Hon. Chris Oguoma is the former Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC Imo State Chapter. In this interview with Kelechi Ugo, the former State chairman spoke on the current naira crunch in Nigeria as it affects citizens who are ready to exercise their franchise by electing new crop of leaders on Saturday 25th February and March 11th,2023 that will oversee the affairs of Nigerians in the next four years. Excerpt!
Introduce yourself Sir!
My name is Hon. Chris Oguoma.
I’m the former Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC Imo State Chapter. Former Owerri Zonal Chairman of APC and pioneer State Secretary of APC.
And I am a business man.
Nigerians will be going to polls on Saturday to elect new crop of leaders and there is panic everywhere. Do you think that the election will be peaceful?
From experience, the election will be peaceful.
You know that there was a jam-packed campaign style especially at the side of presidential candidates.
And social media echoed a lot of issues. The election will be peaceful. In 2015 and 2019,it was like this. There was verbal war in 2019. For insurance, name calling among the candidates. The issue of religion played out, but at the end of day, everything went peaceful. One thing in 2023 general elections is that the campaign was not issue-based.
It was all about ethnic and religion sentiment.
And social media helped to hype everything. People should go out to vote for candidates of their choice.
Are saying that people should troop out enmass to vote for the candidates of their choice?
Yes,I want to use this medium to call on the electorates who have been complaining about bad governance to come out enmass and exercise their civic responsibility.
So,by your votes, you will bring into power those who you think that can do better.
Electorates should come out enmass and vote for their preferred candidates so that at the end of day,they will be satisfied by the outcome of the elections.
That’s the only way to stop complaining.
When you don’t come out and there is aparthy, politicians will manipulate the system.
But if you come out nobody will have his way to rig the election.
And I am convinced that with the sorphyscated technology displayed by INEC,free,fair and credible elections may be assured.
Our votes must count.
As an experienced politician, don’t you think that war is not the solution to Nigeria problem?
No,war is not the solution to our problem.
Those who are envisaging war are not students of history. We have not recovered from Nigeria that broke out in late ’60s.
Another war is not going to help us.
Democracy is the best form of government. And there are ways which we can bring into power good leaders. And that’s what we going to do.
War is not an option at all
The option is to come out and vote for candidates of our choice.
Leader,let us look at current naira crunch .in Nigeria. Don’t you think that it is another plot stop many Nigerians from voting?
As a politician, when I started hearing that one of the major reasons for redesigning naira notes was to stop vote buying, I disagreed because politicians always have their ways. Petty traders are no longer doing their business as they have no access to electronic money transfer. And those of them sell perishable food items.
Middle man is surving the policy, but commit man is suffering it
And they are going to be affected in this election because they can not access cash to pay transport fare to another destination.
A lot of people transferred their PVCs to their place of origin so as to avert intimidation during the elections, but they can’t travel again because of the naira crunch.
This is one of the biggest challenges of this policy.
I have heard a lot of people complaining about how to get cash and travel for the election.
It is going to be a very big issue.
But God will intervene.
This policy doesn’t affect politicians.
All the major contenders of the presidential election are key players in Nigeria. So, you can’t cage them. Some of them have their own banks, while others are major shareholders of banks and they have means of access cash anytime.
But, I believe that everything will normalize at the end of the day.
-Thank you Sir!