‘As a med­i­cal doc­tor, Nwoye is best bet for Anam­bra’

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - POLITICS -

In­this­in­ter­viewwith Seye­o­lu­mide,enugubasedmed­i­cal­doc­tor and­sec­re­tary­ofthe state’schap­terof Nige­ri­an­med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion(nma),peter Ek­wueme,apro­fes­sional col­league­and­con­tem­po­rary­oftonyn­woye, can­di­da­te­oftheall Pro­gres­sivescongress (Apc)inanam­bragov­er­nor­ship­elec­tion,spoke on­whyhe(nwoye) de­ser­vesto­be­electe­don Satur­day.ex­cerpts:

HOW well do you know the APC can­di­date? Dr Tony Nwoye is some­one I have known for a long time. Our paths crossed way back in our pre-univer­sity days. He was in Metropoli­tan Col­lege Onit­sha while I was in Christ the King Col­lege (CKC). Be­ing a very in­tel­li­gent and so­cially ac­tive per­son, Tony was a con­stant fea­ture in the in­ter-school con­tests. He led his school in quiz com­pe­ti­tions, de­bates, JET club con­tests and the likes. I led mine in same events. So we started off as ad­ver­saries re­ally but had mu­tual re­spect for each other. We got into the same Col­lege Of Medicine at the Univer­sity of Nige­ria Nsukka (UNN), played our parts in the Med­i­cal Stu­dents As­so­ci­a­tion, UNMSA, SUG and the likes. Be­cause of his nat­u­ral gift for lead­er­ship, hu­man man­age­ment and or­ga­ni­za­tion, Tony be­came an in­stant hit, dusted his con­tem­po­raries and those that came even be­fore him. The rest is now his­tory. So, I knew him first as an ad­ver­sary but we grew to be com­rades shar­ing the same trenches. Our in­ter­ac­tion has never looked back since then.

Can a med­i­cal doc­tor be a good gov­er­nor?

The peo­ple of his con­stituency can best an­swer that ques­tion. He has rep­re­sented them in the past two years and you can hear them say that they have never had it so good. It is not sur­pris­ing and you should not for­get that he rep­re­sents the gov­er­nor’s con­stituency in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. De­spite the fact that the gov­er­nor was in of­fice, his peo­ple re­jected his APGA can­di­date be­cause of Nwoye and that tells you they saw some­thing in him.

I have no doubt what­so­ever that Anam­bra in Dr Nwoye’s hands will ex­peri- ence its best run of gov­er­nance ever. Tony is some­one who pre­pared him­self for lead­er­ship. He is an ex­cel­lent man­ager and knows how to dis­till from an as­sem­blage of great tal­ents the very best for the good of the so­ci­ety. More than any other per­son in this race, he pos­sesses the best re­sume as far lead­er­ship is con­cerned.

Is it true that he was a cultist as some po­lit­i­cal ri­vals have al­leged?

Noth­ing can be fur­ther from the truth. You see when po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents have noth­ing to say, they re­sort to base­less pro­pa­ganda and cheap black­mails. Tony, all through his stay in school, never had any is­sue with the se­cu­rity de­part­ment of the school. In our days, you can­not con­test any elec­tion in school if you are reck­oned a cultist. In fact such charge was the eas­i­est way for the school au­thor­i­ties to get back at trou­ble­some stu­dent lead­ers. It speaks so much about how far re­moved from cultism Tony was that the school au­thor­i­ties could not even la­bel him with that. I mean that would have been such an easy way of stop­ping his par­tic­i­pa­tion in SUG pol­i­tics. But they just couldn’t be­cause the young man was so clean of such.

It is a fact that he has never been ac­cused of cultism while there. He has never been charged for that any­where in his time. Any of his con­tem­po­raries in school who is hon­est can at­test to this.

What role did he play in the curb­ing of cultism in the UNN?

It is one of the great ironies of life that what Dr Nwoye risked his life com­bat­ing is what peo­ple who have no fear of God are ac­cus­ing him of. Tony, both as an SUG stu­dent leader and NANS pres­i­dent, fought tena­ciously against the cultism men­ace. He con­fronted it so hard that most cultists in UNN and UNEC had to pub­licly come and de­nounce their mem­ber­ship of the var­i­ous cults so as to es­cape the on­slaught he used the in­stru­men­tal­ity of his of­fice to bring to bear on them. He en­gaged the se­cu­rity agen­cies in this. It is in re­spect of his ex­tra­or­di­nary courage in tack­ling the men­ace of cultism that the then Vice Chan­cel­lor of UNN, Prof. Ginigeme Mbanefo gave him an award as a stu­dent leader. When he re­peated the feat as NANS pres­i­dent, the then Benue State gov­er­nor, Ge­orge Akume also gave him an award of recog­ni­tion in that re­spect. Even the then IG of Po­lice Tafa Ba­lo­gun recog­nised his ex­cel­lent con­tri­bu­tion in this re­gard. What more can be said?

What ex­pec­ta­tions do you have of him as­gov­er­nor? I urge him to re­main true to his per­son and his deals as he had been in the myr­i­ads of po­si­tions he had served in the past. He should re­mem­ber that it is his past per­for­mance that keeps mak­ing way for him to soar higher and higher. I ex­pect him to con­tinue mak­ing his fo­cus on the masses, the poor and the dis­pos­sessed. I ex­pect him to main­tain fo­cus on the youths, em­power and equip them to un­leash their im­mea­sur­able po­ten­tials, which should cat­a­pult our econ­omy to en­vi­able heights. I ex­pect Dr Tony Nwoye to carry on in of­fice with the same hu­mil­ity, the same fo­cus and the same ser­vantleader dis­po­si­tion that have seen him ex­cel in his past calls to ser­vice

Ek­wueme

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