By Gabriel Ewepu
The Federal Capital Territory, FCT, senatorial candidate under platform of the Allied People’s Movement, APM, Mrs Rose Gyar, an industrialist and women’s rights and empowerment advocate, in this interview expressed optimism that she will emerge FCT’s first female senator in the forthcoming senatorial election on February 16, 2019, based on massive support she already has of women and youth in the FCT, as she speaks on vital issues to be tackle if elected. Excerpts:
What motivated you to come up with this political ambition to contest for FCT senatorial seat?
My motivation is the desire to unblock service delivery channels to citizens and provide a platform to enhance citizens’ participation in inclusive governance, therefore providing citizens-based representation that is accountable and responsive to basic needs and rights of citizens.
What are your major campaign areas you are focusing on and plans to do if elected for FCT residents?
My campaign focuses on effective healthcare delivery system in the FCT because this has been a major challenge to the people. The most affected are the women and children. The health sector in the FCT lacks manpower and equipment, which I will tackle through my legislative duties.
Functional educational System in the FCT, which is also a cardinal issue that I will make sure works for every child to have access to quality education including adequate capacity building of teachers and managements.
Effective Environmental upgrade, afforestation, waste management and recycling system is my key areas of campaign because we are not seeing this happening to safeguard the lives and environment of the FCT.
Job creation through Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises, MSMEs, competitiveness in products, systems and processes forms a major concentration of my vision and ambition to contest because there is no clear policy and programmes that intends to reduce drastically unemployment in FCT. I will tackle it if elected.
Empowerment of FCT residents through skill acquisition, upgrade, starter packs, entrepreneurship knowledge and skills for economic self reliance. I will use my contacts and experience to ensure the people get the best.
The campaign also focuses on establishment of institutionalised citizens’ engagement platform for effective advocacy that demands accountable representation, governance and effective service delivery to the people.
Your political party is newly registered one do you think it has the capacity to convince the electorates to give you their mandate for four years as their senator?
My political party is newly registered but I have been with the people. So it is first about my acceptability by the people then the platform. In this case, I am the focus of the people, my capacity, capability and knowledge to deliver to the people a purposeful representation, which I have always done through advocacy, collaboration, partnership and support together with the citizens through their groups at my individual level, which the people can attest to. Therefore, they are first relating with me as their representative but because the political system provides that a contestant should be identified by a political party, which I think would soon be a thing of the past, the party just provides the platform while my person will galvanise the votes to will the FCT senatorial seat.
Women are largely discriminated by the political system in Nigeria, which has made it very difficult for women politicians to make it to various elective positions, how are you going to scale this hurdle?
I have scaled the most difficult, which is flying the flag of my party. I am prepared to occupy the FCT senatorial seat. Surprisingly, I am encouraged by more number of women than the number of men. Which means the narrative is changing. We are beginning to understand the way the political game is played therefore, the table would soon turn around in the favour of women.
Women also pose problem to their fellow female candidates seeking political office in Nigeria, what have you done so far to garner their support and vote?
Well, in my case, the ordinary women asked me to represent them and give them a voice in the National Assembly. I have worked with women for several years and have established trust between us. That is what has endeared me to them and this is what will make them vote for me, protect the votes and celebrate the victory for all of us because they know that a winning vote for me is a winning vote for all of us.
You have been in Nigeria’s political process since 1991, do you think the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will deliver credible elections in February and March?
I very well think so and hope so too. There has been a lot of overhauling of the electoral process, and lessons learnt from previous elections. INEC is very much aware that Nigerians are waiting for these elections to prove to the world that we are indeed independent and can hold credible elections. Yes INEC can deliver a credible 2019 elections to Nigeria’s citizens and to the admiration of the whole world.
What is your source of funding for your campaign and also your concern for the trend of vote buying and selling which characterize the electoral process as far as free and credible elections are concerned?
I fund from my personal earnings, support from family and friends, well-wishers who believe in my capability and are determined to support genuine efforts in returning Nigeria to greatness again as a nation as well as citizen groups interested in uplifting their livelihood and securing the future of their children. Rather than buy votes, we educate on the dangers of voters selling compared to enhanced livelihood, sustainable development and peaceful co-existence.
What is your message to voters in FCT?
Nigeria’s citizens and voters in the FCT, vote for capacity, capability and knowledge. Poverty and lack, deprivation and exclusion, unemployment or poor health care delivery systems, educational facilities and near absence of rural development in the FCT is detribalized and has no religion.
Therefore, use your votes wisely to vote for citizens-focused representation for accountability, engagement, inclusive participation in legislative and governance issues as well as having a voice to speak and be heard as a fundamental human right. 16th February 2019 is the day. Let’s make it memorable and victorious.
I have carved JEEEH-CE as my slogan. J-Job creation through value addition across sectors; E-Environment waste management, recycling, sanitation and afforestation; E-Empowerment through MSME competitiveness and skill acquisition; E-Education strengthening infrastructure provision and enhancing teachers capacity and learning environment; H-Health improve on service delivery strategy to provide comprehensive health care system, enhance stakeholder relationship and encourage personal hygiene; C-Citizens Engagement established mechanisms and strengthen existing platform for regular citizens engagement and capacity building for advocacy using Service delivery charters and evidence based strategy.