enugu to Port Harcourt roads. So, many other projects. In my area, I have never experienced NDDC in action, apart from one particular road that is Utagba-Uno Obiaruku road constructed long ago, we never experience any Project of NDDC until President Buhari came on board. In my community Ndemili, we have ongoing NDDC road Projects. So NDDC has woke up courtesy President Buhari. My advice is that the President should invest in palm trees, rubber plantation, cocoa. Oil money should be use to develop Agric sector. Power should devolve in such a way that States can be able to invest in the mineral resources they have comparative advantage of. States should be giving the power to develop at their own pace. Nigeria will witness rapid industrialization with the next level of President Mohammadu Buhari administration. He should try to absorb the youths in next cabinet appointment in order to prepare them as the future of tommorow. Every generation is indebted to the next generation of life hence he must equip the young generation.
Are you really satisfied with the leadership style of Adams Oshiomhole?
The Chairman is a man I strongly believe in, despite the huge crisis he inherited from Oyegun, the party is gradually being repositioned. He had made concerted efforts to resolve the crises in various states, especially in Delta. He should be supported to restore Party Supremacy so that those who are willing to remain with the party will remain to build it. While those who want to leave should be shown the way out.
What is your assessment of the last general elections, what are your suggestions on how to get our election right?
INEC should stop keeping their result sheets with the CBN- They should be able to design ways of holding their result sheets, you cannot keep ballots materials in your office and take result sheet to CBN they should be able to guide their materials in their own offices.
Looking at the upsurge in crime, what should those in leadership adopt to solve insecurity in the country?
Nigerians should collaborate with the security agencies in crime fighting. State police system should be adopted but should we should not miss the priority. Local vigilante groups should be giving priorities in terms of training and recruitment. The L.G.A should also be encouraged to have its security architecture to check crime. Security votes should be giving to the Councils so that they can manage it along with the Community Chiefs and Traditional rulers, the boarders should be guarded strongly.
The Government should also look at the financials of terrorist groups because if they stop having funds the terrorism will go down- the Federal should work with neighboring countries in crime fighting and control of arms proliferation.
What your position on the Local Government autonomy?
The local government is the easiest way to empower the people and should be giving absolute autonomy. The financial autonomy granted them is a beginning. There should be abolition of State electoral bodies and INEC should conduct the election of the officials.
Are you satisfied with youth’s participation in Government?
The youths have to begin to think of what to do for the nation and also muster the courage to move on despite the obvious challenges. Government should also begin to focus attention on youth participation in Governance. There is still high hopes for the Nigerian youths.
Finally, what’s your take on issues of development in Niger Delta?
I think the NDDC should be decentralize so that states in the Commission would have it separate funding and Money pay directly to them. The Federal Government should try to give out some percentage revenue to the host Communities. The 13 percentage derivation is not being felt in most of the oil bearing communities. So government should grant two percent to the communities directly it will minimize the agitations in the region.
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