Exclusive: Christabel Speaks, Reveals Her plans of actions for Akoko-Edo North Constituency

Christabel Eremah Ekwu is the People's Democratic Party, PDP, House of Assembly standard bearer for Akoko-Edo North Constituency in 2023 election.
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Christabel Eremah Ekwu needs no introduction when it comes to Akoko-Edo politics, especially in the North Constituency. She has cut her political teeth into the fabrics of the ‘Community’ she will be representing under PDP, not only because she is an established philanthropist, but she is unapologetically grassroot as she has transversed the length and breadth of the constituency. It was on this basis that in May 2022, she easily emerged the winner of the PDP primaries for the House of Assembly Akoko-Edo North Constituency.

In this interview, which was more interactive, she discussed with Comrade Elempe Dele issues of development, her goals, aims, and objectives, as well as strategies toward winning the general elections come 2023.


Elempe: This is the umpteenth time of interviewed you, and you need no introduction to Akoko-Edo politics, but for the sake of those who are reading for the first time, can you please briefly introduce yourself?

Christabel: I am Mrs. Christabel Eremah Ekwu, married with children. I am a member of PDP from Ojah, which is part of the North Constituency in Akoko-Edo. As you know, I won the primaries to represent the good people of the constituency in next year’s election under PDP.

Elempe: Good! Who are your opponents in the constituency that you will be contending with next year?

Christabel: Well, we have one in APC and Labour Party, however, I am not focused on them as much as I am focused on winning the election so that I can effectively represent my people and bring a contemporary style of representation to the constituency. The idea is to make it 100% people-oriented. So I don’t want to be distracted from that focus.

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Elempe: What inspired you to join politics and how much have you learned from it so far?

Christabel: I joined Akoko-Edo politics a long while ago and through being participatory as a grassroot person, I saw some loopholes. I saw that politics was more of personal interest rather than collective interest, so I felt for me to make a difference, I should be more involved than just be the usual arm-chair critic or bystander. When I started making contacts about my intention to run, the feedback was encouraging. In politics, feedback is key. It’s about you sending messages like an antenna to receivers, the only difference is that you must know what those receivers, which are your audience, are saying. If the feedback is not palatable, forget politics. But for me, the reception was encouraging so I had the confidence to trudge on.

Elempe: Does being a woman make any difference so far? You know people are gender-sensitive, what has been your experience?

Christabel: There have been no differences I must confess. The Akoko-Edo people are not primitive. I am taken like a human, rather than based on my gender. I go to all kinds of meetings; both grassroots and at leadership levels in the LGA. The only difference on those occasions is that I might not take the kind of drinks they are taking(laughs) Basically, it has been okay. And one of my major manifesto to be accomplished when I am elected is to see that laws are enacted to clean those gender lines that hold our people down. Men and women, boys and girls will be treated equally.

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Elempe: And here comes your manifesto, can you please throw more light on it?

Christabel: As a matter of fact, manifestos should be dynamic, that is reflect the times. For example, I am beginning to make security top of my list of the issues I wish to accomplish when elected. I will enhance the activities of the local vigilantes in the North Constituency. I must confess they are doing very well presented and they need both encouragement and incentives. There will also be collaborative efforts with formal security agents like the police and the army. Kidnappings and all kinds of criminalities in the constituency must be tackled headlong and I will use my good offices to champion it.

Elempe: Nice one. What are other parts of your manifesto that you wish to share with us?

Christabel: As I said, I do not wish my manifesto to be static like an organism under watch. I shall be twisting it as times demand. However, I have these as part of what I wish to accomplish: In every community that makes up my constituency, I will be holding town hall meetings on regular basis, as time will demand to know their inherent challenges, build interpersonal relationships with the people and have meaningful projects there. Secondly, women’s empowerment will be given top priority because if the woman is comfortable economically, the family will be settled. Then I will sponsor bills that will be geared toward protecting women and children. And from my understanding, our youth in the rural areas are not having the kinds of training needed to make them employable. Skills acquisition will solve that problem. It might not necessarily be a one skills acquisition spot, we can do training in established private institutions. I will also make sure young women get into participatory politics, not just spectators and voters. I do not believe it is normal for one to just stand by while others make decisions for you…There are honestly a lot lined up for my people, these will all come to fruition when I win next year.

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Elempe: Your developmental ideas are very seductive. What exactly gives you the confidence and winning mentality?

Christabel: I would say it is the people. Unlike other endeavors, the people are the major resource in politics. So I derive my confidence from the people of the constituency, nothing else.

Elempe: what are your plans as soon as campaigns are lifted in September?

Christabel: It’s going to be a full blast. We are going to be moving from one village to the other, hamlet to hamlet, door to door, and individual to individual. Don’t worry, we shall be inviting you to some of these outings.

Eempe: Ok…Thanks for your time Hon. Christabel, nice having this quality interview with you.

Christabel: You are welcome Mr. Elempe, feel free any time.

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