The group, ably led by Mr Oscar Onwudiwe received Chief Chukwueke (Ohamadike), his pretty wife, Mrs Chinelo Chukwueke and his team at King Celia Hotels,Yaba, Lagos State.
Mr Onwudiwe thanked the VP for honouring their invitation despite obvious travel challenges. He noted that such sacrifice shows that Chief Chukwueke consider the group and the message of hope he is bringing to Nigerians, as very important.
In his opening remarks, Chief Chukwueke, who is also the chairman of the reconciliation committee of the party, appreciated the Igbo think-tank for providing the platform for him to interact with them.
Without mincing words, Chief Chukwueke noted that the two big parties in Nigeria today, APC and PDP, are largely one and same.
“When you check all the challenges Nigeria faces today, you will discover that the two political parties are complicit. They have taken turns to run down the economy of the country. Their members jump from one side to the other, guided not by principles or ideologies but by selfish interests, nepotism and avarice.”
On restructuring, the VP candidate affirmed APGA’s commitment to restructure Nigeria politically and economically. He condemned the lack of political will by the PDP and APC to restructure the country, despite the obvious and urgent need to do so.
“Fiscal Restructuring has been talked about for a long time in the National Assembly and other fora. We are talking about it and it has been on for over a year. It is also common knowledge that the 1999 constitution was designed to create and perpetuate ‘the platform of sharing formula’, that is to say, sharing of oil revenue proceeds.
“This has been the norm for long and unfortunately, it has failed. There is urgent need to decentralize power and diversify the economy. The Apapa tincan gridlock is a good example of what is obtainable in Nigeria due to the centralisation of economic and political power.
“I submit to you ladies and gentlemen that Nigeria has the potentials of becoming a world political and economic power but sadly, the case is different today. We have rather become the poverty capital of the world and poverty level keeps rising everyday.
“With the advent of electric cars, jets and vessels and the shift to alternative energy sources, oil may become an obsolete energy source sooner than later. What shall become of us when our sole source of revenue loses value. What will we share then?”
On terrorism, Chukwueke expressed great disappointment over the handling of Boko Haram and other insurgents in the country. He lamented over the loss of life and property and the economic challenges inflicted on the people by the resurgent Boko Haram.
He regretted that the successive governments led by the PDP and now APC have politicised the fight on terror using same to score cheap political points.
“The play on words is totally unnecessary. How can you define ‘defeated’ on one hand and ‘technically defeated’ on the other. Defeat is defeat and if you’ve defeated Boko Haram, why are they still causing mayhem and disrupting the lives and businesses of Nigerians”, Chukwueke observed.
The resurgent Boko Haram have cut off the trade and commerce corridor and water supply to and fro the Chad Basin. Agriculture, fishing and other businesses have suffered great setbacks.
The herdsmen/farmers clash is another disturbing issue.
“Why have we lost so many lives and farmlands? Why is this menace going on unchecked when the primary responsibility of any government is to secure life and property?” asked Chukwueke who went on to affirm APGA’s preparedness to tackle these issues head-on.
“We will contract military contractor to fight alongside our gallant men and women and also help in reorientation, training and giving tactical support to our military, so we can contain this scourge once and for all.
Chief Chukwueke pledged that APGA will equally remodel the economic and start it off by reducing cost of governance. He hinted that APGA is committed to a minimum of 5% reduction in the cost of Governance every year for the first few years and use money saved from that to pay the minimum wage of N30,000.
There is need for transparency and accountability in the use of public funds. Government at the Local, State and Federal level must be held accountable for the use or misuse of funds entrusted into their hands.
Anambra State can be used as a model for evolving a viable geo-economic entity, he stated.
“We need to evolve geo-economic entities that are viable, sustainable and competitive. We need to evolve and grow with mordern trends. We need to restructure our system politically but moreso, economically so everybody can go back and focus on what they do best. In so doing we will progressively evolve from sharing to production. Hence, each geo-economic zones will focus on what it can do best.”
Anambra remains a shining light and a model for this project aimed at achieving economic viability that is sustainable and competitive. Anambra State is fifth from bottom of recipients of federal allocation yet it is the fourth largest economy in Nigeria. The government of Anambra State pays salaries and pension and sponsors communities to the tune of N20m each to execute projects of their choice yet they didn’t receive FG’s bailout funds. The poverty level in Anambra stands at 7%; the lowest in Nigeria. The APGA model is working in Anambra. John W.T Gbor and Chief Jerry Chukwueke will introduce this same model at the national level.
In a vote of thanks, Lagos State APGA Chairman, Hon. Rtn. Chibuikem Iwu, revealed that Chief Chukwueke has restored hope and brought relief to many who listened to his eloquent presentation. He lauded the proficiency with which the Vice Presidential Candidate delivered the vision and mission of the party’s flag bearers. Iwu assured all present at the interactive session, that APGA is ready to make a mark in the forth coming election.
Hon Iwu introduced APGA candidates who will contest for different positions in the forthcoming election in Lagos State to Chief Jerry Chukwueke who later had a private meeting with them.
At the end of the interactive session with Aka Ikenga, Chief Jerry Chukwueke went into a strategic meeting with APGA Candidates in Lagos State for the 2019 election. It is on record that out of about 6 million registered voters in Lagos State, 2.6 million are from the South East and APGA are positioned to win close to 6 seats in the National Assembly .