Popular Nolywood actor, Yule Edochie, who is contesting for the governorship election in Anambra State in November on the platform Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC) appears to determined to win the elction as he claimed that he was already sure of victory. SEGUN ADEBAYO caught up with the Edochie recently as he opens up on his ambition among other issues.
The news of your intention to throw your hat into the ring for the governorship election in Anambra State caught many unawares. Until you emerged the candidate of the Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC) weeks back, many people never knew you were serious about your ambition. What triggered the ambition?
The ambition was triggered by the cries of the masses. The people have suffered for so long in this country as a result of bad governance. We can’t continue to act as though we are not bothered about the sufferings of the people. So, I will say my ambition was triggered by my drive to liberate my people, to use my celebrity status to speak for the people and touch lives positively. Our people have suffered too much because we have failed to address the issue of bad governance and it has kept on the same spot for years. That being said, this ambition was inspired by God, who has sent me on a divine mission to rescue the people and show them the true meaning of good governance which they yearned for over the years. The time for them to enjoy the full dividends of democracy is now and I am certain that we will emerge victorious with God and the people on our side.
Looking at your level of preparedness and the political atmosphere in the state, do you think this dream is achievable?
Yes, we are positive about this dream and I am very sure we have tried to present our plans to the people the best way we can. For me, I believe that every ambition on earth is achievable. It only takes focus, dogged drive and God’s will. By the grace of God, I will be the next governor of Anambra State.
Some political observers in the state are saying you will chicken out when the heat in on, how prepared are you for this race?
I do not intend to chicken out. People are entitled to say whatever they want to say. I will prove them wrong by actions. Let’s us wait and see.
What are you going to do differently in the state should you emerge the next governor of the state?
I will put the people first. The plight of the masses will come first in my government. This is the problem we as a people have faced over the years and I am willing and committed to correct that. I will bring the people close to government. They are the reason we are doing this, so whatever we do that is anti-people is tantamount to failure on our part. It is sad that people in government only care about enriching themselves. We will run the kind of government that will think about the people before fixing taxes. Ours will be the kind of government that will sit down and ask how the common man survives on his meager minimum wage every month. Our government will assist private businesses to grow and thrive without any inhibition.
Some people believe that your aspiration to be a governor is coming too soon; they are of the opinion that it is a tall dream that may take a few years to come to reality given your age and lack of political experience. What do you think about this submission?
For me, I don’t see this ambition as a tall dream. It is very achievable as far as I am concerned. The President of France is 39 years old and there are other many world leaders, who are as young as him. I am 35 years old. I have no doubt that I am the perfect man to lead the state. We need to come to the realisation that public office is not a retirement place. There is the urgent need to fix the problems of the young, vibrant, intelligent, decisive leaders with integrity, who care about the welfare of the people.
You may be right but the political class does not seem to be in tune with your theory as they have always insisted that the youths in this country are not ready for governance. What’s your take on this?
As I said, anybody can say what they like but as far as I am concerned, I am ready for this race and many youths of this country are ready. Together, we will inspire many others to be ready to take over. We no longer want to be the leaders of tomorrow. We are the leaders of today.
You may be a famous and successful actor, who has done well for himself in the theatre world; do you really think your celebrity status is capable of doing the magic?
Yes, I strongly believe that my celebrity status will help. In fact, it is a big plus for me and I am ready to leverage on that. Having said that, the people know that I am a man of integrity from a good home and I am confident I will serve the people well.
Given the nature of Nigerian politics and how some of its players are usually ready to give everything to get their mandate, how long have you nurtured this ambition and how much are you willing to commit to this?
The aspiration has been on my mind since 2012 but I always knew the time was yet to come. Now that the time has come, I am willing to show the people that I am ready to serve them in this capacity. I am not bothered about who says what. I am concentrating on my strategy and I believe God will see me through.
Why are you interested in being the governor? Why not the state House of Assembly or even the House of Representatives where you would have been able to garner enough experience that would prepare you for a higher office?
Aspiring to be a governor as I said is not a tall dream. It might seem so to others, but it is achievable for me. Even a youth becoming the next president is achievable. It takes self belief, focus, determination, hard work and prayers. I am doing this not just to liberate my people but also to awaken the consciousness of the youth. We have been dormant for too long. It is time to unite as one and take action for the good of our country.
There are insinuations that you are in this to seek political relevance or favour from the incumbent state governor. Perhaps, he might offer you a place in his cabinet if he wins a second term. Could this be true?
I am not in the race to get political appointment. I am in this to win, to lead the people and give them the good governance they have been denied for so long.
You may have the age on your side, but you don’t seem to have enough political experience and the wherewithal to unseat an incumbent governor who seems to have all the machinery in his favour. Have you considered this factor?
I have many people say I have no political experience. I agree. But I ask them where those who have political experience have taken them to? The ones with political experience are the same ones who cannot make sacrifices for their people. They are the ones who loot our state treasury and don’t care about the masses. The ones with political experience are the ones who put our country in recession. They are the same ones, who would rather spend billions of naira on burials while the masses die of poverty. We do not need political experience anymore. We need good leaders with integrity, who feel the pain of the masses and are ready to fix the issues disturbing the people.
How close are you to the people you intend to govern? Are you sure they trust you enough to stick out their necks out for you?
I am very connected with my people. I have connected with them physically for many years through my films and good image. I believe they also understand that I am doing this for them and they will stick their necks out for me. Our victory is the people’s victory.
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