Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them, goes the popular saying. In the case of Chief Sandra Duru, she has achieved in her short years in life much more than most people of her age and older only hope to achieve if given more time. What she has been able to accomplish despite her humble beginning took a lot of ingenuity. The MD/CEO of Sanchhy Nigeria Limited, Zest Media and Entertainment, Executives Cable and Electronics Company and owner of Pre-Adult Affairs Organization, a United Nations-recognized non governmental organization, is also a consultant to Standards Organization of Nigeria, the Police Women Unit, the Police Service Commission, Kulfana Mining Company and many more. Duru recently had an exclusive interview with The Eagle Online. In the interview, she spoke about her relationship with Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, her plans to take over Imo State in 2015 through her yet to be registered political party and some other issues. Excerpts:
You have been keeping low profile after you worked tirelessly for Governor Rochas Okorocha’s emergence as governor of Imo State. In fact, many had expected that you would be a part of his cabinet. Why were you not chosen?
Well, I have been busy trying to register my own political party because I don’t think I can wait running after the so-called big political parties or fight for a ticket that I know might not come to pass because they have not put their homes in order. This is with due respect. So I have decided to come out with a new political party, which name will be withheld for now until we are done with the registration. The process is ongoing with the Independent National Electoral Commission. We decided to come out with a virgin one that we believe will stand for the youth and women. We want the voices of the youth and women to be heard. We don’t want to be used again. We can do it better. We can make it better. We can do it for ourselves, by ourselves and for our country. I will be running as a deputy governorship candidate in Imo State. And we are looking towards getting a young man, like me too, who is a strong activist and he must be someone who has good development of the people at heart. He must come from Owerri Zone, while I’m from Okigwe Zone. I believe we could take over baton of leadership in Imo State. However, talking about the present leadership in Imo State, they are doing the best they think they know how to do. We cannot be satisfied. We are seeing it from outside. I was among the people who fought for this present leadership. If you watch the controversial Imo State election between the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance on television, you will definitely see me. How I took it as if my life depended on it. I was in charge of security and the media. I was 24 hours at the INEC office. I was the one who put up that petition that there was no election at Orhajiegbema, through the election vigilante that I invited from the United States of America. And I can defend that anytime any day. At the end of the day, people might be thinking: why is she not serving in that government? Well I’m not serving, voluntarily, because you don’t expect everybody to rush the Government House at once and serve. Definitely, there will be confusion. So I think we are still on the reserve bench. When our time comes, they will call us. All hopes are not lost. We are hopeful. We are optimistic that Imo State will be better. Talking about the Rescue Mission though, yes, our governor has come for a rescue mission, but we are not going to condemn him because its not easy to be a leader. You have a lot of sycophants and challenges. What matters most is how well and how best were you able to apply wisdom to solve the existing problems, instead of creating more problems. That is where we come in to have our own mission, which is by overtaking them, pursuing them, recovering and restoring the glory of Imo State. We want to restore the wealth of Imo State. We want to restore the dignity of Imo State. We want to restore all that we have lost in the name of this mission or that mission or past leaders. We want to put things right and not let our future be mortgaged. We are not here to criticize Adapalms or Roche Group. Rather, we want to come and turn things around. We want to use our positive energies to make positive changes. So that is what Sandra has been doing lately. We have our pressure group. We have our party. We have the interest of people at heart. And we’ve been speaking to them and giving them our suggestions. We hope that things will be done correctly.
How cordial is your relationship with Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State now?
His Excellency, Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, as I speak, happens to be the grand patron of my non governmental organization, which is United Nations recognized. Governor Okorocha is like a father to me. To be very honest with you and to be very candid with you, a father and a daughter sometime may have misunderstanding but what matters is how well both of them settle it. So I don’t think we are having issues. We are only having challenges in our state. And I’m only coming in to better explain how best I think those problems can be resolved. We still have father to daughter relationship but definitely not very smooth but I’m sure very soon we would come to a meeting point to find a lasting solution to our state’s challenges, especially insecurity, unemployment,embezzlement of funds here and there, which is making Imo people to loose interest in him. On a good day, Rochas is a good man but needs to balance some equations in his government.
How would you assess his administration so far?
If I’m to assess him, I will score him not more than 32 per cent. But let’s believe he could do it because in the area of education, where he talked about free education, we still have a lot of corrections to make there. So I’m still confused if it is free education or scholarship. The issue of 10,000 jobs and a lot of other issues need to be tidied up. His issues with his former deputy governor, he made some mistakes there too. Governor Okorocha needs administrators who can put things right in his government, not party guys who only fight for their selfish interests. Our governor has good ideas, good intentions. He started well but he may not finish well because he does not have right persons there. By the time people like us come into it, then people will realise what we are made off. So I think Governor Rochas should give the right people the time to come in to rescue him. He needs to be rescued himself. He is trying to rescue Imo State. We need to come in to rescue the state in the remaining two years and see how we can recover and restore the dignity of our state.