Glaring injustices fuel clamour for restructuring – Nwoko
A former of the House of Representatives member (Delta North) Hon. Ned Nwoko told SONY NEME that what the current democracy needs most is quality representation.
Do the frosty relations between the executive and the legislature bother you?
It is something that we have come to expect in Nigeria. It is all part of democracy, but sometimes it is taken too far. I don’t think what has been happening these few weeks are capable, on its own to affect governance. The politicking is something that is normal. The problem that we have in Nigeria is that most governments are not determined to do those things that will make a difference in the life of the people.
In your time in the House you promoted 22 different bills; which of the bills was most dear to you?
All the bills I promoted are all dear to me because they all mater to me, from the minimum wage, NYSC and the review of allowances for disabled people, among others, as they are geared toward the well-being of the people. That has always been my focal point and it will always be. That is the wisdom.
In Anioma and Delta there is a desire for a new political climate and leadership; how does that affect you?
It is for all elected and credible people to rule by example; and ensure that there is rule of law. That nobody is above the law, and that if anybody is found wanting, he should face the law to serve as a deterrent to others. It is a very simple thing to do.
There is this desire for a new leadership. We have wasted so many years. Apart from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in what he is doing now, other governments almost nearly neglected the state. He needs a synergy. I know what to do to assist him perform optimally, because any government that is not focused can’t do well.
This picture I am painting will remain a mirage if we don’t get involved. Not Just Ned. If we keep waiting for people who are put in by some interests, they will have only such interests to take care of to the detriment of the larger populace. I don’t want to be put there by such people, but by the electorate, so that I will work for them when they hand me their mandate.
Which sector’s neglect bothers you most?
We are going to look at every sector of the polity. We must understand that, so far in Nigeria, we have not succeeded in laying real foundation for the needed development that will positively affect the people. Sadly, Nigeria is still crawling. With proper exposure of young ones, they will begin to appreciate the situation on ground.
I believe in merit, and for us to move forward we must lay more emphasis on that. We don’t have to reward people with elective offices or appointments, just because they were (former) party chairmen, even when it is glaring that they are not exposed to realities on ground. All that matters shouldn’t just be to make money; steal and get arrested. There is what we call conflict of interests. Such people can never deliver.
The system is changeable. What I am doing is to put myself forward for this fight. And I have what it takes to lead the fight. But Ned alone can’t win it alone. It is not going to be an easy one. All I know is that I am contesting and I am going to win. Only what will stop me are the people.
It took me 12 years taking in Britain, where I am a citizen, in France and other countries to bring home results. I will stop oil companies from disparaging and abusing the people through gas flare, which they dare not try in their respective countries. Go to Ndokwa land and you will see gas flare. Meanwhile, in other countries they apply advanced methods. I know exactly how to tackle them.
What is your forecast for Delta 2019?
I am not a soothsayer; the people should do what is right by voting the right candidates and the right party into office. I cannot tell you what is going to happen.
You made a recent outburst against imposition of candidates. Why?
It was motivated by so many factors, primarily to encourage our people on the need to vote right thinking aspirants come 2019; the integrity and character of the Senator who represents the district at the Senate matters.
As a member of House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003, I sponsored a record number of 22 Bills, including the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) reform bill (2000); bill for an Act to establish public funds recovery and reward commission, (Whistle blower policy); a bill for an Act for the establishment of a National minimum wages council and a bill for an Act to standardize allowances and fringe benefits payable to Public Government Officials, among others.So I urge the electorate to brace up to the task ahead, because with by track record at the National Assembly, I am eminently qualified to run for the seat. More so, it is the turn of the Aniocha axis to produce the next Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to represent Delta North Senatorial District.