Ifechikwu Amaliamifeobu, a practicing broadcast journalist, is the Delta State Labour Party (LP) candidate for Aniocha South state constituency. He speaks on his chances.
Why are you in politics?
My foray into politics is driven by passion for more services to my people in particular, and the general public. As a matter of fact, politics is supposed to be the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance – organise control over a human community, particularly a state for their wellbeing. But in most cases, those in the positions of authority abuse the offices and do not care about the masses.
I started my political career far back in my secondary school days holding different positions of leadership until I was elected Students Union Government (SUG) President of Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku in 2006. I am going into elective politics because I want to contribute my own quota to change the narratives. I am experienced, I have the capacity, I have the character, I have the competence, I know and understand my constituency and I have the compassion to use my positions to better the lots of my constituents.
How prepared are you, considering the fact that Aniocha South constituency is dominated by the ruling party?
How do you mean? Are you from there? Do you live there? Or you are speaking from what you read or heard? That Aniocha South is dominated by the PDP is a figment of your imagination. It is not an issue. As far as Aniocha South is concerned, Labour Party remains a party to beat because we have very active structures in the 11 wards that make up the constituency.
I am the best candidate for the position. With all sense of humility, responsibility and modesty, who is their candidate? Are you not aware of the mixed reactions that have continued to trail his emergence at the primaries? Is he not the one who was a councilor, vice chairman of the council and the immediate past commissioner for the Almighty Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the state?
How did he use his positions to impact positively on the lives of his people? Or is it when he enters the vibrant hallowed chamber of the state assembly that he will change? The answer is capital NO. Aniocha South is politically conscious and so they are not after purported big party but after credible candidate and personality who has something better to offer, that is effective representations and not those who want to hide under the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
Look power is not given but taken and so we won’t allow our future to be toiled with in the name of political retirement benefits for one man who doesn’t care about his people. That is why I yielded to the calls by the youths, the elderly and of course the less privileged to be their voice in the House in 2019 irrespective of their clan, age, religion and social strata. Some of them used to ask me ignorantly, who did you serve? My response has been I have served the public. As a veteran journalist, I serve the general public through my objective reportage of events and programmes on radio/TV. Politics is all about service.
If elected, what will you do differently as a lawmaker?
My social contract with Aniocha south is to give them a LEAP. The LEAP 2019 is an acronym of my blueprint. You and I know that the fundamental functions of a legislator are law making and carrying out oversight functions. But from my own point of view, you are not just to make laws for the state and carry out oversight functions, you are also duty bound to be a representative of your people on whose mandate you were elected to hold brief for them.
You are their eye and voice in the House. As I speak now, I have drafted two bills which will be made public in the plenary for deliberations as soon we resume legislative businesses after our inauguration in June this year. That shows my level of preparedness for this task. As a legislator, you are also saddled with the responsibility of representing your constituents so you know their needs and one of them is economic emancipation which by God’s grace and with partnership with relevant stakeholders, I intend to empower the people through various human interest programmes.
I have also observed that the only time legislator/constituents relationships is felt, is during election, thereafter, to your tents oh Israel. But for me, I will be introducing what I referred to as a ‘Quarterly Rotational Interface’ with the Constituents (QRIC) which is aimed at briefing, sharing and feeling their pulses. That is when the third enabler or pillar comes in, which is referred to as accountability. Finally, the last but not the least is the letter ‘P’ which signifies legacy projects. My representation will be laced with legacy projects based on the availability of the constituency budget. In a nutshell, what am going to do differently when I get into office by is to give Aniocha South a LEAP in 2019 and beyond.
Do you have faith in INEC to conduct a credible poll?
Well, to the best of my knowledge, INEC from what we have seen and heard is trying to ensure a seamless 2019 general election, so let’s give them the benefit of doubt.
Aniocha South constituency, though very old, is largely rural and underdeveloped, if you become a lawmaker how do you intend to attract development to the area?
Aniocha South is one of the oldest agrarian local government areas in Nigeria that has suffered perpetual neglect in the past. And so, in partnership with the state government and other agencies, I will embark on small scale agro-based industries, skills acquisition centres, talent hunts and create enabling environment for businesses to thrive thereby stimulating the economy of our people. Our people are mostly farmers; therefore we will ensure we have good markets for their products. My profession as a broadcast journalist has endeared me to the hearts of the people so I know their needs.
How do you rate your chances in the forthcoming poll, given the role money plays in politics?
My chance of winning is100 percent; I am the primus inter pares. It is said that over 80 percent of Nigerian politicians are opportunistic and not philanthropic, the masses will collect their money and still vote their consciences and that is me, they can’t be fooled again. To my fellow contestants in the race, I need you to support and join hands with me as the youngest of all so we can together move the constituency to an enviable height amongst the comity of LGAs in Nigeria. The incumbent member of the House, Mrs. Angela Nwaka should start writing her handover notes. She tried her best but it’s not good enough because Aniocha South constituency deserves better, so let’s leave good behind.