Sen. Stella Oduah, the lawmaker representing Anambra North at the Senate, says she will sustain the fight against poverty in her constituency.
Oduah gave the assurance when she featured on News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
She said that it was the desire to uplift the living standard of her constituents that made her venture into politics, and assured that she would do her best to ensure that the desire was accomplished.
“My people are very poor. If you know how Anambra state is structured and you understand the culture of my people, you will appreciate why they are where they are.
“We live along the bank of the River Niger; we are an accommodating people who are easily satisfied and we are essentially farmers and fishermen.
“Give us our fish, give us our yam and cassava and we will be fine; but, time has eroded all that and the needs of the people have gone beyond that.
“So, to mainstream our needs, I went into politics and during campaign, I went to literally every town and village in my zone.
“One of the reasons why I did that and I am still doing that is to know that if I am going to be their mouthpiece, I should know how they live.
“I should feel their pulse and I should speak their language in every ramification.
“So, while touring, I saw poverty, I shook hands with poverty and so, if you tell me now to draw poverty I can give you a very clear picture,’’ she said.
The lawmaker added that the situation was so bad that many of her constituents lived in hopelessness, with no electricity, no access to school, hospital and potable water, among other things.
She said that unless something was done to bring an end to the plight of the people, there would be no future, particularly for the youth of the area.
According to her, children in my constituency travel some distance to go to school or sit under trees to get education in order to get out of poverty.
Oduah said she had embarked on many projects to impact positively on the people in various communities in the area.
“My heart bleeds for the people and anything I do for them is not too much. I am not motivated to be of assistance because I am a politician but because it is needful.
“I am doing several things to alleviate their suffering. We have a scholarship scheme which works in two phases.
“One takes into cognisance those who are not academically blessed but can learn some trades that will better their lot. Some of them are farming, including fish farming.
“So far, we have some in several universities and skill acquisition centres and we are going to do more.
“Our target for this year is 1,000 beneficiaries and we are hoping that before the year runs out we will have them in the various institutions,” she said.
She added that there were also those who ever academically inclined and were also benefiting from her scholarship programme.
“We also have another group which is women. I tell people that until and unless we start recognising the importance of women, we really cannot grow.
“Women, particularly at the grassroots, ensure that our rural economy improves. They go to farm and do literally everything.
“In fact, for them it is more important that their children go to school than it is for the men.
“So for this segment of the society not to be recognised or encouraged, beats my imagination. I don’t understand the male conspiracy in that regard,’’ she said.
Oduah said that her focus was on human capital development, infrastructural development and women empowerment in her constituency. (NAN)