Oriaku stakes APGA’s claim to Abia
Oriaku stakes APGA’s claim to Abia
As preparations for 2019 general election gather momentum, a frontline politician, Hon. Kingsley Oriaku, has assured that All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, will take over Abia state following the alleged lackluster performance of Governor Ikpeazu of the PDP. The politician, who is running for Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency, stated that Abia must be rescued from the doldrums. He stated that his political career started in Abuja and urged the electorate to embrace APGA as it has what it takes to make a change. Oriaku spoke to The Abuja Inquirer in Abuja. Excerpts:
As the 2019 general elections draw nearer, what are your political plans, if any?
Yes, having stayed in Abuja for quite some time, and having participated very well in Abuja politics, since 2007 till date, a time came and I felt that I have to return back and start repairing my own house, because it is said that charity begins at home.
We have done it in the Federal Capital Territory and there is a cry for help from my constituency. I want to return to base to see how I could contribute my own quota in building Abia State to what it should be politically. I can tell you that Abia State has gotten it wrong for quite a long time.
Now we are asking for a new stage of the All Progressives Grand Alliance. If you remember, a lot of politicians are asking the youths to take over power and we need to go back to the grassroots where the real politics is.
So instead of FCT, let me return back to Abia State, not only Abia, but to my constituency. And that is why I am vying for the House of Representatives in Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency come 2019.
What actually are the main reasons for your decision, and what should the people expect?
As at today, Abia State has not been properly represented at all levels. For instance, Abia State is housing a War Museum, which is supposed to be a very historical and a tourist centre, not only to Nigerians, but internationally. But unfortunately, nobody knows that such a place exists in the state. There are some policies that we need to put in place to attract people to these places.
Also, look at the commercial nature of Aba town, which can sustain any state in the country, but you will see that we need a representative that can promote the town. Again, Abia State has a lot of educated people, but the question is whether there is any provision to accommodate them in the labour market or empower them to find their feet. Those are the things which we want to look at when given the
opportunity. We want to bring out the qualities in Abia State that have been hidden in all these years. That is why I said that we have never gotten it right in representation, in all these years.
What do you think is responsible for this lack of proper representation all these years?
You see, when the foundation is faulty, anything you are doing about a building, is also faulty. Abia State has not gotten it right since 1999. So, the only thing we are going to do is to dismantle the entire structure and start all over. This is because if we don’t dismantle and start building, whether we like it or not, we will surely come
back to the foundation.
We got it wrong in 1999, because we have never been opportune in the state. For instance, look at Anambra State. At a time the state got it right. Look at what they are doing today. That is why I believe that in 2019, Abia State is going to take a new look.
Recently, there was an exhibition of certain products from Aba in Abuja. What is your take on this?
To me, exhibition is not what matters at the moment, rather let’s develop Aba town. Infrastructure and security are what Aba needs, because for someone to come and do business in any place, he has to be sure of the security of his investments and that of his life. Weshould get the security of Aba town right. The infrastructure is so
poor that you don’t feel free to drive around the town.
Naturally, you don’t need to come and tell people what you have, because they will see it, because good things smell good. People will naturally come to Aba on their own if the issues of infrastructure and security are addressed. You will find out that tourism will naturallycome in. Commercial activities will increase naturally and not
exhibition, which I believe is political.
If elected as a federal legislator, how are you going to address these challenges?
As a federal legislator, you can equally do a lot of economic promotion. You can equally raise a lot of awareness, both in the house and channel it to the federal government and even the state governor that there is an urgent attention.
For the issue of security, it is what you as a legislator can raise as an alarm, because if you don’t announce it, nobody will announce it for you. Moreover it is a team work that you are expected to do.
To most people, Umuahia the state capital is overcrowded and dirty. What will you do in thisregard, if elected?
We have to widen the town. Did you get what I am saying? That was why I mentioned poor infrastructure. In development, developers are notasking you to give them money. What they are asking is for you to provide infrastructure and they will come and develop the area.
Umuahia needs to be opened and the investors will come. But everybody is choking inside the town. That is where the problems lie. How many federal allocations are we having and how have we put thesethings in the budget. And not only putting them in the budget but also following it up from the house and the department that is responsible. What we are telling people is to forget politics and provide the needs of the people.
What do you think that an APGA-led government can do to convince the people that it is ready for a change?
I want to tell you the caliber of people we are fielding under APGA
come 2019. I don’t know if you know about Mr. Alex Oti, former CEO of Diamond Bank. He is coming up as our candidate. You will discover that Alex Oti cannot be called a hungry man. He has made a mark in the banking industry. These are the type of people who are coming to Abia to lay legacies for the state. APGA is a mass movement.
The people of Abia State should give APGA an opportunity, because it will never disappoint them, because APGA is like a party for all.
As an Abuja politician for a very long time, how are you close to the grassroots in your constituency?
For the past two to three months, we have tried to identify on one-on-one with those at the wards level in my constituency. We have three local governments under my constituency and in each of the localgovernments there are 10 wards. I can assure you that we have gone to identify with them.
We have met with the wards in the three local governments, including their chairmen and others. We started from primary one, primary two and now we are in primary three. I can tell you that we have met with the wards chairmen, their secretaries, the youth leaders.
We have equally met with the three local government chairmen, including their exco. What we are doing at the moment is to see how we can build it together.