“He drafted me into politics. He was the one in the political frontline while I just supported him. I would accompany him to some political events…”
Senator Nkechi Justina Nwaogu represented Abia Central Senatorial District for three consecutive terms on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) 2015 when she defected to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
In this interview with Daily Sun, recently, Senator Nwogu recalls life without her husband and the man who drafted her into politics. She spoke on other issues
We understand that you just acquired your doctorate degree in Political Science. What was the motivating factor for you to return to school again?
What moved me back to school again is to acquire more acknowledge because I felt that knowledge is never complete, hence you keep learning until you die.
As a politician, I needed to acquire the theoretical aspect of politics to help me make better contributions in the national polity. As expected, the road to getting my doctorate degree was naturally, challenging.
How did you meet your husband and what attracted him to you?
I met my husband in Aba when we were both young and what attracted me to him was he was intelligence and character. He was the Senior Prefect of his secondary school because he was an articulate and intelligent young man and these were the characteristics that attracted me to him. He was my source of inspiration.
At what stage in your marriage, did you show interest in politics and what was his response?
He drafted me into politics. He was the one in the political frontline while I just supported him. I would accompany him to some political events, especially when he was contesting. I accompanied him to campaign rallies and gradually, I began to develop the interest in politics
Was he supportive of your political ambition until his death?
Absolutely, my husband was very supportive of my political activities. He was my mentor, director and adviser. He groomed me and stood by me until his death.
There is reduction in the number of women in the 8th National Assembly as compare to the 6th and 7th Assembly. What would you say is responsible for low women participation in politics?
There are many factors responsible for visible reduction of women participation in politics. It includes cultural barriers, financial difficulties and the high cost of politics. The intrigues that are in politics is unbelievable. Above all, the violence that has become the order of the day in the nation’s politics is another story, entirely. These are some of the factors that have contributed to the massive reduction or gradual reduction of women participation in politics.
How have you been able to combine marriage and active politics?
The secret of a successful marital life is having the fear of God. I was also submissive to my husband as the head of the house which means that as a woman, you must accept this simple divine fact. I was proud of my husband and I loved him. My husband was my friend because we grew up together.
I accepted him as the head of my family. My achievement as a politician did not influence me or took away my responsibility as a house wife. I had a successful married life and I believed in my husband’s leadership hence whatever I was and I ‘am, my late husband contributed immensely to it.
What is your take on the recent resignation of Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun over alleged NYSC certificate forgery?
That was a good step in the right direction and an example of a good leader worthy of emulation. Even though there must be something that must have prompted her to take the part of honour apart from the certificate issue.
Like I said earlier, I don’t know much of what happened and the acceptance of her resignation by President Muhammad Buhari. However, there must have been reasons which made her take the part of honour and that is exactly what she did. I commend her for her courage to do so.
Why did you leave PDP to the ruling party?
On why I left the opposition party, the 16 years of PDP administration in Nigeria to a large extent was a continued
learning and never growing up. I will also say that it was abysmal and had a culture of non-accountability. That was the reason we had the change in 2015. I hope they will allow this change to happen. It is a process and not event. They should allow it to take place and to enable us lay a foundation of development with policies that will help develop the nation.
Why do you want to return to the senate?
I want to go back to the Senate because the people of Abia Central Senatorial District have missed quality and effective representation within the last four years. They have missed accessibility to their representative. They have missed the dividends of democracy and federal presence in terms of infrastructural development.
That is why they are urging me to go back to the Senate in 2019 to initiate a restoration exercise. It is not by accident that Nigeria has a total of 109 Senatorial Districts. If a district is empty and devoid of anything qualitative, then that Senatorial District would have missed out. There is no representative from another Senatorial District that can overlap that non-performing representative, but for the people to vote him out and replace him with someone they feel will perform better. That is the good thing about democracy.