The Deputy Governor of Anambra state, Nkem Okeke, has insisted that he will not resign from the position.
According to him, he was elected for a four-year tenure by the people.
Okeke recently dumped the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking with reporters in his office in the Government House on Friday, Okeke said although some people were asking him to resign, he would not do so because he is representing my people.
“My constituency said I should not resign because I am repressing people. I resigned as commissioner and if I resign as Deputy Governor, they will say something is wrong with this man.
“I am what you might call an accidental politician. When I served in the government of Peter Obi for six months, I resigned when I felt that I didn’t have the ears of the governor and as a Commissioner, if you don’t have the ears of the governor, then you are wasting your time. That was why I went back to the university and continued lecturing.
“Of course the deputy governor thing came up when I was on holiday in the USA and thee then national chairman of AOGA, Chief Victor Umeh told me he wanted me to serve as deputy gubernatorial candidate. I came back and we won the election. Second tenure, the governor invited me. I never asked him that I was interested in becoming his running mate. There was never a communication between two of us and it was at the Women Development Center that he mentioned my name as his running mate.
“Of course everybody was surprised. I won’t say I didn’t expect it, but he never communicated with me that I was going to be his running mate. I continued to do my work to the best of my ability till date. The issue is, have I been happy and the answer is no, I have not been happy.
He added: “I have had to represent the governor in many functions and I see the way things work. For example, after our NEC meetings with the vice president, you find that when the meeting is over, the PDP governors and myself would walk out through the exit and the APC caucus governors would stay back and discuss with the president.
“I don’t know what they were discussing but I know that it must not be something bad and it must be something to do with their states. If the president hears their needs, he might do one or two things for their states. So why shouldn’t the same things happen to our state and why shouldn’t Anambra be at the centre of affairs?
“I don’t have anything against APGA as a party, but instead of the party moving forward, it keeps losing ground. We have not done much and you can’t negotiate what you don’t have. If we have the South East as a block, then people will begin to listen to us. We have the PDP governors and we have the APC governors, but this is the only state that is APGA, so you can’t negotiate with anybody based on that. We need to be at the centre. The party politics in Nigeria is not based on any ideology, and these parties are mere associations if you ask me. APC is not the best, PDP is not the best but the only thing is that they provide the platform with which to run elections”.
According to Okeke, “I didn’t become the deputy governor because of money, but to make a difference by touching people’s lives. There are things we ought to be doing to improve our economy but we are not doing them.
“As deputy governor, I don’t have any family member working with me. Governance is not building structures that don’t have purpose, but about meeting the needs of the masses.
“If I was happy with this government, why will I leave? If I have the governor’s ears, why will I leave? At a stage, I noticed that I was not contributing.
“They did party primary, I was not invited; they flagged of the airport, I was not invited; they did the flag off of the party’s candidate, I was not invited. I was just coming to the office so that nobody would say I wasn’t doing my job.
“If you say I should represent you I will do that. The only representation I refused was the last South East governors’ meeting in Enugu. Prior to that, Prof. Dora Akunyilis husband was killed and I pleaded that I should not be sent on any more representation for the sake of my life because I don’t know who else the gunmen would go after. So I asked them to give we a booklet proof car for the meeting, and when they refused to provide it, I didn’t go.
“I have been here for over seven years as deputy governor and the car I used during my first tenure was Prado Jeep. I used it for four years without complaining. During this second tenure, the promises they made to we were not fulfilled”.
Actually, I had planned to join APC after our tenure because I want to be at the centre to contribute effectively to national development. If I leave APGA to join PDP, I won’t get anything. So I need to be in the party at the centre and that, is APC. But I saw myself in a situation I wasn’t happy. I started thinking and when APC approach me, I started listening. “Actually it didn’t happen the way I wanted it, but sometimes you take decisions. Every decision has its consequences and I will live with mine.. Some people might see this as a selfish move, so be it.
“The bullet proof vehicle I am using now was given to me by an APC governor. Why couldn’t I get it here, from my governor? May people are saying I should resign, but I am not going to resign. I was elected for a four year term and I will stay here till March 17, 2022 and that is when I will leave”.