•RIVERS APC Candidate, Engr. NDUBUISI NWANKWO
Although Lawmakers do not appropriate projects to themselves except constituency projects which the executives implement, in your own case what are you bringing to your people of Rivers East Senatorial District when you win, what will be developmental issues you’re bringing to your people?
Thank God you said that our business there is to make laws to better the lot of our people and I intend to work closer with the executives to make policies and projects that will bring about development to my constituency of Rivers East. Projects by the Federal Government will not be on the air but will be located in the Local Government Areas and states of the Federation. Some communities must get these projects. Some communities will benefit from these projects being earmarked by the Federal Government. So, it is my duty as a Senator to lobby those agencies of the Federal Government. And to lobby the executives to make sure that most of those projects are sited within my constituency. So, for me, it is not just to go to Red Chambers to speak big grammar but to go and lobby the Executive Council to make sure that certain projects are sited in my constituency. I will consult with my constituency and they will tell me what exactly they want, is it university? Is it Market? Is it a farm? Is it a Water Project? Is it Electricity Power? Is it good Road? What exactly do they really want? So, armed with that I will now go and lobby the Federal Executive Council to cite these projects in my constituency. And of course, I will go and lobby the private sector because if they have any community project it must be in the community, especially those around my constituency they must also be part of the development of our area. Of course, we tend to partner with developmental agencies to make sure that they also bring developmental projects to our communities.
What are your plans for the youth of your constituency in terms of developmental projects?
I said earlier that I will lobby the executives and I will partner with the international community. I will also partner with local corporate organizations operating in my communities. The aim of doing this is to get them employed or empowered. Lobbying is not for the aged, it is for the youths. Because most of the aged are retired they will also benefit from some empowerment programmes. Some youths are not necessarily leaders of tomorrow. I think they should start now because they should be incorporated now. So, we will have a deliberate policy to make sure that they are empowered or they are employed. When that is done you avert some crises.
Take us to who brought you into politics. Do you have a godfather who brought you into politics?
My godfather is God. As a young man I started following political activities while attending university at Rivers State University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt.
What position did you hold in the University Students’ Union Government?
I was National President Of National Union of Etche Students. I was also a member of the Students Union Government. At Rivers State mainstream politics, I was Pioneer Assistant Secretary of PDP in 1998/1999. I later became the Acting Secretary of the State PDP.
That same 1999. Then at about the year 2000 I became the State Youth Leader before our master Dr. Peter Odili graciously appointed me as a Commissioner. Before I became a Commissioner I was a Member of Rivers State Library Board also appointed by Dr.Peter Odili. I was also a member of the Nigeria Gas Company-NGC also nominated by Dr. Peter Odili. Then later I became a Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources. Since then I have been doing my private businesses.
How many terms did you serve as a Commissioner?
My tenure, it was not up to one tenure. After the first I became a Special Adviser. My tenure was less than about a year. Then, that Cabinet was dissolved after a year or so. I was then appointed as a Special Adviser on Energy and Natural Resources. That too lasted about one year plus. It is not up to about one tenure. I did not even serve up to one tenure. But within that period, I did my best as Energy and Natural Resources Commissioner.
How do you want to bring Women in your Senatorial District to the level of relevance should you win as a senator come February 25th 2023?
There’s this Beijing Declaration that women should be given 35 percent affirmation in holding public office, I don’t believe that. If I have ten positions and I have ten women that are qualified I will take them all. So, to me, bringing women to the limelight is a priority for me. Getting women involved is a priority for me.
Today, Saturday 24th of December 2022 you are doing outdoor activity. What is it all about?
The activity today, is called FEED THE STREET. Today is the birthday of our leader’s wife, Her Excellency Dame Judith Amaechi. So, I used that opportunity to celebrate her for she is a wonderful woman. A Christian Mother. A caring woman. A woman of valour. A virtuous woman. She is giving strength to our Leader, His Excellency Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. So, we thought it wise to at least celebrate with her. We went to the Streets and fed people on the streets. We were to feed about One Thousand people. Get it right that feeding is symbolic. It is just to show love and care. It doesn’t mean that. Just by His grace we take over government, we will care for the poor. We will care for the needy. It is not about feeding them. I mean if you give them today are you going to give them tomorrow? So, you can’t feed them every day. But today’s feeding is symbolic. Like I said earlier, it is to give them hope…to let them know that when we take over the government, we will take care of them.
Can you tell us what exactly took place in the areas that you visited?
Today is the birthday of our leader Her Excellency, Dame Judith Amaechi. As a way of celebrating her, we did something symbolic. Those who know Dame Amaechi know that she is a very caring mother and loving wife . She at all times, extends help to the needy. So, what we did today was to feed about a Thousand people on the streets. Initially, I thought that we’re going to only feed just those who are really in need but I saw that many people are hungry even able-bodied persons were coming to collect food. You saw the crowd; they were just mobs. Even what we went out with, over one thousand packs of food was not enough and that shows that there’s hunger in the land. So, that exercise of feeding those in need on the streets is symbolic because of the woman we are celebrating. We used her to give them hope. We used her birthday to assure that their future is protected when APC takes over realms of governance in Rivers state. We used her birthday as a symbol to give people hope. To let the man on the street know that when we take over as Government, we will care for them. We will show love to them. We will help the needy.
For those you had contact with have you sensitized them on the issue of obtaining their Permanent Voters’ Card?
No. No. This is not about having PVC or not. I don’t care whether they have PVC or not even though I am a politician and I am also a candidate. It’s not political. Like I said it’s symbolic. ..whether you are a party person or you’re not. Whether you are a voter or you are not… you are a member of the society. Whether you vote or not you are a member of the society. So, what I am saying is that our mother Her Excellency, Dame Judith Amaechi symbolizes love.She is a symbol of care. So, that’s why we went to the streets today to communicate with them using her birthday as a platform to assure the people that when APC takes over the government, we will show love. We will care for them. By and large as a Government we will take care of the entire society whether you voted or you did not vote.
What message do you have for eligible voters in Rivers state?
Now, for the voters, come February 25th 2023 for the national election, we appeal to our people to support our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We also expect them to support our National Assembly candidates of which I am one coming from Rivers East Senatorial District going for senate under our party APC. We also appeal to them to vote for our Federal House of Representatives Candidates on that same day of 25th February, 2023. Then in March 2023 we also appeal to them to support our Governorship candidate that is Architect Tonye Cole, he is a pastor, he is a man of God- and God-Fearing man and an entrepreneur who wants to change the state for better. In the same vein, we expect them to vote for our Rivers State House of Assembly candidates. We can change the face of governance in Rivers State. It is very important. At the National level we will improve on what President Buhari has started.