Ngozi Nwoke, Lagos
Hon Kelechi Nwogu is a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, representing Omuma state constituency. In this interview with Daily Sun, the legislator sheds light on the security challenges and other burning issues affecting the Rivers State.
As one of the oldest serving legislators in the state assembly, how would you describe the legistlative role of the Rivers State House Assembly, especially in the enforcement of laws affecting the security of the state?
I would say every state is experiencing the same security challenge like Rivers State. It’s not peculiar to the state. We feel bad that things are going this way, but we are assuring the people of Rivers State that the executive Governor and his team are working very hard to make the state a safe haven for the citizens and investors.
The security agencies, law enforcement agencies are working extremely hard to ensure that peace and security of lives and property is stable. You can see that street trading is banned completely. The Governor provided the traders a massive market free of charge. All these is just to ensure that there is sanity in the state.
In conclusion, when bills are passed, and signed into law, they are enforced and implemented, not to enrich the pocket of law makers, as it is speculated, but to fufil the mandate of good governance.
As the Chairman, Fommittee on Prohibition on Violation of Women Rights, what are you doing to ensure that the issue on serial killing of young women in hotels is nibbled in the bud?
On the issue of the serial killing and prohibition of violation of women rights, I am the Chairman of the ad hoc committee investigating the case. First, we must understand that this is the first serial killing we have experienced in this state. We have had cases on kidnapping, armed robbery and so on, but this is the first of its kind and it’s shocking and confusing how the suspect confessed that he killed them for no reason. As it stands now, the prime suspect has also been apprehended. Currently, he is in court.
Unfortunately, the same man who made a confessional statement, acknowledging that he killed seventeen young ladies in a gruesome manner, pleading guilty before the judge, is now pleading not guilty to the charges in the next appearance. So, it’s assumed that his lawyers have brainwashed him. I have said it on air, and I want to repeat it here, that his lawyer should be investigated. He is trying to forestall justice and at the same time jeopardize his career as a lawyer.
There are crime cases you don’t jeopardize in the course of your practice. It’s a difficult situation, but we have professional hands that are handling it, and we implore everyone to trust us as we carry out thorough investigation, and we promise that justice must take its course.
As the member representing Omuma state constituency, what are you doing about constituency projects which have remained a tall dream and desire for indigenes?
Firstly, when I emerged winner of the house of assembly in 2011, I was able to electrify nine communities during my first tenure.
In 2015, I built a 500 capacity multipurpose hall. Now the idea is not only to build it for gatherings, but to provide massive employment for indigenes. These projects will require the services of people. By so doing, development will take place, security stability will take place, employment will take place and these will attract the presence of foreign investors.
Some say that your rival party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), has no place in Rivers State politics. Don’t you think it’s time power goes to the APC after a free and fair election which will be decided by the elocorate, for the purpose of equity and justice?
Even if there is a free and fair election today, it’s not possible for the APC to win in Rivers State. That is a total impossibility. So, the speculation is right. But in all, it is left for the people to choose whom they want as Governor and for INEC to give the final say.
What is your impression about the Bayelsa State election where an APC candidate emerged winner; can we say that the PDP is losing its grip in the South-South?
Well, for me I’m not so concerned about which party wins a state. I’m more concerned about the individual who fulfils his campaign promises to the people. I’m more concerned that lives are improved and not impoverished. I’m more concerned that employment is provided for the indigenes of the state.
I’m more concerned that the mandate of the party is actualized for the sustainable growth and infrastructural development of the state. So, whether it’s APC or PDP that takes over Bayelsa State, it doesn’t give me much concern.
What would be your goodwill message to your people in Omuma state constituency?
I implore the people of Omuma to believe in our competence and trust that we will bring their dreams and desires to reality by the special grace of God Almighty. We appreaciate their support and appeal for their encouragement and prayers to fulfil the mandate bestowed on us. I also advise everyone to find something useful doing. Be wise in their expenses and believe that, with God, all things are possible.