Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Chief Ekene Enefe, is the House of Representatives candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Oyi/Ayamelum Federal Constituency. The Osile Ogbunike-born business and investment expert speaks on his aspiration and chances.
Why do you want to go to the House of Representatives?
What necessitated my participation in elective position is because my constituency has been lacking quality representation; they have been under-represented in the House of Representatives. We have nothing to show, no federal presence, youth unemployment on the rise; because some people say the duty of a lawmaker is to make laws but I said no, because in Nigerian context, a federal lawmaker is supposed to represent the interest of his constituency, in terms of basic amenities, because again in Nigerian, it’s all about national cake and if you are there and you are not bringing the federal presence to your constituency in terms of infrastructure, in terms of employment generation and real constituency projects, I don’t think you are worth staying there for a day. So, there were too much pressure on me to come out based on my past antecedents and what I have been doing in my private life. You know, I’ve been giving out scholarships, creating employments in different sectors and people think that I will adequately represent them well in the House of Representatives. After thorough examination and consultations, I decided to come out and contest and overwhelmingly, I won. I defeated the sitting member of the House of Representatives in the primary election of APGA.
How do intend to change the situation of your constituency?
Looking at my place, I think the infrastructure is a major problem. Like one of the councils in my constituency, Ayamelum, they are agrarian communities and there is no road. In fact, the road network should be declared an emergency one because they don’t have good access road and these are the people that produce a lot of food. They need to bring out their produce to the urban cities. So, this is the first thing I want to be seen doing; attracting road projects to Ayamelum to aid the farmers. Another serious factor affecting both Oyi and Ayamelum councils is graduate unemployment. We have a lot of youths. When you move round, you will see a lot of youths that do not have hope. I want to give them hope. Some of them have graduated from the universities; 10 years, 20 years, 15 years, five years and there is no hope for them. There are opportunities in federal parastatals, federal ministries and I think I want to go there and fight for them to be gainfully employed in the federal service. I want to also go there and leverage on the status as a member of the House of Representatives and create enabling environment for youths to strive in private sector and also by adequately looking for a way to fund those that have skills, those that are going to learn skill acquisition, I want to use the opportunity to look for different avenues to alleviate the suffering of the unemployed youths
Also, healthcare, you go to places like Ayamelum, most communities in Ayamelum do not even have a single healthcare centre and it is terrible. People die for minor things that could easily be treated. That’s why I was touched and I started medical outreach that just ended few weeks ago to cover my entire constituency. I brought in nurses and doctors equipped them with drugs and they went round the communities, treating people. If you see the crowd that came out for the treatment, you will know they really need basic healthcare centres. I think the problems are enormous but we have to start somewhere.
What do you think will give you victory over your opponents?
First, what will give me victory are my party and my governor. You might ask why my governor? Because; my governor has done so well, I think he’s the best rated governor in Nigeria. He has created a lot of infrastructure development in Anambra State; he has brought calm, security to Anambra State; he has brought a lot of development to Anambra State and business are striving, night life is striving. You know, Anambra is not what it used to be, people are happy with the governance in Anambra, why? Because the man God sent to govern Anambra is a different man. Now, he is on his second term, he is even working as if he is going to contest another election. This is someone that has passion to impact on the life of the state and with him, most of the candidates of APGA won’t have issues; you know, he is just our selling point.
Secondly, the people that know me, my antecedents speak for me. I have been there for people, I have been there for the less privileged, I have impacted so much on education by empowering people through scholarships. People know what I have done in Anambra State both in employment sector. I once worked as a consultant in the state. I brought in SURE-P to Anambra State. I helped facilitate it and it gainfully employed 1000 graduates that help them put meals on their tables. So, I have done so much in my own private life. Lastly, we are moving down to the grassroots, selling our manifestoes to the grassroots, which our opponents are not doing. I don’t know if you have seen any PDP or APC campaigning. I have not seen any of them campaigning. It’s only APGA that is campaigning and since we started this campaign, we have what we call, door-to-door canvassers. So, my team, ‘Nzoputa Group’ has established formidable door-to-door campaigners. In every community, we have our door-to-door campaigners that go from house to house. So, I think nobody can compare himself to me in other parties because we have done much. I think most of them believe that the election will be manipulated, that’s what gives them hope that they are not campaigning. They don’t even care to meet the electorate but we are going out. I have been to five different communities today, campaigning and tomorrow, I am starting against until the last day the INEC gave which is the 14th. So, when you move around like this and you don’t see your opponents campaigning, you wonder how they want to go about this election. Results of this election will not be written; you stay in your home or you try to hijack ballot boxes or you want to use INEC to manipulate the wishes of the people. I don’t think it’s going to play out. Our votes must count. So, these things give me a lot of hope.
With Peter Obi as the vice presidential candidate of the PDP, don’t you think people will like to vote for him and that will have effect on your election?
People forget so soon, we had PDP government for over 16 years. What did the eastern region benefit? Nothing! We had our people holding the best offices; ministerial positions under PDP-led government. We had our people; our sons and daughters holding sensitive positions in the government. What did we benefit? Nothing, and now, what will change because Peter Obi is going in there? Peter Obi lied and deceived our people to vote for PDP in the last election which our people did. We didn’t have roads. Not even from Enugu to Awka which is less than an hour, there’s no good road. They promised us the second Niger Bridge; it was a farce, a deceit. So what is Peter Obi going to bring on board if he goes there?