-Says Edjojah, Igbakpa are no threats to his ambition to represent Ethiope Federal Constituency
Okakuro Kesito Oweh is the Udu of Abraka Kingdom and the Provost-General to the Council of Chiefs in Umiaghwa-Abraka Kingdom. He is also the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, for the House of Representatives, Ethiope Federal Constituency. In this interview, he speaks about his ambition to represent his people and opened up on the reason why he left the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Why are you in the race to represent the people of Ethiope Federal Constituency?
I joined the race because of the pressure mounted on me by my people who want me to represent them at the Green Chambers. All the while, they have never had good and quality representation. At the initial stage I refused, but, when your people call on you, you cannot say no.
Some think your decision to join the race was spontaneous and a result of the defeat of your former principal, Rt. Hon. Lovette Idisi, who presently occupies the seat you are running for. Is that true?
The ambition to serve my people has always been there. People may say it is spontaneous. I see my joining the race as a divine mandate and that God wants me to move and now I am moving.
Did Idisi’s defeat at the primaries in any way influence this decision of yours to vie for the seat?
Yes, because when you look at my former principal, Rt. Hon. Lovette Idisi, he is a nice person. He did his best for his constituency but PDP being who they are started changing a lot of things. All agreements on board changed. It started with my father, leader, and mentor, Chief Ighoyota Amori. The minute he was betrayed, Ethiope West said they will not allow Ethiope East to move forward. When it got to the issue of Ethiope East after they have taken the House of Reps, Agbon said no, they want the House of Assembly. You see PDP are never straight forward. Today is yes, tomorrow is no. I cannot belong to that kind of group. I have given my best and all to PDP. But, the truth is that each time people like me want to come out, they suppress us because they know that there are some things we will not allow to continue in the party. This is the time for change and to change what is on ground to represent the common man. I live and dwell in the midst of my people, know what their problems are. I am ready to go to the Green Chambers to make laws that will be profitable to them and bring good projects to the area because I know what they need. You cannot give some persons a market when they are in need of a town hall, neither should a community get a town hall when what they want are good roads. Some projects end up as abandoned projects many times because these projects are opportunities for lawmakers to make money. I will stop all these.
With the likes of heavy weights like Solomon Edojah and Ben Igbakpa, what are your chances in winning the election? Someone said your chances are slim.
That means that person does not know who I am. If you call them heavyweights, then I am a bigger heavy weight. I come from a political family. I have a special pedigree politically. My father was the first Abraka man to be a minster and an ambassador in the first republic. My elder brother was the first Abraka man to be commissioned as a military officer. Also, I am the first Abraka man to have served as the Secretary General of Nigerians in Diaspora, Italy chapter. I was the first Abraka man to be elected President of Nigerians in Italy and President of the Delta State Socio-cultural organization in Italy. I have served my people internationally. I came back home to give my people the experience I got from my Diaspora journey which I believe will benefit my people and that is why when I came back I did not go to reside in Lagos, Abuja or Warri, but came to the village here in Erho-Abraka so I can understand my people and now I am ready to move forward. Igbakpa and Edojah are no threats to my political ambition. When you talk about political names those are not persons that can dare me. Oweh is a giant politically, not just in Ethiope Federal Constituency, but all over the federation and internationally.
What is your manifesto like?
To make good laws that will protect and promote my people, bring needed projects to the area. I promise to remain accessible. I am a man of the people and know what their needs are. I also will focus on lifting the downtrodden. There are no roads, good markets and stadiums in Ethiope Federal Constituency. When we went for primaries in PDP at Oghara stadium, I was amazed that such property is left to rot. Look at the arcade at Isiokolo and all the lands behind it that are just wasting away. Now, that election is coming up, the governor is fixing roads in my area. In the House of Reps I am needed because of my honesty and grass root influence. I am not going to Abuja for jamboree.
Idisi still occupies the office you are vying for. How would you access his performance so far?
He is a wonderful friend and like a brother from another mother. I still have very high regards for him. I can say I am one of his die-hard fans because among those that have so far represented the area, Idisi has increased the stakes and I am taking it even higher and further. I believe he will be handing over to me.
Any words for voters?
My word to them is for them to collect their PVCs. That is their power to elect their representatives. I will also ask them not to look for financial inducement or expect it. But, if anyone brings it, they can collect it, but must not forget to vote their conscience. If they want the country to go forward, they must vote for the right people. I have always been a man that says Abraka ovuovo. The same peace experienced in Abraka, I will take to the constituency. Whether you are from East or West in the constituency, we are all one. Then also, Agbon and Abraka in Ethiope East would also see themselves as one. We need someone to unite us all.