•Imo East Senatorial Candidate, CHYMA ANTHONY
The Imo East (Owerri) Senatorial District candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Barrister Chyma Anthony is a man who wants to bring development to his people in Imo East Senatorial District. The United Kingdom-trained/Lawyer and international businessman, both in United Kingdom and in Nigeria, is an accomplished International Mediator and Chartered Arbitrator and Philanthropist. He has made positive contributions and is looking to get to the 10th National Assembly should he win the February 25th, 2023 National Assembly election. He’s contesting for Imo East Senatorial District via the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a party he described as the delight of Imo State people.
The handsome, tall, and light-complexioned politician aims to provide strong and credible representation that will attract Federal Projects to the nine local government areas that are in Imo East Senatorial District Constituency.
During the electioneering campaign across the nine local government areas, he pledged to disburse 50% of his total allowance across the nine LGAs for the first nine months that he will be in the Red Chamber.
On Monday, 2nd of January 2023, he granted audience to City People Magazine’s Port Harcourt Bureau/Chief, EMEKA AMAEFULA (+234(0)8111813069) and he mentioned reasons why Imo State citizens are in love with APGA. Read on for more!
May I meet you sir?
My name is Barrister Chyma Anthony. I am from Iho-Dimeze in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State. I am a lawyer by profession and I am a businessman too.
What has been your antecedents in public service?
I am in the private sector as a lawyer. I am a businessman. But, I have been doing community work, assisting people in several ways, not just people from my local government area or people from my community, but wherever I meet a needy person, I assist the person. Aside from that, I have been able, as a lawyer, to do pro bono cases for people by taking up cases that we don’t charge money for. I have been involved in giving scholarships to people and offering training to a lot of people free.
Why do you want to go into politics having been doing your personal businesses all this while?
This is a big question and this is the aspect I want to dwell on for a while. Let me take Nigeria as our country. I am a Nigerian. So, going into politics for me is like a humanitarian job. For one, I had a meeting with some people from my village and I said to them that I need their support. I need their support not because I want to go into politics to make money or to earn a living. I need their support for us to go in there to initiate programs that will benefit other citizens. Politics or no politics, I have a profession. I will always practice. I won’t beg and God has been so faithful. So, for me, it is going to try to right some of the wrongs. I trained in England as a lawyer and I have my children in England. For example, my wife has never paid money to go to the hospital for treatment. In fact, my children were born in the best hospitals in England and we did not pay a kobo for them. My children receive money from the government every week as British citizens. So, when I look at my own country, look at the difference now, I brought my children back to Nigeria in 2018 from the United Kingdom. My last child was three months old at the time. She swallowed a needle and when this happened, I was in the office and my wife ran out of the house without slippers and without a kobo. She went to the hospital, and on getting to the hospital, she called a Nurse and I went to the hospital, an hour later. By that time my child had been dropped on the table, bleeding and dying. When I asked why? They said to me that they needed a deposit of N5,000. And I said five thousand naira and without the payment of the five thousand naira, my child will not be treated? Now, look back to where we came from? First, my wife wouldn’t have gone to the hospital. The medics will come to the house when I call the Ambulance and they will fix whatever they want to do in the house and if they are not able to do it, they will take them to the hospital and bring us back to the house. But this one happened.
Then, I gave them the money and I gave them more than they required. I went upstairs and came back and they told me that my child was not treated because they don’t have the equipment to treat him. We rushed to the National Hospital, Abuja. And when we got to the National Hospital, I was asked to deposit N60,000 before treatment. After I deposited N60,000, I had to go buy everything that they needed to treat my child. Now think about it, I have the money and I have more to give. Then think about that old woman in the village, that man that is in the house, that man that is a gate man or that policeman that may not have the money, the child would have died. So, with this situation, we need to correct all these. The government has a duty to treat citizens. The government should be able to take care of its citizens with at least medical treatment. When I look at all these, this is very important for us. And I said that when I get to the National Assembly, the first bill I am going to present to the Senate is to criminalize traveling abroad for medical treatment, because if we do that, our leaders will be forced to fix our hospitals in this country. And if we can’t fix it, let us all die here. I have said that and I am going to do it as this will correct some of those ills in society.
Then look at our educational sector, there’s nothing happening there. You will see graduates crying. We don’t have quality education in this country as the lecturers are not good and the government is not doing anything because these people are not paid well. So, we need to do so much for this country. This is what led some of us and this is one of the main reasons that we chose to go into politics to see whether we can help this country achieve a certain balance so that the children out there will have a good shot at life and will be able to manage. That man out there will have the sense of belonging saying after all I am in a country where I am protected and my children are protected. We are going into politics to protect the people and their rights and their property.
Can you give a run down of your academic background?
I started school from my village in Iho-Dimeze at Community Primary School, Iho. Maybe, I was opportuned that my sister got married to a man who lived in the township in Owerri as they changed my school to a primary school here at Owerri. But later, I went back to my village to continue my Primary School. I finished and started secondary school in my community secondary school being Iho Comprehensive Secondary School where I did my Senior School Certificate Examination (WAEC). And I got my credits. The Nigerian situation we are talking about here I will go back to that a little bit after going through this. I wanted to study Law and I wrote the Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination/JAMB and I chose the University of Ife. They gave me philosophy and I refused to study at the University of Ife. I came back to the East and went through Federal Polytechnic Oko where I studied Mass Communication. After that, I started my own business. I travelled out of the country after which I studied Law, which is one course I had always wanted to study. Now, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Law LLB from University of Buckingham. Masters degree in Law LL.M from University of Buckingham with International Criminal and Commercial Law as my area of specialization at Master’s Level. And currently, I am writing my Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. degree in Law Thesis on Security and Strategic Studies. I have done a lot of courses on Public Management and these are short-term courses from some of the best universities in the world. I am a Negotiator. I am a Mediator. I have also done some security courses with the United Nations where I have certifications on Corruption and Anti-Corruption and all that. I am a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and a member of Nigerian Chartered Institute of Administrators. I have a Barrister-At-Law B.L certificate as I have been to the Nigerian Law School.
What is your agenda for your people as a Lawmaker if you are elected?
Our people misunderstand law-making and executive arms of government and the major thing a lawmaker does is to make laws. And making laws is so crucial, including budgeting by government which we have a say in. Whatever the executive bring, whatever projects they bring, whatever budget they bring, we have a say as we must be able to ratify it. In that case, that’s where we can help our people to solve our infrastructure problems because when the ministry brings whatever they bring to the National Assembly, we will be able to scrutinize it. From that angle of law-making, we should be able to help our people get infrastructure. This is because when the executive brings in their bills, I mean their budgets, we look at it and the ones that will favour our people, we will also lobby. And make sure that they put something for our people. And outside that, our duty is to make good laws that will benefit the people. Good laws that will make it possible for children to go to school whether you have money or you don’t have and to go to hospital whether you have money or you don’t have money.
I told you about writing UTME/JAMB where I went to have a body that coordinates admission into universities. What you need to do is to pass your Ordinary Level or Advanced Level General School Certificate (GCE), then you write to that body. The body now asks for your results and places you right to the universities and they will give you admission as you choose five to six universities that you want to attend. You don’t need to write JAMB and you don’t need to write any entrance examination. When you go into the university, they will do an interview to see whether you are qualified or not, you see that now makes life easy for the citizens. And that will cut down on a lot of corruption. Now talking about corruption, it is endemic here and that is what is killing this country. I am looking at a situation where we first tackle this corruption issue, we have to look at our immunity clause. Our immunity clause is a blanket immunity clause and it is very wrong. In the United States of America, they don’t have a blanket immunity clause in the constitution.
Here in Nigeria it is constitutional. Isn’t it?
That is what I am saying that it is constitutional here but we will amend it to remove it and cut down on corruption, because a man that is a Governor, a man that is President steals money, commits a lot of crime for 4years. And once that Governor or President is sworn in, nobody tries him in any law court for 4 years. So, they say justice delayed is justice denied. If we do this, it is going to really affect us. So, what we need to do is to make sure that we don’t have blanket immunity any more. If you commit a certain crime, they will try you before the court of law. Bill Clinton was tried while he was President of the United States of America. President Donald Trump was tried while he was in office. If we do that here, it would help us. So, if this man steals your money, you try him immediately and take him out and the others will learn their lessons. But, if you leave him for 7 to 8 years, he uses your money to bribe everybody and at the end of the day, the crime is still on.
We need to make laws that will strengthen the structures of this country. We don’t have any system here and that is what is killing the country.
Under what political platform do you want to be voted into the Nigerian Senate in the February election?
It is All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Why your choice of political party?
I have checked all the parties, is it APC that has plunged Nigeria into this abyss today? As it is today, there is no happy Nigerian, nobody is happy to become poor in our country. We have become downtrodden. We have become Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as voters, we don’t have homes any longer to live in here. We cannot move around as security is poor. That is the weakness of the government of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Then, is it the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that started the rot and these people concluded it for them? So, in that case, I have looked at APGA, APGA is a party with a good manifesto. The Peter Obi people are shouting today is a product of APGA. He was an 8- year Governor of Anambra State under APGA. And he ruled according to the principles and manifesto of APGA. APGA is a party to belong to. They say it is a 3rd force. Yes, I believe so. All over Nigeria, we have APGA candidates. And we have seen people win elections with APGA in the North and in the South even in the South-South and not just South East.
Owerri Senatorial District when it comes to your Local Government Area, Ikeduru LGA has produced senators in the person of Senator Samuel Anyanwu, popularly addressed as Sam Daddy, how do you intend to win when your fellow citizen from your LGA has gone to the Senate, will other sections of Imo East Senatorial District vote for you at this coming General Election?
For correction, the incumbent senator is not from my Local Government Area, Ikeduru, so, we have four political blocs in Owerri Zone, being Mbaike Bloc, Owerri Federal Constituency, Ngor Okpuala and Mbaise bloc. Now the senatorial thing has gone around all the 4 political blocs. And now it is an open thing for anybody to get. Ikeduru has gone. Mbaitoli has gone, Owerri too has gone. Mbaise had gone severally and all that. So, it is open for us. It is like we are rotating it among ourselves even though it has reached every political bloc. And the person that is on it now is from Owerri Federal Constituency. Which means, it can go to Ikeduru, it can go to Mbaise. But somehow, the opportunity and luck we have is that no Mbaise person is running for Senate. So, it means it should shift to Ikeduru now.
Do you know that the Mbaise bloc has a large population of voters?
No, they don’t have a larger electoral population than Mbaitoli/Ikeduru. Our votes cancel their votes. You remember that Mbaitoli has the highest votes in Imo State and one of the highest in Nigeria. So, Mbaise does not have more voters than us.
APGA has a presidential candidate, but in terms of national spread and members, does APGA have national structure? How many members does it have in the National Assembly? Then, how many members does it have in the States Houses of Assembly? And the number of political office holders, that’s the structure a political party can have?
Currently, we have Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe in the Senate.
But he just defected from PDP to APGA?
He is an APGA senator. A lot of people defected from one party to the other. And when you talk about APGA, you talk about the 3rd force in Nigerian politics. The Labour Party we are talking about today doesn’t have a single councillor in any state but APGA controls one full state in South-East Nigeria. Apart from the 5 states in the South-East we have APGA candidates represented everywhere in the North. We have APGA in Nasarawa State, in Benue State, in Abuja, in Kaduna State, and in far away Taraba state. So, APGA has a very good structure. And in Imo State, Imo state is APGA. APGA candidates have been winning elections in Imo state from day one. No other party has won elections in Imo state apart from PDP here but the problem we used to have then and not anymore is, because I have studied it from the years in APGA, is that if we win election, the problem we have we don’t usually protect the votes. But right now, we are going to protect it. I can tell you that APGA is going to sweep this elections both from the Senate down to the House of Assembly. And when the governorship will come, APGA will win. So, it is all APGA. In the past, we have had Imo governor from APGA in the person of Owelle Rochas Okorocha. He won election under the platform of APGA.
Which year was that?
That was in 2011. Mrs. Chris Anyanwu became a Senator through APGA. It was after they got elected that they all defected. When PDP didn’t give her senatorial ticket, she came to APGA and won the Imo East senatorial election against Dr. Kema Chikwe, former Aviation Minister under President Olusegun Obasanjo administration. Also, the current Imo East Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi started from APGA in the Federal House of Representatives. He won the first attempt through APGA. He won another and then the next time, he defected and won in PDP. Even the PDP candidate, the first time he went to the House of Representatives, it was through APGA it was in 2003. I mean Barrister Uche Onyeagocha. So, APGA, that Imo, especially the Owerri Senatorial Zone. In Okigwe area in the past, they had seven to eight APGA seats and in Owerri Zone, it is the same too. Orlu Zone is still having an APGA House of Assembly candidate in the Imo state House of Assembly.
Are you confident that you are going to win the election based on the analysis you have just provided?
Well, I have won this election. We have won the election. Now, let me tell you another secret which is that I am the only candidate running for senatorial election that is from Mbaise bloc. I have strong hope that my votes are intact from Mbaitoli/Ikeduru. My other opponents the 4 of them are from Owerri bloc, they all have an axe to grind and divide their votes. They will divide it and all of us will go to fish in Mbaise. So, whatever I get there, I will add it to mine and I have won the election.
What are your plans for women empowerment should you win the Imo East Senatorial election come 25th of February 2023?
I said there’s no project in any ministry that will not go through the National Assembly, especially the Senate. We approve the budget in the Senate. So, in the case for women, we have the Ministry of Women Affairs. We have a lot of soft loans coming out from the Central Bank and all that and when these loans come, we will make sure that we let them put something down for our women and that’s APGA. And then, there should be at least free medical care for women, even if the free medical care is not for everybody, let it be for pregnant women and the aged people in my senatorial zone. There are a lot of ways we can do this. Around the country we should look at our problems. These are problems and we will tackle them squarely.
Send Us News, Gist, more... to email@example.com | Twitter: @CitypeopleMagz