What do you think about god fatherism/money bag and diabolical politics? The governor has explicitly stated that every aspirant should be given an equal level field of play. When I consulted with His Excellency, he asked me to go sell myself to the people. He said he was not going to endorse anybody. You can quote me. That was what he said to me. He said I should tell the people what I will do for them, and if they pick me, then so be it. I am running with that because I know he is a man of integrity, I know he will stand by his words.
Talking of godfathers, I do not have a godfather, but I have God the father. The Bible tells me that it is not of he that willeth, nor of he that runneth, but of he that the Lord showeth mercy.
If the Lord shows me mercy and His grace is upon me to go and represent the people of Ika South, I will go and deliver the right dividends of democracy to our people. I tell everyone that cares to listen to me, there is one thing I would not do, and that is; visit a native doctor/babalawo. I will rather let my ambition go. If that is the only option I have left.
For me, I will quietly go on my knees and pray to my God and ask for his grace and mercy to achieve my aspirations. As for the unconfirmed report, I cannot confirm that report, but if indeed it’s true, that aspirant deserves to be disqualified. It shows he does not have the right capacity to represent the people
Speaking of money politics, there is an unconfirmed report that a certain House of Assembly aspirant in Ika South paid a huge sum of money to a top figure in Gov. Okowa’s Government to contest an election. As an aspirant, how do you feel about such development?
I find it difficult to comprehend why somebody should give money to someone that is not from your local government to deliver you. It sounds insane. Why not use that money that you gave to people to endorse you to elevate the lives of Ika South people?
Like I said initially, I am going into this race with God and what I intend to do for the people. Now people are becoming very conscious as there is political awareness now.
People are beginning to notice that we send people that do not come back to give account of their stewardship to them. People have started seeing that people without capacity end up wanting to go by virtue of the kind of delegate election that is being conducted at the primaries.
Like I said, I have never held any political office before, I have never vied for any political office before, I have never stolen money before, I have never practiced advanced free fraud before, I work every day to make money by virtue of the trade I ply. I will not as a matter of fact, throw money around because every other person is doing it.
I am going to come with a superior argument to that. People may say I don’t have money, but you know people are getting wiser by the day. People are getting more conscious of who and who goes to represent them. For persons who throw money around, like you said, I do not know their source of income, so I cannot allude to how they make their money, but I know that everyone should be asked to state their source of income because that is what will checkmate such occurrences.
If you state your source of income, by every standard, you should tell us how much tax you have paid to the government, show invoices and documents of your transactions, show evidence of how you distributed the goods you imported and you should be able to show how the money came about. If you have all these money and you can’t show evidence of paying taxes, then the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) can prevail on you to know why you do not pay taxes despite making so much money.
For me, I am coming with a different narrative entirely, I will be happy if we (aspirants) are invited for a debate, so the masses can ask us all our sources of income. People sell their conscience for a morsel of bread.
What impact have you made in Ika Land before now, especially from Alisime where you hail from and Agbor in general?
Not minding that I was a salary earner, while at This Day Newspapers, I encouraged the youths, especially those who were done with their schooling and their service year by getting them into ThisDay Newspaper at the time. It is what you have that you can give. I have a couple of people I have assisted through the University. I harp a lot of emphasis on education, so if you come to me genuinely and tell me you want to go to school but you are constrained, then will I begin to look at how I can encourage you to go back to school. With my little resources, there is a limit to what I can do, but I will encourage such persons.
One of the things I have in mind for my people is the Student Insurance Welfare Scheme. We have a situation where very smart kids from deprived homes, orphaned kids who have no one to train them become school drop outs, resort to hawking drinks and water on the street.
If we take up their responsibility of paying insurance premium, in event of death, the insurance company should be able to take care of such kids from the level they are, till they get to the university and become independent. Those are ideas and initiatives we should look out for.
Furthermore, there are so many of our aged parents who have contributed their quota to the society, and when they get old, no one looks after them. That brings me to another idea I will support and promote in the House, and it is called, “the social welfare scheme” for the aged and under privileged in the society.
With this scheme, these persons can be looked after by a government they have so deeply committed their lives and their resources to, toward the betterment of lot of people.
Some of these ideas I have mentioned so far are funded by non-governmental foundations. For instance, we have Bill gate Foundation that is doing a whole lot, how many have they attracted to Ika South? These are successful people that are ready to give back to Africa. How many of our people have been able to liaise with the federal government to bring in some of these platforms that have already been established?
Why did you choose to run under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)?
APC has failed us in all ramifications. APC came with lies and deceit. A foundation built on deceit and lies cannot stand and that’s what is happening now. They came with propaganda. Today, I pity the former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Raji Tunde Fashola. He left Lagos State on a high esteem, but today, the government of President Mohammadu Buhari has messed him up. He has not been able to perform in any of the sectors; He is a colossal failure. Today, there is a case of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun forging her NYSC discharge certificate, and she is still the minister. What sort of corruption are they fighting?
Who are your Role Models?
Politically, His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is a man I hold in high esteem. He is my role model. I love his energy, passion and determination to make a difference. In journalism, Nduka Obiagbena is my role model, any day, any time. When I talk about him, I do it passionately because wherever I am today, he helped shaping my life. So I owe a whole lot to him.I worked with him for 16 years. Youths of these days no longer want to learn or serve. I love Jim Ovia, Godwin Emefiele, Steve Omojafor and Dr. Dan. Omodon.
Do you agree with President Buhari that Nigeria Youths are lazy?
It is rather unfortunate that we have a man of that stature that will go to the international platform to speak against his country. It is rather sad and unfortunate, because I know, the youths in this country, given the needed platform will outperform kids trained in the United States of America or anywhere else. This goes to tell you that Buhari is still living in the 10th Century not even in the 21st century.
What are your philosophies in life?
My philosophy is Service, Service, Service, and Service.
What are your legacies, and what does the name Nduka Omodon Stand for?
Integrity. Mandela is remembered and celebrated yearly, due to his impact,
What would you like to be remembered for?
Mandela is remembered everyday because of his service to humanity, he was a freedom fighter, he fought for the freedom of his people, put his life on a standstill for 27 years to bring the needed freedom to his people, and he made a mark.
The mark I want to make is to be remembered as the man that came and gave help to the helpless in the society. I want to be remembered as that man that came and gave succor to the deprived, that man that is the voice of the voiceless, the man that came and gave so much to humanity.
In a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the performance of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s led administration, and what areas will you want his administration to look into?
I rate his administration 8 out of 10. It is difficult to achieve 100 percent in the sense that the economy of the country is not as it used to be. You will agree with me that he has touched virtually all the areas he promised. He has made reasonable, considerable impact in these areas.
A man that came in with next to nothing in the coffers of government and was able to micromanage the economy should be applauded. A man that came into government with a huge debt hanging over his neck and he was able to stabilize the affairs of the state to the extent that he is doing so much for us all to see, is someone and something that deserves to be appreciated.
Again, we have never had it this good in Ika South, Ika South was so abandoned and neglected. We have seen new roads and a couple of things he is doing in Ika South, so he should be applauded for those things.
What is your advice to the Nigerian Youths, especially those who migrate to the Mediterranean Sea?
First and foremost, it is the failure of the government that accounted largely to our Youths undertaking such trips. Because, if the Nigerian Government had lived up to its responsibility, our youths will not engage in such deadly journeys which led to the death of some of them in the Mediterranean Sea and slavery for some others.
For me, there is not much you can blame them for, because they are in search of a greener pasture. But then, if the government provides the enabling environment for these kids to be constructively engaged, and make a living out of their lives, they will not undertake such journeys.
The era of using youths as thugs boils down to the level of poverty; and the level of awareness our youths are exposed to: Youths now know that they can become Councilors, Local Government Chairmen, Assembly members, aspire to become House of Reps Members; their mindset is beginning to change. At the end of the day, how well does the man you snatched ballot boxes on his behalf look after you? So the youths now have that consciousness that it is not going to be business as usual. The youths have started asking questions.
That is why I will implore Ika Weekly Newspaper to organize a debate for all the aspirants in Ika Land as they are contemplating doing, so that the masses can ask specific questions, if not, people will still go there and elect the wrong set of individuals that may not have the right capacity to deliver and at the end of the day, we will still be in bondage.
If you are elected as the member representing Ika South at the Delta State House of Assembly, what would be your first point of call?
First and foremost, I will latch onto the vision of His Excellency, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa in terms of skill acquisition, manpower development and capacity building for our youths. For me, if the governments have an already existing platform, you can only explore these platforms to bring the needed development for the people. In my first 100 days in office, I am going to ensure that extra mural centers where kids can acquire knowledge for free are established in Agbor, Abavo, Ekuku-Agbor and Emuhu. Then I will begin to look at how I can partner with international organizations to supply us with books for libraries.
How do you hope to revive the reading culture amongst the youths which has almost gone into extinction?
Today, parents and society have a very critical role to play. If parents and society frowns at the mass decadence going on in the society today, our kids will begin to refocus and channel their thinking into the right place.
In a situation where a child buys an exotic Lexus Jeep, with a coloured hair and sagging pants, he becomes the role model for the younger people, and they begin to aspire to be like him. So, if parents and the society frown at such things and make it look like a taboo, people will begin to change and get reshaped.
Five years from now, where do you hope to be?
You cannot predict where you will be, because your life depends on God. I will be completing my first stay at the National Assembly five years from now, I will be able to look back and know how well I have been able to impact on the people.
What would be your plan B if your plan A to go to the House of Assembly fails?
Then I will continue with what I am doing, and that is, Identity Image and Reputation Management.
How best can industrialization which is a source of employment, return to Ika Land?
Industrialization is the key driver to a successful economy. So many reasons can be adduced to why our industries failed; government policies, lack of infrastructures and capacity. At the time Ika Land had industries, how sincere were the manpower available at the time?
I ran a business that failed sometime back, due to insincerity of the workforce. Some businesses failed because they didn’t have the infrastructure to sustain them at that time, but today, we have better infrastructures.
The Bank of Industry today is doing a whole lot. Looking at God is Good motors, which was being run by an Igbo man that passed on, but because he gave the right training to his children, they have taken it to another level entirely. That is as a result of continuity.
I know today, Bank of Industries is encouraging and helping to build industries, encouraging indigenous firms to grow, because that is the bed rock of the economy, and it is the only way to empower your constituents to live a decent life.
When elected, the first thing I will need to do is, for the government to partner with Private Sector Individuals that have the capacity that can bring in the technologies that can drive the workforce of the economy so that government can stand as sureties for them, and by so doing, you would have been able to engage our youths, given them jobs, and they can begin to live decent lives.
Looking at the high caliber of persons Ika has, wouldn’t you rather say that Ika nation is underdeveloped in terms of infrastructural development?
Ika is underdeveloped to the extent of the mindset of the people. If you don’t have mental expansion, you cannot do much. These high placed individuals, started from nothing, they took loans to establish their businesses which has grown to the level it is today.
For instance, Nduka Ogbaigbena established ThisDay Printing Press in Agbor, but our youths stole him dry, so how do you encourage such a person to come back? We need to give our kids a clear orientation, and you can only do that by organizing symposiums and seminars to tell them that there are other ways to live a decent life than defrauding people. I believe in the ideology of catch them young. There are a lot of things going on in Ika Land that has not encouraged development as such people who want to come to bring development and industries to the land are discouraged. It is a good thing that today; Agbor is safer than it was five years ago, thanks to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
What do you do for relaxation?
I read a lot because like the Bible says, people perish for lack of knowledge. I read Newspaper on a daily basis that is why we need to revive our reading culture, because an informed generation is a successful generation.
What is your favourite Ika delicacy?
I like Uju-ju soup a lot, I like Osumadan soup, I like Snail, bush meat, and any homemade food generally.
What are your words for Ika South electorates and Ika people as a whole?
Elect representatives that have sincere purpose to grow and add values to your lives. Elect people with integrity and sincerity who are forthright, and people that have the fear of God generally.