The name Dr CHRIS NWABUEZE NGIGE sure rings a bell any day, as the man who accentuated the evil of political god-fatherism in Nigerian politics. In this interview with Daily Independent CORRESPONDENT, EMMANUEL NZOMIWU, Ngige, 62, a former Anambra State Governor, now Senator representing Anambra Central in the National Assembly speaks on how specifically he has impacted his constituents, bills and amendments he initiated or motions moved, why he is quiet about a return to the upper legislative chamber, and indeed, his next political move, among others. Excerpts.
The 2015 general election holds next February, and many have expressed interest various positions, including the one you occupy, but you have been quiet. Are you re-contesting, or grooming a successor?
Well, your question simply put is whether I am thinking of going back to the Senate. If so, when I am declaring and the answer will be not very straightforward. I will disappoint you by not giving you a categorical answer or declaration. If you had watched the 2011 elections, I did not declare to run for the Senate until about five weeks to that election. I did that for two reasons. The first reason was that my party at that time, the ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria)... we waited to see who the gladiators would be. Those who would come out from the other political parties and once it was clear to me that APGA (All Progressive Grand Alliance) had brought out the late Professor Dora Akunyili, I knew that the battle would be very strong. The incumbent at the time, Senator Annie Okonkwo declared that he wanted to go back. So, it was a tough choice for us in our party because we knew that if we brought anybody except myself, nobody would have competed favourably with these guys. And therefore I had to throw my hat into the ring at that time I did. This time again, I am the incumbent Senator for Anambra Central Senatorial zone, and as far as I am concerned and as far as my party is concerned, I have discharged the functions of that office very creditably. As for my constituents, they have never had it so good because for the first time, they had seen a Senator go direct and through the constituency project siting... execution, the way it should be and even in the quantum of projects brought. They have never seen it this way too.
Could you tell us some of these projects?
For example, as we talk to you now, we have distributed about 168 distribution transformers in Anambra Central senatorial district. There is no town that did not get a transformer. Some towns got five, some four, some three, depending on their needs. So, this is what we have done in the power sector. You go also into the area of education. We have cited classroom blocks in so many communities here. The transformers we brought, we also did their installation because it is not a question of giving you transformer to go and install. Installation of distribution transformers is sometimes more than the cost of transformer purchase. So, for the first time, we brought transformers and we installed them. Work is ongoing in most of them, but about 80 percent of the transformers have been installed and hooked up to the national grid. And again, the first time, we also went into the area of power transformers. At Agu Awka here, we have also put in a power transformer and then demarcated and separated parts of Awka from the Nibo power station (with) 132 60/2 KVA power station at Nibo. We removed parts of Nibo and then put them on into this new transformer we have at Agu Awka.
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