Hon Christabel Eremah Ekwu, the foremost and most popular candidate under PDP, who is contesting for House of Assembly to represent Akoko-Edo Constituency 1 spoke with our correspondent, Okhiaode Bolade, in an exclusive interview recently on her aspiration and other thematic issues ahead of the PDP primaries. She expressed her thoughts very profoundly by taking up each question that was asked in an expected manner. The very intelligent Hon Christabel Eremah obviously knows her onions and was able to answer each question asked candidly and intelligently.
Bolade: Please can you introduce yourself madam?
Christable: My names are Christabel Omoh Ekwu, Mrs. I am a graduate of business administration from Dorben Polytechnic, I had PGD and Msc Entrepreneurship from Nassarawa state University. I am the president of Eremah Shining Light Foundation, a Director in JD-FOZ Global Resource LTD. A member of the Performing Musician Association of Nigeria (PMAN) Akoko-Edo Chapter and the Queen of Akoko-Edo Highlife Music. Am an activist, a philanthropist and successful entrepreneur.
Bolade: Good and thanks for the introduction. If i may ask, what exactly is your motivation for contesting for the House of Assembly, Akoko-Edo Constituency 1?
Christabel: My motivation for contesting the position of member, House is Assembly is simple, MY PEOPLE! they deserve to enjoy a better representation and the dividends of democracy. I love my people and anything that will help better their lives is what constitutes my interest.
Bolade: What are the challenges you have noticed in the Constituency and how are you doing to try to solve them?
Christabel: The challenges in my constituency are overwhelming, from poor representation, to neglect of critical sectors. If elected by the grace of God, I will sponsor bills that will have direct impact on the lives our people. We shall increase in economic empowerment of women and better protection for them and children through legislation. We shall also be engaging the youths through life-changing programs in collaboration with relevant agencies to minimize social vices. (Especially in sports, talents display…) I strongly believe in the saying; NO WOMAN NO NATION. We shall encourage more young women to be actively involved in politics and the decision-making process.
Today in our society, learning and mastering a skill is very crucial, we shall be establishing Skills Acquisition Centres across the constituency for youths to promote self-reliance and support those who might be interested in learning a skill outside our constituency. Security is key; we shall continue to improve our collective support for our local vigilantes, hunters associations and other local security networks as well as the Nigerian Police Force to have a safe Akoko-Edo of our dreams.
Bolade: These are no mean visions, I must confess. Now, there are no budgetary allocation for House of Assembly members, how are you going to be able to raise funds to be solving these challenges in the Constituency?
Christabel: Let’s agree that there are no budgetary allocation for House of Assembly. First, one of the problems has always been the willingness to serve because out of nothing, something good can happen. My family didn’t need government allocation to donate a brand new transformer to my community (Agbokodo quarters, Ojah) we move round secondary schools in Akoko-Edo to sensitize the students on social vices without allocations, youths are learning skills in different places without allocations…we can do more. What my people need is a servant-leader not a ruler.
Bolade: I totally agree with you on this…It is well known that delegates are basically the key to getting nominations apart from influences of leaders, how much consultations have you been doing in this regard?
Christabel: So far I have a robust relationship with our delegates. We do issues-base campaigns. We believe our delegates are wiser now and they are ready to right the wrongs of the past. I have been in constant touch with executives of all the wards in my constituency and we are together in this vision of emancipation. The idea is to set a template of service so that others can follow suit in the future. We have had terrible representation in the past and we all want to change the narrative.
Bolade: What exactly is your greatest political challenge (s) having been in the field for over a year now talking to your party members about your aspiration ?
Christabel: Political challenges, hmmmmm.(smile) This is a question I wasn’t expecting. You see, one of the challenges is that some persons have still not woken up to the realities of the 21st century politics. They are used to this “BAT” system. They are blind to the political reality of the time and I will tell you frankly their time is up. Leaders should listen to their followers and not play the role of super man. Listen to the cry of the people. Let them have the right to make their choices freely instead of trying to influence their decisions through forces of persuasion.
Bolade: I have sampled opinions, a lot of party members I have spoken with throughout your Constituency 1 think you have what it takes to win this primaries and go on to win the general election, what exactly is giving your supporters this confidence?
Christabel: There is no community in my constituency where we are not getting supports. The love is overwhelming, my people have proved to me that they know what they want and they are ready to fight for it and defend it. I love my constituents. After winning the primaries and general election, we shall have a tour round the constituency, we shall bring representatives from each community to discuss the way forward by addressing those needs that are urgent and important while keeping the important but not urgent for subsequent interventions.
Bolade: Thank you madam for taking some part of your precious time, we shall find time to make it down to Akoko-Edo again after your victory.
Christabel: You are always welcome, and Amen to your victory assurance.