“They should vote someone that has the capacity and is very accessible not someone who hides under the banner of a Senate because he has something to hide.”
Aderonke Bello, Abuja
Senator Nkechi Nwaogu represented the Abia Central Senatorial District in the upper legislative chamber between 2007 and 2014 under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
She later dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview, she revealed her plans for the senatorial district, pointing out that former Governor Theodore Orji who is currently representing the senatorial zone has not performed to the expectations of the constituents.
Senator Nwaogu, therefore, said that the APC would win the Abia Central District elections in 2019.
Do you think that your party, the APC is well positioned to take over Abia State from the PDP?
The APC has been properly positioned to take over Abia State come 2019. I can comfortably say this because of the crop of men and women who are in the APC in Abia State. Secondly, Abians are waiting for a change, since 1999 Abia has been under bondage of the PDP and everybody knows that Abia needs a change and the change can only come from a party that is designed to bring the change, and that is the APC. With the calibre of people that emerged in the just concluded primaries I can assure you that we have been positioned to take over and Abians are willing to help us take over because it takes two to tangle and it will bring the much needed development Abia needs. People are suffering, the economy is stagnant, so, people are hoping that APC would bring the desired change. The PDP has been in government for over 17 years and we have not seen a single project from them, challenge any PDP member to mention any federally introduced project in Abia State.
But you were a PDP senator, are you saying you did not do anything?
I stand tall today and confirm that I, as a legislator, attracted a lot of projects that are there for people to see, but they are tiny projects from just one person, I am talking of the Federal Government under the government of PDP, I challenge them to mention one project they have done in Abia State, I am not talking about the health centres or boreholes that I and other legislators attracted, they are mini-programmes and constituency projects from federal legislators. We have been having a fight with the Federal Government to allow us have our constituency projects, because the Federal Government will not know that we need a health centre in my village, it’s the representatives that will attract that. Mega projects like federal roads, functioning health centres and basic amenities were never provided. It’s just now under this government that dividends of democracy are seen in many states and it’s just in three years – this government has recorded so much democratic dividends, give them another five years to make eight years and I am sure Nigerians will be glad that they have somebody like President Buhari. He doesn’t believe in property acquisition, he
believes in giving to the people he is leading. Some people are complaining because they are not allowed to cart away billions of naira. I am saying that Abians in particular are suffering; it is this very crop of men and women that have just been recently elected to fly the flag of the APC that would sweep away with our broom the dirt and stagnation that are in Abia State and we are coming through Abia Central Senatorial District to do restoration and give Abians economic freedom.
With the recent Federal Government projects like PPP and Trader Moni etc, how do you think it would trickle down to give Abia APC an edge in the forthcoming elections, talking about consolidation?
Definitely, it would trickle down; people are seeing these new projects of the Federal Government, it falls on us, the candidates and the people of APC to inform Abians that the new projects, for instance, the power project in Ariaria and the roads that are being done, especially in Abia North by NDDC, we will inform Abians that these are projects of the Federal Government and not state so they will know that it is just an evidence of better things to come.
Why did you decamp from PDP to APC?
I decamped from PDP about three and a half years ago because they lost focus and vision, when salt ceases to be salt, it can no longer be salt and for someone like me and many more that left them, we left because they derailed and they are still derailing.
…But people are moving from APC back to PDP?
For me, I left because they lost focus and became animalistic, they played God, they had peculiarly consideration that I knew was not sustainable politically that is why I left and I was vindicated. People who are going there are going there to see if they can continue the evil they do. I left because I felt that they were no longer the democratic philosophy for which I saw and joined. They lost that and they are still losing that. Anybody joining them is definitely for personal interest. I am a people’s person, anything I do politically must bring dividend and added value to my people.
READ ALSO: Personal interest, killing APC –Lawmaker
Do you think APC will deliver you in 2019?
100 percent, I have no doubts.
Is Senator T.A Orji a threat to you?
Absolutely not, I can’t wait for the day of the elections, it will be determined by the good people of Abia Central Senatorial District who have been under bondage of democratic dividend since he took over, who have been under lack of accessibility and quality representation that is what I am offering my people.
What can you say about T.A Orji’s representation?
I do not like to mention names, he is not the only one contesting for the position, his government is colourless, he has not done well, that is why the people are yearning for me to come back, because they know what they have lost over this period. As I said earlier, I don’t believe in mentioning names after all I will not be the one to vote myself in, it is the people, and the signs are there that they want me back and, by the grace of God and the support of the people we will flush him out.
What are your plans?
I believe in giving my people a representation that is accessible, and ensuring that my people do not lose out in the national distribution of dividends, when these things are lacking, the electorate will suffer. Every senatorial district should take home accessibility, quality representation, dividends of democracy and many more. I hope to continue from where I stopped, improve on what I did before; I hope to bring to my people an atmosphere of sense of belonging because that is what I am known for. I have never been known as somebody who will go to a place where the national dividend is shared and would shy away. Nigeria is a complex nation and if people are not carved out for certain positions and you put them in those positions, they will not perform. My people know I am capable that is why they are sending me back, I have been tested and trusted.
What plans do you have for the women and girls of Abia State?
I am a constituent of women’s empowerment, I know federal and state government have policies, but the levels of implementation to getting women to be involved in things is very weak. We will start with programmes that are easily achievable to the ones where you would do comparative analysis.
I will collaborate with NGOs that we have in Abia State and ensure we establish income generating activities. I am not saying we are coming to dash women money; dashing money to anyone is not sustainable. We would have programmes where women can learn fresh skills and vocation. Luckily, I am a finance person, there are so many programmes that enable people to have easy access to funding, and we would provide funds to these women that will enable them actualize the training they have acquired. They will gradually become independent and no one will prey them. Not only for the women even the males too, because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, if we can provide realizable skills for our youths, there will be a drop in crime rates. The important part is funding for these people to go into the skills they have acquired because it is the only way to have financial independent, nobody can play politics effectively without money.
What do you have to say about the issues in the APC?
Well, in my personal opinion, it is quite unfortunate, but that also shows that the party has grown, years ago people were begged to take APC’s ticket, but today you have to struggle and work for the ticket, and if you win like I have, you would know that people have truly chosen you to be their flag bearer, in every contest there would always be a loser and a winner, some people could be termed as bad losers and it is very unfortunate, I do pray that my party would have a mechanism for reconciliation so people won’t drag it and in- jure the name of the party. People will always feel unhappy when they lose; you just have to find a way to reconcile with it.
What are your parting words to the people of Abia Central Senatorial District?
As always I have their interest at heart, I am telling them now that I have won my primaries I am asking the good people of Abia Central Senatorial District, the APC people and non-APC people, to come together and put party aside and elect a good candidate that will provide you everything a senator should give to you, they should vote someone that has the capacity and is very accessible not someone who hides under the banner of a Senate because he has something to hide. I also want to thank the Abia Central APC for making me their flag bearer and I am assuring them and all the other people in Abia Central Senatorial District that if I am elected I would return the lost glory.