PASSION TO SERVE; REASON FOR SEEKING RE-ELECTION INTO THE FEDERAL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES –Honorable DORIS UBOH, Former Member of The House of Representatives Speaks On Her 2023 Ambition to Represents for the Second Time, Ika Nation At the Federal House Of Representatives, Presents Very Robust Score card Of Her Previous Tenure (2007 to 2011).
It was scheduled to be a mere or better still a conventional media interview with Honorable DORIS UBOH, who currently angles to represent the good people of Ika nation at the Federal House Of Representatives for the second time. This time around on the Platforms of the All Progressive Party (APC). The first time was through the People Democratic Party (PDP).
Contrary to expectation, the encounter which took place at the Highbrow Maitaima District, Abuja, became more revealing than envisaged. More than anything else, it provided ample opportunity for the very distinguished Lawmaker to give account of her Superlative performance during the Previous Tenure which spanned 2007 to 2011. She also used the opportunity provided by the interview to present roadmaps for restoring vitality to representative democracy in Ika land if re-elected.
More specifically, aside from using emotional match supported with both valid and vivid substantiations to demonstrate how passion for service and burning desire to lift people out of poverty spurred her during her last tenure in the House to; sponsor/co-sponsored three people focused Bills;
THE MINIMUM WAGE BILL RECENTLY PASSED BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, CO-SPONSORED AMENDMENT OF PETROLEUM ACT, CO-SPONSORED CHILD RIGHT BILL, Uboh, in that interview presented verifiable basket of achievements convincing enough to assist every electorate of Ika origin to make informed decision in the forthcoming 2023 general election.
Before going into the kernel of this conversation as anchored by Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi, Ika Weekly Newspaper’s Special Project Officer, it will be highly rewarding that we present for sighting details of Honourable Uboh’s resounding and verifiable scorecards.
Beginning with borehole projects, evidence abounds that in addition to the above sponsored bills, Honourable Uboh recognizes the importance of water not just to human existence but as a human, in line with this belief, she delivered to communities in Ika Federal Constituency the following water boreholes; Obi Agbor Community, Ogbe Obi Community Abawo, Ika South, Emuhu Community, Ika South, Owa-Alidinma Community, Ika North East, Umunede Community, Ika North East
Within the same period under review, she said she supplied laboratory equipments to the following schools; Ihu Iyase Secondary School, Agbor-Nta, Ika South, Gbenaba Grammar School, Agbor, Ika South, Abavo Mixed Secondary School Abavo, Ika South, Ekuku-Agbor Grammar School, Ekuku-Agbor, Ika South, Oza-nogogo Grammar School, Ika South, Owanta Secondary School, Owanta, Ika North East, Comprehensive High School, Igbodo, Ika North East, Owa-Alero Secondary/Community School, Owa, Ika North East, Ika-Grammar School, Boji, Boji, Owa, Ika North East and Idumuesah Secondary School, Idumuesah, Ika North East among others.
In the area of health care delivery, Honourable Doris Uboh reportedly supplied essential drugs and other health consumables to; Owa-Alizomor Primary Health Care Centre, Ika North East, Ute-Ogbeje Primary Health Care Centre, Ika North East, Ute-Okpu Primary Health Care Centre, Ika North East, Boji-Boji, Owa Urban Health Care Centre, Ika North East, Akumazi Health Care Centre, Ika North East, Mbiri Health Care Centre, Ika North East, Otolokpo Health Care Centre, Ika North East, Alihagwu Primary HealthCare Centre, Ika South, Ekuku-Agbor Primary Health Care Centre. Ika South, Comprehensive Health Care Centre, Agbor, Ika South, Obi Anyima Primary Health Care Centre, Ika South, Ime Obi Primary Health Care Centre, Ika South, Udomi Primary Health Care Centre, Abavo, Ika South, Oki Primary Health Care Centre, Oki, Ika South, Alisimie Primary Health Care Centre, Alisimie, Ika South. She said also supplied books and teaching aids to; Iroro Primary School, Owa-Alero and Omie Primary School, Ekuku-Agbor among others.
Still on health-related projects, she organized free Cervical Cancer screening for women. Donated a cervical cancer screening machine to the Central Hospital, Agbor. Organized a Free eye test and distribution of free eye glasses to more than 1,000 people. Owa-Alizamor Primary Health Care Centre which was abandoned for 12 years was renovated and commissioned with our supply of Essential Drugs and Equipment
In the same vein, she gave 2,500 bags of fertilizers to farmers across both Local Government Areas, Hair Dressing Equipment to 140 persons across both Local Government Areas, tailoring equipment to 120 persons across both Local Government Areas, and Micro Credit to 112 Women’s Groups to improve on their farming. N250,000 per group in the two Local Government Areas.
Away from job creation to MDG PROJECTS, she supplied furniture to; Erigbe Primary School, Agbor, Okpu Primary School, Aliokpu, Omie Primary School, Ekuku-Agbor, Ogbemudein Secondary School, Agbor, Alisor/Alileha Primary School. Alisor, Omu Primary School, Agbor Alidinma, Iroro Primary School, Owa-Alero, Ogboje Primary School, Ute-Ogbeje, Ozei Primary School, Idimu-Ozei, Igbodo
In the area of construction of classroom blocks, she said she has these to her credit; Construction of 3 Classroom Blocks and toilet at Omie Primary School, Ekuku-Agbor., Construction of 3 Classroom Blocks and Toilet at Iroro Primary School, Owa-Alero
While it was also well reported that Honourable Doris Uboh facilitated employment of hundreds of Ika sons and daughters in different Federal Government Ministries, agencies and commissions, the Peoples’ Honourable single handedly constructed the Ekuku-Agbor-Abavo Road (17.2km) in Ika South
Now, Enjoy it.
Ika Weekly; At Ika Weekly Newspaper, we have a tradition of allowing our personality of the week opportunity to introduce his/herself. So, from this standpoint, I ask; who is. Doris Uboh?
Answer; Doris Uboh is a simple Agbor lady, married mother of two, an Engineer, I manage an Engineering company and as well a politician.
Ika Weekly; from what you have just said, it means you are not married to an Agbor indigene?
Answer; Yes. You are right, as a lady, I cannot approach a man, they didn’t come for my hand in marriage so I chose those that approached me.
Ika Weekly; what do you think could have led to their not coming to ask?
Answer; I don’t know. Maybe they felt I was too little for them. You have to ask them. (Laugh)
Ika Weekly; laughs. That’s fine. You said you run an engineering company?
Answer; Yes. Like I said earlier, I am an engineer by profession, an electrical engineer to be precise However, my company work mostly in the Power sector, Oil & Gas and Marine sector. We handle mostly construction projects and provide logistics for oil and Gas companies.
Ika Weekly; Thanks so very much. Now let’s move to your political career. What informed your decision to going into partisan politics in the first instance?
Answer; Mainly my passion to serve and contributing to nation building.
Ika Weekly; passion to serve who?
Answer; To serve my community, my nation and humanity. I know politics in our country is not easy, and not too favourable towards women but a few women still manage to hang in there. Hopefully, we can encourage more women to follow suit. Maybe I am crazy but it is evident that all hands need to be on deck to get our country to where it ought to be.
Ika Weekly; now, how did the idea of becoming a politician all started; while in school or where?
Answer; From my experience have always had the desire to be part of government as a politician. However, my experience and my exposure to education abroad in an environment where true democracy works did encourage me to have it at a go.
Ika Weekly; Simply put, for you to have schooled in the United States is a sure sign that you were born with a silver spoon.
Answer; Oh no. there was nothing silver about my spoon, just good vision from my parents
Ika Weekly; …or can we link the fact that your father was a politician to mean that politics runs in your family?
Answer; Actually, I am the only politician in my family. They don’t understand me and sometimes, I don’t even understand myself either, but they do agree that we need more sustainable development in Ika nation hence they support me immensely.
Ika Weekly; You ran for that position on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)?
Ika Weekly; But today you are?
Answer; A member of the All Progressive Congress (APC)
Ika Weekly; Why the departure?
Answer; very simple. I was literally pushed out by the powers that be in Ika federal constituency. When you win elections, your win keeps getting stolen from you, not once but twice, then you have to make other choices, and that’s what I did.
Ika Weekly; for the benefits of our teaming readers, if given the opportunity or better still, if level playing ground is provided in the People’s Democratic Party, will you go back?
Answer; That is a big IF. I know that in politics, one can never say never but I quite like being in All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ika Weekly; why?
Answer; level playing ground will never be provided by People’s Democratic Party in Ika Federal Constituency because like I said, the powers that be has decided that politically, Ika south will not grow beyond where we are right now hence all political offices from the State is one sided since 2011. For my local government to even have a shot at political growth, we have to look towards another political. So, I cannot go back to PDP because the political growth of Ika south is paramount right now.
Question; now, let’s talk about your experience at the House of Representatives; how was it like?
Answer; it was a very good learning experience. I got the opportunity to attract some very important projects to my constituency. Also, I had the opportunity to support some bills that has impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians. I think the most notable bill was the amendment of the minimum wage bill that was eventually signed into an Act by the then President Jonathan administration in 2011. What made it so outstanding is the fact that it impacted on the entire working class not just my constituency.
The minimum wage Act of 2003 was actually Seven Thousand Five Hundred Naira (N7, 500). And I felt that as an oil producing country, we ought to do more for our citizen especially when compared to other oil producing countries as at then 2010. Even if you sum up all other numerations, it was not even up to Twenty or Twenty-Five Thousand Naira (N20, 000 or N25, 000). And I felt that there could do more to better the lives of the average Nigerian especially when basic amenities such as health, water, transportation was still lacking.
Ika Weekly; for the sake of emphasis, so the Bill actually emanated from you?
Answer; Yes. It is on record that the amendment of minimum wage of 2009 was sponsored by me. It is on record in the National Assembly. Though it was eventually merged with an executive bill from Presidency under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in conjunction with a proposal for amendment from Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). A joint committee was later commissioned to consider all proposal which come up with a working document that is fair to the masses, and the committee eventually recommend the N18,000.00 that the country enjoyed till the recent amendment. So yes, I do have that as credit to my name as a bill sponsored by a private member.
Ika Weekly; this is amazing.
Answer, thank you.
Ika Weekly; now, looking at these available facts, there is no doubt any more that you did well while in the House. However, there is also a report that while in the House, there existed at some point a kind of disconnect between your group and the Speaker. Ika people would appreciate if you can explain what happened on that day, at that time and in that place?
Answer; thank you. I have put this on record before but people will always believe what they want to believe. The truth of the matter is that it was a simple case of fighting for what belongs to my constituency. We felt the speaker should have been fair when it comes to constituency projects and we felt short changed. Though fighting wasn’t the best way to have sorted that issue, and I can tell you that it was not planned to go that way but things got out of hand and I am sure we have all learnt a bitter lesson from that experience.
Ika Weekly; Without doubt, this explanation will go a long way to put the record straight and I deeply appreciate your frankness. So, with this fact highlighted, we move on to the all-important question; why were you prevented from going back to the House? Or better still, why did you not get a second term?
Answer; it is not the constituency that did not want me to go back because they voted for me overwhelmingly but it all boils down to what I said earlier, the powers that be scuttled the outcome and it resulted to us going to court of which I won at the tribunal but they maneuvered the appeal court to their favour. Moreover, I think my performance during my tenure (2007 – 2011) was seen as a treat to some other people’s ambition. Same reasons why I had to leave the PDP.
Ika Weekly; So, your ambition suffered over-performance?
Answer; Yea! That is the word. I have my “report card” that shows in detail how I delivered dividends of democracy to my constituency. I will show the documented evidence of what I did in one tenure.
Ika Weekly; Many thanks for this detailed explanation. Now, you have decided to go back to the House of Representatives, this time around on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC). And currently, the Honourable representing Ika Federal Constituency got there on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. So, the question is; how do you plan to defeat him, bearing in mind the power of incumbency?
Answer; By the way, you should ask him to bring his scorecard for all these years of being in the House. He should not bring names of projects done by the state government because we will verify.
Ika Weekly; Okay Madam, but in the interim, how do you plan to unseat him?
Answer; I won’t unveil my strategy on the pages of newspapers but we do have plan to work hard and win by God’s grace. I will be knocking on every door, and not leaving the grassroots behind.
Moreover, if you ask an average Ika person, they will tell you that Ika as a constituency has no presence in the National assembly due to lack of good representation from the current member who has been there for three tenures. There is a huge demand for better representation, hence calls from different quarters for me to consider running again, otherwise I was a bit hesitant coming out this time. Besides, quite a few citizens are lending their support as well.
Ika Weekly; this is amazing and it is our prayers that they live up to that promise. Now can we assess the People Democratic Party (PDP) led administration in the state?
Answer; This is the first time a governor is produced from Delta North, hence the overwhelming support from our senatorial zone. However, I cannot say that the performance so far is anything to write home about. That is if you juxtapose the work done with the quantum of funds the state has received over the years –about eight years now, it absolutely falls very short. I expected more. I am speaking now as a citizen and not as a politician. I am absolutely embarrassed because you have a very educated man occupying the position. A medical doctor, but that has not translated into good governance of the state am afraid
Ika Weekly; Election is around the corner. APC is at the level of opposition in the state. But going by commentaries, they have a formidable Governorship candidate. From that assessment, what is the Party’s chance in the forthcoming governorship in the state?
Answer; APC Delta has a very bright opportunity via the candidacy of Sen Ovie Omo-agege the Deputy Senate President of Nigeria. He is the Best Candidate to govern Delta state and we are ready to do just that. He is the best candidate.
Ika Weekly; Just before we beam the searchlight at the national level, what should the people of Ika nation expect from your next representation?
Answer; I am simply going to continue from where I stopped; attracting more constituency projects to communities, because there is no ward that did not benefit from my representation cuts across the twenty-six (26) wards. There is no ward that did not benefit from my tenure. Take as an example, at Owa Alero, where the current governor hails from. I attracted over 8 projects to Owa land, with three of them being capital projects. I had a think Tank committee whose duty it was to advise me on what was needed in their respective communities. So, my going back to the House is basically to bring more dividend of democracy to my constituency and enact more laws that will benefit all Nigerians.
Ika Weekly; so, it wasn’t a one show?
Answer; No, no, no, it wasn’t and they were not there to fan my ego by singing my praises, rather, I expect them to tell me where I am not doing well which is why I was able to concentrate on what is needed in each ward. So, all the projects I did were picked by the communities. It wasn’t picked by me.
The only decision that I could say was picked by me was job creation-giving job to those who needed it. Though recommendations came to me through the Tink Tank committee but the final decision was taken by me after investigation. We empowered some people in the Nigerian police, some in DPR, others in NNPC and so on. Even some people that are not from Delta state benefited because of my open-door policy. You come to my office; my door is always open. It’s just a recommendation and it’s not taking anything away from me. I recommend and I follow up.
Ika Weekly; let’s move to the national level. Currently, the government at the centre is an All Progressive Congress (APC) led Federal Government. How can you assess its performance so far?
Answer; I think the Government has done well, considering the harsh realities that we found ourselves in 2015 with the Oil slump. We always think that every government that comes has an automatic solution, but the truth is that every government is guided by economic indices. We are a monolytic economy, therefore over dependency on the effect of a particular product, Oil eventually takes its toll on the economy. Whatever affects oil production and demand, affects us in general. That hash reality coupled with covid-19 that affected the world on its entirety did not spare us as a country. I think we deserve another chance.
Ika Weekly; Thanks a lot, Honouarble. As a reaction to this response, what do you think is the APC chances in the forthcoming presidential election in the country?
Answer; I think we have very good chance. Here in the south south we will work harder because we are considered a traditionally PDP zone but as a region, we don’t have much to show for having been in that party for so long, so I think most of us are ready to change the narrative
Ika Weekly; and what gives you the impression that Tinubu will win?
Answer; Tinubu is a consummate politician. He performed well as a governor of Lagos state, human capital development, job creation, so much. He has been able to groomed quite a few political children that cuts across the nation. He contributed immensely to the growth of Lagos state especially their IGR, so I think the country stands to benefit more from his leadership.
Ika Weekly; what is your thoughts on the Muslim-Muslim ticket of your party?
As for the muslim-muslim ticket, I think it’s been done before, with the Abiola-Kingibe ticket which was deemed the best election in Nigerian history, but I seriously don’t think religion should be merged with politics otherwise even the Traditionalist may have reasons to complain. After all, they have followership as well, so I think maybe we should drop this idea of merging religions with politics. Am sure I will not translate to ignoring those of us of the Christian faith.
Question: At this point, we move forward. There is this belief among Ika people that Buhari qualifies to be an Ika man, looking at the level of appointments he extended to Ika People?
Answer: Yes, I must say a big thank you to president Mohammad Buhari and the present administration, he has done so much for us in Ika land and come 2023 election, we shall pay back by voting for APC.
Ika Weekly; From this premise, what is your advice for the Ika nation because as far as the Federal Constituency is concerned, you’re representing the two Local Governments. So, what message do you have for them in this coming election?
Answer: You know our future is in our hands one more time. Vote wisely. For House of Reps, the Ika South has been shut out for 12 years. Not only that, the person representing the Ika Federal Constituency has not given us a good sense of representation. So, there’s no need for us to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That is the definition of madness. So, let us move forward by voting for me once again so that good representation can return to Ika land. Our youths should come out and vote and vote for me, knowing that the future is in your hand. The only way that future can grow is by voting wisely.
Question: Finally, any message for our dear President?
Answer: God bless President Muhammadu Buhari as he prepares to hand over to a new government. I pray that God gives him good health to move forward.
Question: Then, do you have any message for your fellow women?
Answer; Yes, women know that I represent them well or as they say in my language, I carry them for mind. I hope my participation encourages women to participate in politics. Women should pls vote their own, and I love my women.
Ika Weekly; Many thanks for the time.
Answer; God bless you, my brother.