“It is largely known that there are two major political parties, APC and PDP, but we realised that people are yearning for a credible alternative.”
Emenyi Abang is hoping to get into the Lagos State House of Assembly in the 2019 elections. Contesting on the platform of KOWA party, Abang is optimistic about his chance of winning Lagos Mainland Constituency II. The immediate past Organising Secretary for KOWA party in Lagos State is optimistic of his party winning a strong foothold in Lagos as according to him, the party is fielding “credible and competent candidates” who will bring to the people, real dividends of democracy, when elected.
What makes you certain the electorate are ready to switch allegiance to your party?
For many years, the Lagos State House Assembly has been a rubber stamp for the executive arm of the state government. At the inception of this current House of Assembly in 2015, there were eight members from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 32 members from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). This offered a little bit of opposition required to checkmate the excesses of the executive arm of government that is put forward in the House. But within a year of being sworn in, seven members of the opposition PDP defected to APC leaving the fraction at 39 to 1. This is not healthy for our democracy because without a viable opposition, a meaningful impact at the grassroots. He is yet to sponsor a bill that will bring any form of development to the people. Generally, when you look at the output of the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, they are operating at very sub-optimal level because you can hardly find a Lagosian who can point at any positive impact in their lives brought about by legislation passed by members of the House. Legislation is all about knowing the needs of your people and developing policies that will facilitate the fulfilment of those needs. The grassroots needs representatives who contribute and execute innovative ideas towards the development of their constituencies.
How prepared is KOWA party in ensuring deliverables to the people?
It is largely known that there are two major political parties, APC and PDP, but we realised that people are yearning for a credible alternative. Other parties have failed in their bid to attain relevance in the polity but KOWA understands the power of grassroots and how it can effectively put the party on the map of affective politics in Nigeria. Every day I close from work, I go round my constituency, engaging the residents, using the door-to-door campaign to enlighten them as well as know their needs. By virtue of this, we’ve come to understand that the people are ready to embrace a third force. The response has been very positive and very encouraging.
Nonetheless, findings show that it is still tough convincing electorate of Lagos Mainland II to switch suddenly to KOWA party. What will you do in the coming weeks to make this possible before the poll?
I believe in the concept of party popularity being the platform for individual image making. However, people should vote in line with ideology and not just party popularity. KOWA party’s ideologies include social welfare, that is, everybody should have equal opportunity to live a decent life and have equal access to opportunities. This should be a major yardstick to voting for KOWA party and its candidates. The party is structured in such a way that only the best candidates are considered to contest for any given office. The electorate can be certain that we have the will to perform when elected into various offices.
Your work experience is in the building construction industry and the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector, how would you bring that to bear with the demands of politics?
I manage people and systems for a living; this has given me a solid platform to understanding the needs of people in a given community. Getting positive reviews from my employees and clients in the use of international best practices to discharge my duty, gives me the confidence that I can do even better at this level of political stewardship for my people.