A senatorial aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Imo East Senatorial District, Mr. Mike Nwachukwu, in this interview, speaks on the reasons he is seeking to represent his people.
I attended Saint Joseph Primary School, Uwani Enugu in Enugu State where I obtained my First School Leaving Certificate. I proceeded to Owerri Government Secondary School (OGSSIAN) where I obtained my ‘O’ Level Certificate in 1981. I attended University of Nigeria (UNN) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. This was followed by a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Port Harcourt. I joined Diamond bank after my MBA in April 1992 and left for Equatorial Trust Bank in 1997. Seven months later, I joined Fortune International Bank and retired from the banking industry in 2002.
Foray into politics
I joined APGA alongside Chief Martin Agbaso and his supporters in 2005. This coincided with the party’s congress, where I contested for the office of the State Secretary and won. I remained the State Secretary for about six years. During this period, we worked hard for Chief Agbaso’s gubernatorial ambition in 2007. We were in court between 2007 and 2011. It was an unfortunate experience.
Aspiring for greater heights
I have reviewed the kind of representation our people have been getting at the National Assembly and decided that I could offer more to the people of Owerri zone in terms of effective representation. Given my experience as a business person domiciled in Abuja, who has worked on legitimate government jobs, I have a deep understanding of what it entails to be a legislator. I know that if you do the right thing, one can effectively address the infrastructural deficits that are prevalent in our environment. I am sure I would be well suited to represent my people in the Senate.
I come from Imo East Senatorial District. In the history of Owerri Senatorial zone, our folks from Mbaise, Mbaitolu, and Ikeduru have always represented the zone in the Red Chamber. It has been like that since1979. We have Chief Tony Anyanwu from Umu Okirika in Mbaise, Chief Isidore Obasi from Ihite Afor-Ukwu also in Mbaise, Senator Bright Nwanne from Ezinihite. After him came Senator Evan Enwerem from Atta in Ikeduru, who later became the Senate President and the late Senator Ama Iwuagwu, who hailed from Mbieri in Mbaitoli.
When Senator Ama Iwuagwu passed on, Senator Eze Ajoku from Owerri North stepped in to fill the vacuum for about nine months. After the expiration of the term, Senator Chris Anyanwu from Mbaise stepped in and did two terms. After her, the pendulum swung back to Mbaise which resulted in the election of Senator Sam Anyanwu.
He is perhaps going to run for the governorship seat on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. That created a vacuum which I thought I could key into, using my experience as a retired banker. I feel this is the right time for us in the old Owerri Local Government Area to have the opportunity to represent Nde Owerri zone.
A lot of people are well qualified to seek office from the old Owerri zone, but I have decided to present myself. Presenting myself does not stop any other person from coming out. We present ourselves to our people to make their choice. For me, I think I understand what the issues are. To me, it is key to addressing the deficits prevalent in our environment.
On Imo politics
The reality of the situation is that I am encouraged by my fellow APGA members and my friends, who belong to other parties. It has been encouraging. Everybody tells me that I have what it takes to do it. They urged me to work hard because the major hurdle that I have to cross is to ensure that I get the ticket of APGA.
Everybody tells me that they are not looking at parties this time. The focus this time is on individuals, and their abilities. I am encouraged by that. Again, it essentially boils down to the fact that they will vote for me. That is my expectation. If I wasn’t sure that I will get the support of my people, I will not be in the race.
The level of infrastructural deficit that we are experiencing in our place is alarming. From Aboh Mbaise to Eziniihite, Ikeduru, Ahiazu to Owerri North to Mbaitolu Ikeduru, the story is the same. Even from Owerri Municipal that is the state capital, to Ngor Okpala and Owerri West, it is not a different story.
The road to Inyishi is horrible. From Nworie Ubi to Mbieri is also nothing to write home about. If you are going to Itu in Mbaise through Ihite, it is horrible. I can begin to mention the entire places one after the other. I intend to effectively engage the interventionist agencies of the Federal Government, Ecological Fund office, Border Communities Development Agency, and the Federal Ministry of Works, among others.