‘As a medical doctor, Nwoye is best bet for Anambra’
In this interview with Seye Olumide, Enugu-based medical doctor and Secretary of the state’s chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Peter Ekwueme, a professional colleague and contemporary of Tony Nwoye, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra governorship election, spoke on why he (Nwoye) deserves to be elected on 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 experience 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 servant-leader disposition that have seen him excel in his past calls to service
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