•Relocates from Germany; Blasts Nwaoboshi, Nwoko
•Speaks on how Nigeria, Delta lost $2.34bn housing project, 500MW hybrid electrical plants
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
A Nigerian and ex-member of the Hamburg Senate Foreigners Advisory Council in Germany, Hon. Kenneth Chibuogwu Gbandi saddened that selfish government officials thwarted his attempts to attract housing, electricity and other development projects to Nigeria and Delta State, utilizing his position and connection in Diaspora, has relocated home to seek political office.
Gbandi, two-time Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora, Germany and Europe respectively, who hails from Akwukwu-Igbo, headquarters of Oshimili North Local Government Area, Delta State, told Saturday Vanguard that he was service-driven to run for Delta North senatorial seat on the platform of African Development Congress, ADC, in the 2023 general election.m, having found that bad leaders were the ones impoverishing the people.
“I want to offer robust representation for the people of Delta North, the Anioma stock. I have had ample legislative experience in Germany. I represented the interests of over six million Nigerians in Diaspora, NIDO, and was Global Coordinating Chairman representing the interests of over 20 million Nigerians in Diaspora, so I know what representing people entails”.
Gbandi, who maintained that he wants to demonstrate servant leadership to the people of Delta North, disclosed: “ During my tenure as NIDO chairman, I initiated several projects, at the federal level, including as a housing project where together with our technology partner. We were able to secure a 2.34 billion US dollars humanitarian fund for a hypermarket in the housing industry for 660 housing units.”
“ Surprisingly, it was frustrated after we followed due process, meeting with the Secretary to the Federal Government and other heads of federal agencies of government.
“Political intrigues and personal interest were the culprits. They denied Nigerians the benefits of the enterprise that would have created low-income houses for Nigerians; over a million jobs yearly; and millions of business opportunities for small-medium companies and artisans.
“At the state level, we proposed to the Delta state government our desire to establish a Delta State Investment/Liaison office in Europe at no cost to the state government. The state Investment Liaison office will be hosted by a leading investment giant in Europe, providing regular interaction with captains of industry, investment agencies and non-governmental organizations on behalf of the government.
“The idea was to make Delta state the number one investment destination in the country.
“We also introduced with our technical partners a 500MW electrical plants by means of hybrid generators (EPHG), multiple power plants at no cost to the Delta state government. This hybrid electricity-generating technology combines five (5) different renewable energy
“Curiously, solutions to generate a continuous, uninterrupted and completely green energy all year round on a Build, Own, Operate and Maintain (BOOM) basis, with up to 25 years period of maturity of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) at no cost to the Delta state government was thrown away. Sadly, it failed for the same reasons as the federal”, he informed.
Gbandi said he was in politics to change the narrative in Delta North, adding that the presence of old politicians like Senator Nwaoboshi and Prince Ned Nwoko running for Delta North senate seats on APC and PDP platforms does not scare him.
His words: “I am a local politician that believes that service delivery is most needed at the grassroots, I am not sure these two names are household names in terms of service delivery to the grassroots. Every politics is local you know. I live in Diaspora, but have a close relationship and bond with Nigeria, especially my people of Delta North.
“ I visit regularly, bringing knowledgeable Diaspora experts in ICT, agriculture, business development for youth capacity building and business development which have so far trained over 200 youths.
”This is in addition to the limited scholarships designed to assist the less privileged in my community to register for their examinations and other community efforts. I understand the sentiments and needs of the people and am knowledgeable in best international practice having been an elected member of the Hamburg Senate Foreigners Advisory Council. I am poised to deliver the same to them as I have done personally at various times with various initiatives,” he explained.
The community and nation builder asserted: “These people have not made any difference in our communities, towns, district and the entire state, over the years Take, for example, Delta state raked in N142 billion from the 13 per cent oil-producing states’ derivatives in 2021.
This topped Lagos, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Ondo and Edo’s states combined. When compared to these states, it is clear that Delta state with the highest 13 per cent derivation is seriously underperforming. So it is absolutely legitimate to ask our political class what exceptional value have they brought to our people?
“I come with competency, authenticity and integrity. I am not a moneybag. I am service-driven and represent a fresh political breath with no excess liability to godfathers.
“I dare say that Nwaoboshi and all the other senators before him have not brought the desired results to our dear people of Delta North. Our representatives have become so comfortable in Abuja that the great majority of Delta northern hardly know they exist, except for the privileged few and I am here to change the tide.
Our people are more impoverished and deprived than ever before. Is there sufficient federal presence in Delta North? Who has benefitted from their representation? There is so much brainpower in Delta North, both in Nigeria and in Diaspora, and so many natural resources to remain where we are today. No, we must not accept this second-class social-economic and political status.
“ I grew up to meet the adage that says ‘Delta no de carry last’, Where did we get it wrong? If others choose last, we have come to reject that and take our rightful position in Nigeria.
“I am of a different stock. I come unblemished. Never held any political position in Nigeria, but played a leading role in modifying the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, which was passed by the National Assembly. My pledge is that we will ensure effective representation for Delta North
”Truth is that I am the candidate Delta North has been waiting for. Indeed, I am leaving a very comfortable life in Germany to come home to struggle with my people so that we can put heads together to take our rightful place in Delta and in Nigeria.
“ Our biggest challenge in Delta North is bad leaders, I have service in my DNA. The genuine type of service that I bring makes the difference and that is what our people need now. I have come to serve and not to be served”, he added.