‘Anambra Needs a Homegrown Governor’

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Damian Okolo,

David-Chyddy Eleke was part of a group of journalists who interrogated Damian Okolo, one of the governorship aspirants for Anambra State on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, during which he argued that Anambra needs a home grown governor who understands the people and is very familiar with the state

 

 

Introduction

By training, I am an Estate Surveyor and a fellow of the Institute of Arbitrators. I am also a legal practitioner and by the grace of God, one of the few Nigerians trained at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos. The people who pass through Kuru are people trained for good governance.

Over time, I have served in various capacities in Anambra State and in other parts of the country. I was the chairman of the Anambra State Land use and Allocation Committee and Vice Chairman of Anambra State Volunteer Service Agency, which trained people for good governance. I have been Chairman of Oluchukwu Micro Finance Bank for 20 years and I am a director of Radio Sapientia based in Onitsha. I am also the Financial Secretary of Igwe Nnewi Royal Cabinet.

Views on Zoning

It is noteworthy that Anambra people have decided that Anambra South senatorial zone should produce the next governor of the state. In this zone, Anambra South, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife from Aguata had served as governor, Dr. Andy Uba, also from Aguata had gone and Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju from Uli (Ihiala) also served as governor from 1999 -2003. The only time my town, Nnewi, tasted it was when Mrs. Virgy Etiaba held forth when Peter Obi was impeached for three months. So for equity and fair play, Nnewi should produce the next governor of the state, considering the fact that Aguata, Ihiala and Nnewi are the major planks of the zone.

With all sense of responsibility, I have made modest contributions to the state more than most of the people aspiring to govern the state. If I am given the chance, Anambra people will benefit from my wealth of experience. At this point in time, Anambra State needs someone who is acceptable in the three senatorial zones of the state.

Professional experience

As a professional, I do not regret practicing my two professions in Anambra State since my qualification. I could have made more money practicing in Lagos, but I chose to establish my company here.

In fact, I am the first person to start Estate Surveying practice in Onitsha and today, there are many practicing in this state. Without the foundation I laid, that could not have been possible.

When I went to Law School in 1993 my colleagues wanted to force me to stay in Lagos because they believed I would make more money there, but I insisted on coming back home. I had to convince them to see the need for me to remain in the East. If making money was my main objective, I would have become a multi-billionaire now. But God has always directed me on what to do.

Now that this issue of home grown governor has arisen many people feel rightly or wrongly that we need someone who knows the terrain well. The added advantage is that though I come from Anambra South senatorial zone, I am very well known in the Northern senatorial zone where I practice and in Anambra Central senatorial zone where I have many friends.  Of all those aspiring to govern Anambra, I possess more credentials in terms of rendering service to the people of this state.

 Are you comfortable with Church politics?

I am a Papal Knight and a former Metropolitan Grand Knight of the Knights of St Mulumba, KSM, for the entire Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states. We have friends in all denominations and they have already expressed their desire to support us. As I speak, people from all dominations have said that they will support me if I contest. We are proud of our achievements in various spheres of life and as contributions towards the development of the state has no denominational limitations. The important thing is that there is a lot of work to be done in the state. Our past governors, including the incumbent, have done very well and we will improve on what they did and where the incumbent will stop.

What kind of government will you run?

Very soon, we will establish various committees for the governorship aspiration and we intend to include credible people into those committees. There is indeed a lot of work for everybody to do.