Chief Emmanuel Emeh is the chairman of the Anambra State branch of the Labor Party (LP). In this interview with ONAH ONAH, he claims that the two main political parties have no leverage to return to power in 2023 because the Labor Party has what it takes to overtake them in the 36 states of the federation
There is this belief in some political quarters that your party has no structure to win the elections in Anambra State let alone the presidential slot. What is your position on this?
My response is that the Labor Party Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, is a former Governor of Anambra State, whose track record is beyond doubt. In fact, we have seen such a smear campaign as the statement attributed to a Senator Dino Melaye that the Labor Party presidential candidate has no support, not even in his home state.
It’s the biggest prank of the year. But ironically and very sadly too, this statement comes from a Nigerian considered to be a statesman. Anyway, this was an argument from an uninformed person and not from someone about his status in Nigeria. It’s really a pity. However, my view is that when we get to the bridge, we cross it.
It is a fact that the Labor Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) have their presidential candidates from Anambra State. While the APGA is the ruling party in the state, your party is not. How do you think this election will go?
There is no fear at all. We are well aware that our lovable and revered retired Chief Justice, Justice Peter Umeadi, is in the running. Both candidates are eminently qualified and capable of governing Nigeria but one is better than the other. Our presidential candidate has the blood of the APGA, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labor Party all running in him. When it comes to governance, Obi has been tested and approved. I am well experienced in politics to tell you about Anambra politics and who is who when it comes to it.
Can you briefly give us an overview of your political experience to support this assertion?
I was involved in student unionism and from there I joined the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) and from there to the National Consensus Congress (CNC) and later the Republican National Convention (NRC). I was the zone chairman of the CNC before joining the PDP where I was director of planning and strategy before forming the Anambra Peoples Forum (APF) in the 1990s. I was then appointed deputy chairman of the APF and since then I have been a stakeholder in one party or the other and I have been the Labor Party state chairman since 2020. I am also aware that we were not a major political party before His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi joined the Labor Party, but I assure you that we will create surprises in Nigeria.
How great is your party structure in Anambra State and what are its chances in the upcoming elections?
There is nothing to worry about. As I speak to you, the Labor Party has structures in all 326 wards of the state. I can tell you with authority that members of various political parties are joining Labor in droves, some with good intentions and some with bad intentions, but we are up to the challenge. The good thing about this is that Anambra State will not be participating in any gubernatorial elections this time so we need not worry.
You don’t seem moved that the exploits of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Southeast could make a difference for his party, the APC…
The APC let the Nigerians down. Nigerians are tired of deception and no Nigerian worth their salt will ever dream of voting for the APC again to bring terror and chaos to the people. The Labor Party is a movement, not a political party. The Labor Party is for every Nigerian, whether at home or in the Diaspora.
APC has to its credit the 2nd Niger bridge and the rehabilitation of the Enugu-Onitsha road to its credit. These projects are ones that locals won’t soon forget. Do you not think that these projects can increase the chances of the candidate of the ruling party?
Let’s be frank, the story of the Second Niger Bridge cannot be completed without mentioning the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It is also a fact that other similar projects in other states have been completed and put into operation. Thus, APC is not a party to beat in Nigeria. The truth is that Nigerians need change and young Nigerians want to take back their country. Nigeria is a failed state and millions of people across Nigeria are switching from one political party to another to join the Labor Party including no supporters. Labor will sweep the polls with a landslide victory, and from the 28th of this month, Nigerians will witness the mother of political campaigns.