Policy Briefs

News Track:  ‘I’ll be Governor for Only 4 Years’ – Obaze

Fides Communication

A frontline governorship aspirant and renowned technocrat, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, has promised to serve for only four years if he gets the chance to be Anambra governor.

Obaze, immediate past Secretary to the Anambra State Government, SSG, who stated this in an interaction with newsmen in his office in Awka, said four years were enough for anyone to achieve whatever they wanted, even as he noted that it would complete the full eight year tenure that his zone, Anambra North, was supposed to serve.

He also promised to return power to the South once he was done as a mark of honour, in accordance with any deal made by his zone or by himself in that regard.

‘That is the only way to begin to reshape our politics and dispense with the notion that you can’t trust politicians. Moreover, I’m a student of politics and history; we are witnesses in this country to what happens when deals and promises are not kept.  

‘By 2022, Anambra North would have completed eight years; there should be room for others to contest,’ Obaze explained, promising to have a deputy who would be active, rather than being a spare tyre as had often been the case in many states of the federation.

Said he, ‘Inclusive democracy is about consensus and consultations. We will cross the bridge of selecting a running mate when we get there. But be assured that the choice will be very credible and a good governance partner; not a subordinate or in the local parlance, a deputy, who is just a spare tire,’ Obaze assured.

A one time senior U.N. official, before serving as the Secretary to the Anambra State Government under Governors Peter Obi and Willie Obiano, Obaze said he had written widely on policy issues relating to Nigeria and Anambra State.

Reflecting on the journey so far, Obaze expressed satisfaction that he had been known and acknowledged by people across Anambra State, noting that the grassroots and the elite alike, appreciated fully his past service and unfettered commitment to good governance.

‘The electioneering is yet to commence, when we arrive at that juncture, we should be able to showcase a governance platform which should make us the most credible alternative and leadership choice,’ he said.

On the clamour by the traditional rulers of his zone, Anambra North and Ogbaru, for Gov Willie Obiano to be returned, Obaze waved it aside, pointing out that the same people reportedly endorsing Obiano were the very people he had been consulting and talking to.

He however said it should surprise no one, given the economic hardship faced by the country.  

‘You must understand that we are in a recession. People need to eat; but they do have conscience. Moreover, I’m least perturbed by such utterances by people who are unconnected with their grassroots and have never secured victory at their respective polling booths.  

‘Anyway, politics for me is not and will never be a zero sum game. As our people say, ”you count the miles after the race”,’ Obaze stated.

On the quit notice issued the Igbo by Northern Youth Congress, Obaze hoped that the nation would not implode, pointing out that as a nation, Nigerians were conversant with political brinksmanship.

He however cautioned Nigerians not to overplay their hands, noting that it was never wise to play with fire while standing next to a tinderbox to avoid what he called a self-fulfilling prophecy after the prediction by America on Nigeria’s break up earlier.

‘Nigerians must talk to each other. There is too much grandstanding and triumphalism going on. In the life of any nation, holding national conversations is routine. You don’t wait to arrive at a tipping point before you engage your citizens fully. The “let’s wait-and-see attitude” could easily backfire. As regards the ongoing agitation, the reality is that Biafra as a word, in spirit or in history, will not evaporate. Neither will be Nigeria.

‘The demands for restructuring or any of its other synonymous sobriquets boils down to three words and aspirations; equity, fairness and justice. Such goals ought not to be too hard to attain or extended to those who feel aggrieved in any way. Yet we have become so sectional that patriotism and national interest are badly eroded,’ Obaze stated.

Syndicated Source:


Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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