Elect courageous people to National Assembly, Ugwu urges Nigerians
Accord Party’s candidate for the Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituency in the forthcoming general elections, Ifeanyi Francis Ugwu, has hinged Nigeria’s social, moral and economic progress on the election of courageous people to the National Assembly.
Ugwu bemoaned the election of people, whose understanding of the powers and potentials of the legislature are suspect in the past, saying without strong and vibrant legislative houses, the true values of participatory democracy would continue to elude the people.
In an interview with The Guardian, the legislative hopeful said: “The legislature is the intellectual warehouse of the entire country and should be populated by people of sound intellect, unimpeachable morals and unquestionable broadmindedness, who would embrace the job of thinking for the entire nation, fashioning policies without regard to who would benefit from them and designing the future long before it becomes the present.”
Ugwu identified corruption and self-centred politicking as the bane of national unity and development, adding that only Nigerians can redeem the situation of the country by voting quality and competence against other parochial sentiments.
The banker-turned politician stated further: “Nigeria is a blessed country. We have enough human and natural resources to be one of the greatest nations on earth. But the challenge is that we have been unwittingly electing low-quality leadership, leading to the worst of us leading the best of us. This must change if this country will move from its current developmental retardation to measurable progress and prosperity.”
He described as unfortunate the designation of the Nigerian National Assembly as retirement home for failed former governors, warning that a continuation of the trend would continue to push the country away from growth.
“Some legislators lack the courage and will power to speak the truth during parliamentary debates, not because they do not want their voices to be heard, but mostly because they do not have a point-of-view to share…”
At other times, they would have soiled their hands conniving with the executive for one form of unethical commitment or the other. If people with my kind of orientation and disposition are elected into the House of Representatives, Senate and even in the state Houses of Assembly, this must stop,” Ugwu said.
He noted that he is in politics to impact the quality of debates that lead to good governance and invited Nigerians interested in change, especially those living in his Amuwo-Odofin constituency, to lend him their support.
He advised Nigerians to shun ethnic and tribal sentiments in the forthcoming elections, lamenting that decades of playing ethnic politics have not benefitted ordinary Nigerians.
“During elections, our political elite would remember the poor and begin playing the cards of tribalism and even religion. But the truth is that there are only two classes of Nigerians: there are the rich and there are the poor. These are the only mutually exclusive social and economic classes we have and until we free ourselves from their political choke-hold, we will not be able to be truly free as a people,” he stressed.
On what he would change if elected, Ugwu said he would focus on improving the quality of parliamentary debates in a way that would enhance the overall functions of the executive.
Ugwu also noted that while he would be mindful of the constituency that elected him, he would also not lose sight of the fact that Nigeria has to be regarded as a unit, whose collective wellness has been hindered by bad leadership.