Sheathe your swords, save funds, join hands with Governor Alex Otti…era of Apata Ukwu dead and buried in Abia State. Hon. Kalu Mba Nwoke fires!
The Member, Ohafia South State Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly and the House Committee Chairman on Environment and Urban Renewal, Hon Kalu Mba Nwoke (Eti Okwe) spoke with News Admiral his emergence as a State Legislator, the just concluded verdict of the Abia State Elections Petition Tribunal which validated the victory of Governor Alex Otti and other wide range of issues.
YOU EMERGED VICTORIOUS DURING THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS AGAINST ALL ODDS: HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
It happened because God said that is how it was going to happen. Nothing becomes unless God wills it. All glory to Him and to His will alone, I submit.
DO YOU HAVE ANY POLITICAL ANTECEDENTS BEFORE THE SAID ELECTION?
This is not the first time I ran for an election. Between 2016-2018, I was an elected Councilor in Ohafia Local Government Area. I served out my tenure with zest and a high sense of purpose and made so much impact in my Ward and Ohafia Local Government at large. That was part of what gave me leverage to win other subsequent elections, including the one that brought me to Abia State House of Assembly, with the mandate of Ohafia South State Constituency.
HAVING BEEN A COUNCILOR IN OHAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT, ARE YOU OF THE VIEW YOU ARE VERSED ENOUGH TO FACE THE HURDLES OF LEGISLATION IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE?
Yes, I would say so, though at the lower legislative ladder. Within the armbit of legislation, that of the Local Councils is the younger brother to the State Legislature. Though that should suffice, there is a saying that one must count One before counting Two. That is progression. Yes, I have acquired’ lesser knowledge as a Councilor and as such positioned better to do what ought to be done in the State Legislature.
WERE YOU NOT INTIMIDATED BY THE CALIBER OF PERSONS WHO CONTESTED AGAINST YOU VIA THE ELECTION?
I was not. On the contrary, the moment I indicated interest, all the contestants became jittery because “Eti Okwe” is a household name in Ohafia as a whole. Before then, I ran for the Local Government Executive Chairmanship position, an election everyone knew I won but the powers that be then in the State, being that I ran from the Opposition robbed me of the victory and I sought redress through the courts. The legal battle raged for 16 months. If not that the election was State controlled, I would have reclaimed that mandate because Ohafia voted for me. My antecedents as Councilor spoke for me. Ohafians were of the view that if did the much I did as a Councilor, I would do more if given a higher Office.
The above was also part of the reason I had an edge over others, hence the victory that brought me to the State Legislature. I make bold to say I was not intimidated by the PhD holders, bigger party men and those with stupendous structure. Remember they were saying we do not have ‘structure’ but the Party without structure was massively backed by the people, hence the political Tsunami in Abia State.
THE ABIA STATE ELECTIONS PETITION TRIBUNAL DECLARED GOV. ALEX OTTI THE WINNER OF THE MARCH 18 GUBER CONTEST. YOUR ADVICE TO CANDIDATES AND PARTIES SEEKING FURTHER LEGAL FIREWORKS?
In all fairness, I must say that whatsoever action they may wish to take is purely within their rights. It is part of the process of Democratisation, hence nobody would hold it against them. But however, for the growth and progress of Abia State, I would advise they shelve such plans, sheathe their swords and do not distract Governor Alex Otti by furthering litigation. Cost can be saved. During litigation, huge monies are spent by both Petitioner and Respondent as it were. These monies would be useful to making life better for Abia at the micro and macro level. We know lawyers and their antics of telling us to go on and litigate, assuring us of overwhelming reasons we shall emerge victorious. We all know what they are after, not that in actuality, the pendulum will swing to our favour.
I advise them in clear terms, for the sake of Abia State, to sheathe their swords. The next election circle is also kick-started. They can try out their popularity again. In a contest, there will only be a single winner and in this context, the winning of Alex Otti was firstly ordained by God and secondly by the instrumentality of Abians in the majority who voted for Alex Otti. There is no gainsaying about that. The joyous eruption when the INEC announced Governor Otti as winner said it all. If the Tribunal had declared anything contrary to what is glaring and obvious, you would have also seen how Abians would have reacted. From all angles, Abians were very ready to defend the mandate they freely and willingly gave to Governor Otti.
AS IT STANDS IT SEEMS RHE “APATA UKWU” SYNDROME IS FINALLY DEAD AND BURIED IN ABIA STATE AND GOVERNOR OTTI SEEN TO BE A MAN OD HIMSELF. HOW TRUE IS THIS?
Yes it is true and that is what Abia needs now: a man without a godfather, without parasitic men channelling their feeding bottles to the State Treasury. Governor Alex Otti is the man who can and sure will enforce transparency and that is why even my Eti Okwe Grassroot Initiative deployed all within it’s arsenal to ensure he emerged victorious.
In a nut shell, it is unequivocal that the Apata Ukwu syndrome is dead, cremated and it’s dusts poured in the ocean of oblivion.
IN THE ABIA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, YOU ARE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ON ENVIRONMENT AND URBAN RENEWAL. WHAT INNOVATION ARE YOU BRINGING ON BOARD TO END ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AND DEGRADATION IN ABIA STATE?
Environmental positives like the environmental sanitation must be taken very seriously. It must be enforced in full without let. The 17 Local Government Councils have Environmental Health Officers who must be activated in all ramifications to perform their duties without hindrance. There is also the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency. They must be strengthened also. Moreso, environmental management is everyone’s business. Sensitization must also be heightened and the conscience of the people appealed to. Those who dump refuse on drainages are Abians or residents in Abia. Dangers of blocking the drainage are in public domain. The Abia State Orientation Agency and other relevant bodies must up the ante in educating the Abians on the dangers of such negative disposition. We must help ourselves.
I have severally physically engaged myself in the environmental sanitation exercise. It shows I am interested in the wellbeing of my environment. All hands must be on deck. Cities described as clean do not have Environmental Laws made in heaven, different from Abia’s. Such laws in Abia must be fearlessly enforced. Personally, I have consistently mobilized and leading from the front in this regard. I get involved. I take action.
Positively, remember the former First Lady of Nigeria,Dame Patience Jonathan in her recent visit to Governor Alex Otti openly stated Abia no longer stinks! The result is part of the different lines of action undertaken by Abia State Government. With all hands on deck, we shall get there. The positives in Abia State, environment wise is no flash in the pan. Within three months of Governor Otti’s Administration, there have been tremendous improvement and I am happy I am part of these new innovations. I believe in “Eze Di Ike, Ndi Ya Adi”, loosely translated to imply the people derive their strength from that of their King! Together, we can make Abia State the cleanest State in the Federation, only if we are resolute about it.
ETI OKWE GRASSROOT INITIATIVE IS FULLY ON COURSE WHAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND IT?
The idea behind the initiative is to bring the grassroot together, mainly but not limited to Labour Party faithful because I represent Ohafia South State Constituency whole and entire but howey, I must start from somewhere. Every politician who wants to excel must have a base and Eti Okwe is a kind of my political base to keep the people together. That umbrella is to galvanize support and encourage meaningful interaction from time to time.
It will be easier for me to be calling for meetings through the grassroot initiative as my resources permit and I am using it as a fulcrum through which we can ventilate the “Eti Okwe Philosophy” and entrench same at the Party level at large.
Moreso, it is simpler to galvanize at the micro level before going wider via Party hierarchy. The Eti Okwe Grassroot Initiative is my baby I can reach out to as many times as I want without recourse to Party protocol, within the availability of resources. Our last meeting was massive as many have been struck by the Eti Okwe bug, making our numbers to increase by the day.
IMPRESSION MATTERS. DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE MADE ANY IMPRESSION WITHIN THREE MONTHS IN OHAFIA SOUTH STATE CONSTITUENCY?
I cannot say because I am not in their minds. I know it is not yet time for reckoning because the race is still on. The scorecard is left for the people. The race like I said is still on. We shall keep doing what we are doing till we hit the desirable chord.
THANKS FOR THE AUDIENCE.
Anytime, News Admiral.