Hon Chudi Offodile of UPP: he is positive that his Biafran ideas will transform Anambra
The governorship aspirant on the platform of United Progressive Party, UPP, Hon Chudi Offodile, says he plans to turn the fortunes of Anambra State around by actively implementing what he calls the Biafran Agenda, report Jude Atupulazi and Uche Amunike.
Offodile who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Fides in his office in Awka, while regretting that the Igbo Nation had never really been well represented in the country in the past, said if elected on November 18, he would focus on pushing the Igbo Agenda by faithfully applying the Biafran Ideology in governance.
According to the two-time House of Representatives member, everybody, including himself, as well as the political elite, had been guilty of not doing enough to push the Igbo interest. This, he said, had necessitated the zeal to implement a different approach that would be hinged on what he called the Biafran Ideology.
'What I really would focus on if I get elected, is what I call an application of the Biafran Ideology in governance, which basically means that we will introduce a different approach to governance.
'You know, what we have is the Nigerian System of centralism where power is aggregated at the centre. What I offer, really, under this new Biafran Ideology we talk about, is a decentralized form of government,' he explained.
The Awka born lawyer said part of that ideology would be the creation 326 new development centres or development councils in order to effectively decentralize power and ensure even development across the state.
Under this system, he said, every single ward in Anambra would become an administrative unit in order to achieve full development at the base with a view to achieving the most important thing which, he said, was participatory democracy.
'These things were made clear and contained in the Ahiara Declaration during the Biafran conflict of 1967 to 1970,' he stated.
According to him, 'Everybody who has been governor in Anambra tried to construct new roads, do all kinds of things and they've really tried, including the incumbent. But we need to have power effectively decentralised. That's what we seek to do at the centre. Getting the Federal government to cede more powers to the states. That is, devolution of power.
'Now, you cannot make the case at the Federal level, while at the state level, all the power is concentrated in the office of the governor. So he decides what goes to which area. So, what you will see is some form of development. You know, it's not deep enough. So, I have a system that would be different,' he stated.
On his relationship with the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, vis-à-vis their views on Biafra, Offodile said that whereas Kanu believed in a separate state, he, Offodile, believed in the Biafran identity and the application of the Biafran Ideology in governance.
'So, I agree with him generally on the plight of the Igbo people in Nigeria, the need for us to be more assertive and make our case clearly, but then, the major feature of the Biafran Ideology is freedom. Some people will want to have a Biafran State carved out from Nigeria.
'Some want semi-autonomous zones or regions in Nigeria. So these are different forms of restructuring. For me, I believe that wherever we find ourselves, we should apply the Biafran Ideology. That is the basic thing which principally means an antithesis, the opposite of the Nigerian system; the Nigerian suffocating centralism which has made development and growth impossible, or at least, extremely slow.
'So if we apply the alternative which is the Biafran Ideology, we will move faster and we will have much more sustainable development,' he said.