From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Hon. Chinedu Ogah is the member representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He is a youth leader, youth mobilizer and philanthropist.
In this interview , Ogah said that within his two years in the House he has sponsored 14 bills, and eight motions.
He said that the Southeast zone has capable, competent and qualified people to contest for president of the country in 2023.
Ogah also said that APC is the party to beat in Ebonyi State in the 2023 governorship race. Excerpts:
There has been this clamour for president of Igbo extraction in 2023, what is your take on this?
First of all is zoning the presidency to the South, from South, it can be micro-zoned to Southeast and we have competent people that are qualified and ready in Southeast to be president of the country. So, we are waiting for our party and we will know the direction of our party during the convention. If it is zoned to Southeast, I will support anybody in Southeast, I will support the person. Even if it is my enemy that is given the ticket, I will go for such a person because presidency is something that will benefit everybody. If it comes to South-south, I have no option than to support the person because I am a party man, I must abide by my party decision. But as a Southeast person, nobody will be happy if something comes to his home and he will work against it. I will be very prayerful, appealing, let it come to Southeast and from Southeast, let it come to Ebonyi.
Some people are saying that power is fought and not given and the Igbo are not united. Do you think that the Southeast will make it in 2023?
Who is telling you that the Igbo are not united? We are united, very united and when we get to the bridge, we will cross it.
In Ebonyi State, APC is now the ruling party after Governor Umahi’s defection to the party. Do you think the party will win the state in 2023?
APC has no force to contend with. Leave those making noise, most of them have no voters cards. APC is in charge and it is those that have voters cards that will vote on the election day and not those noise makers. I have told you earlier that when we get to the bridge we cross it. Forget those that are making noise on the pages of newspapers doing billboards, come home and stay with the people if you think you are a politician. If you claim you are at home and on ground, return home and sleep three days during Christmas. I have been in my village for more than a week seeing my constituents. Open your gates, let your people come to you. It is not when you are in Abuja you will be making noise on the pages of newspapers that you will takeover the state, take over where?
Some people are saying that President Buhari is not friendly with the Igbo? Do you think that Buhari has done well in the Southeast?
I want to ask you a question as a journalist, have you plied the Enugu/Aba/Port Harcourt road from 2012 to 2015? If you have plied that road, evaluate that road from that 2015 till today and know whether Buhari loves the Igbo or not. Also look at Enugu/Onitsha
Expressway and know whether the president hates the Igbo. We were only reading construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge on the pages of newspaper, it is only now that it is a reality. If he doesn’t loved the Igbo why is the
bridge a reality now? Why did he give ministers to Igbo sons and daughters for many years? I don’t know why people keep saying that Buhari hates a section of the country when he loves every citizens.
What is the relationship between you and your constituents like?
The achievements we have recorded are because of the good relationship
with my people, the constituents, the leadership of the National Assembly and my colleagues. I try as much as I can to make sure I put smile on the faces of my constituents and that is why we have achieved the little we have done.
How many bills and motions have you sponsored since this two years in office?
We have about 14 bills, eight motions and seven petitions. Out of these 14 bills, we have almost six in the committee for public hearing. While some have passed second reading, some are in first reading. So, this is the extent we have done and we will continue from where we stopped this year, we will continue to push to ensure that we achieve a lot for our people by making laws that will benefit them.
Before you went to House of Reps, you have been empowering people and it has increased compared to your predecessors. How do you raise money to empower people the way you do?
We do what we call strategic planning, we always start planning from every January and every December 26 is always our annual event, it is the period we empower our people and plan for the next year. We always plan on what we will do for our people each year based on the analysis of what the people need in each time. Our empowerment is always two times in a year. We always have one in every July and the other in every 26 December. We have other ones like paying school fees of indigent students, sponsorship of scholarship that comes up everyday. We always do savings for all these empowerments and wealways channel those savings to the empowerments and that is what we do.
There have security problems in the country, what would you suggest to be the solution?
The problem of security is that we have so much fake people from community leaders down. If we allow the masses to freely elect those they want as their leaders, there will be no problem because a good leader should be able to know his people and control them and that is our major problem. Again, we should not be depending on security agents and the government alone because security is everybody’s business.
There is also youth unemployment. What do you think should be done to solve this growing problem in the country?
Most of the things that cause this problem is our education. Our education is doing different thing because we focus more on theoretical education than practical education. If we go more on innovation and practical education, the problem will be over. Graduates should be able to do things that will help them, they should stop depending much on civil service work. I say any graduate that is looking for civil service work as a lazy person. If you are a Chemical Engineer and you have some enablement, you can produce chemicals that will give you money. The problem skills, the problem of innovation, the problem of supervision are what cause this youth unemployment
We are now in 2022, what message do you have for youths?
I am urging our youths to be calm, obey the rules and regulations, work hard and obey our leaders. They should continue to support government in power.