Prince Ejike Williams Itodo, is the Igbo Eze North candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming council elections in Enugu State. The graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) is the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer of Ekowills Logistics and Engineering Limited, a high flying construction outfit with headquarters in Enugu State. In this interview, the youth leader and mobilizer speaks on his ambition among others.
What is your assessment of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration?
My assessment, in a nutshell is that the current administration under the leadership of Governor Ugwuanyi has recorded a resounding success in every facet.
For emphasis, the administration came in with a clear agenda for the social, political and economic transformation of the state.
Firstly was to bring the people of the state together by ensuring that unnecessary rancor and bickering which was the order of the day prior to, and after the 2015 elections were brought down to the barest minimum. In doing that, he reached out to all the strata of the state – politicians, those in public and private sector, social groups, artisans, the academia and so on.
In fact, it’s on record that no administration in the past had offered hands of fellowship to all and sundry including opposition parties as the current leadership has done.
The whole idea was for the citizens to join hands for the development of the state.
It’s trite knowledge that the protection of lives and property is the primary responsibility of any responsible government. The administration of Gov Ugwuanyi has received accolades in that regard by not only citizens of the state but also human rights groups and even Federal Government agencies.
On assumption of office in 2015, banditry, kidnapping, herders/community clash was at the peak. The governor promptly set up machineries in motion by engaging the security agencies in the state viz: police, army, DSS, Civil Defence to bring such situations under control.
Secondly, he masterly engaged security experts who helped in designing local security apparatuses to curtail such trends. This has culminated in the establishment of local security outfits that have been very useful in the maintenance of peace and fight against criminality in the state. The administration can pride itself as the first state in the South East to establish Neighborhood Watch, Forest Guards, and other organised security groups that are under the control and monitoring of the Nigerian Police in all the local government areas of the state with success stories. To achieve this, he has consistently provided logistics of different types for the successful operation.
The other area where the administration has recorded significant success is in the area of human and infrastructural development.
The administration has consciously developed programmes with far reaching impact on the people for example, the revolving grant to market men and women, the small and medium enterprises programmes where youths and the vulnerable are supported and given a lift, skill acquisition programmes designed to make the youth self-sufficient and independent. All these are meant to create jobs and reduce social tension.
The economy of the state has never been so rejuvenated than it currently is. The administration has created such business-friendly environment that most people from outside the state come in, in their numbers to establish businesses.
The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) profile of the state has never reached such an all time high as is the case since this administration came on board.
The development of infrastructure which includes the provision of basic amenities like roads, hospital, water, electricity, education etc, is a cardinal programme of the administration which has made the state a big project site because of the decentralisation initiative. From the capital city to all the local governments, projects of different types, according to the peculiar needs of the various communities are going on. What with the #10,000,000 community development grant given to all the 450 Autonomous Communities in the state to assist them in their critical areas of need?
How do you see your emergence as the PDP candidate in the incoming administration?
I see it as an act of God, first and foremost. Secondly, it is a confirmation of the resolve of the members of the party in my local govt, in conformity with the vision of the party at the state to create a level playing ground for every member of the party to freely seek elective positions irrespective of age and other biases.
It is also a confirmation of the position of the party that youths with proven record of integrity, hard work and exposure are what is needed at this point in time when the whole world is relying on the youth because of their energy, vibrancy and entrepreneurial ability.
I see my emergence also as an opportunity to give the youth confidence in themselves and more so, to act as a bridge between the older generation of politicians with wide range of ideas in leadership and the younger generations who will contribute so much in shaping the future of our country and communities.
What legacies would you like to leave for the people after your tenure?
I am an Electrical and Electronic Engineer by profession as well as a grassroots social mobilizer.
I am conversant with the environment in my local government and knows in detail what my people need.
My legacy would be one of democracy dividends to the people by carrying out people-oriented and enduring programmes that would be structural and social.
For example, the fact that my local government has a very huge agrarian population, in fact, one of the most populated in the whole of Africa, connecting the communities to ensure smooth movement of persons and their agricultural produce by collaborating with state government and other agencies to construct and rehabilitate rural roads would be one of my legacies.
Furthermore, amenities that are of very critical need in the local government for example, health facilities, water etc, are my dreams of legacy projects.
On the social angle, there is no legacy that is more enduring that human capital development. Youths are in dire need of recognition, engineering and empowerment. This empowerment would come by way of supporting them through education, skills acquisition, sports development, engaging them in agriculture and supporting them with incentives to fully reap the benefits inherent in the sector.
These and many more are the legacies I intend to bequeath as a Council Chairman.