How do you like to be addressed?
“My name is Chief Emeka Vincent Igwe. I am from Umuokpu in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra state. I am running for Awka South Constituency 1in the state House of Assembly in Anambra State under the platform of People Democratic Party (PDP).
Before now,I have been doing things for my people in my constituencv. I believe there are few ways we can make their lives better and also develop the environment.
What’s the priority of your constituency and major campaign promises to them?
“First is education. I have given scholarships to 10 persons in UNIZIK from year one to final year and has sponsored inter-house sports for St John last year. I sponsored the inter-house sports because I believe that sports is a critical part for the curriculum of any developing child. I was told that they have not done inter-house sports for the past six years. That was why I did that.
When it comes to human capital development, there is this Anambra Talent Show. It was sponsored by ‘Breakdom Africa’ in partnership with Anambra State Government and I am a member of Breakdom Africa. I sponsored that show. At least, we engaged 500,000 from different sectors, including different schools in Anambra State. It was a wonderful thing. So here, I intend to build an ICT centre where some computer applications like software application, Microsoft word, excel, would be taught free and computer programmes, more importantly, will be taught free because there is a difference between application and programming.
At least with that, when you know or learn how to programme, you can add applications and stuff like that. Then automatically, you are employable. Because I noticed that unemployability is even more of a problem in Nigeria than employment.
Now, come down to infrastructure, they say as a lawmaker what business does he have in infrastructure? But on the other hand, it is the lawmakers that do the appropriation. They do over sight functions . I intend to have lots of roads for my constituency put in the budget during the appropriation so that we can attract the state government, the executives to carry out the construction of roads and infrastructure. If they are not in the budget, there will be nothing you can do about it.
This is very important and aside that, there are non-governmental organizations(NGOs)or Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) both international and local, that have funds for third world countries, looking for trusted people where they can put those funds to help develop the third world countries. And I intend to access things like that through the National Assembly, not just from State Assembly because when it comes to international, we might need the support of my colleagues from National Assembly.
I intend to run what I call ‘inclusive representative where the constituents will have a say in what happens in the state House of Assembly. By that, I mean, I am going to have town hall meetings every quarter. I know it’s every quarter that constituency allowance funds are made available to the house members.
There, we have to discuss and agree on what those funds will be used for. I will also get to know the heart beat of my people, their most important needs to enable me know how to access or present it when I go back to the house. And to enable me know when to press because if not, you might go and be pressing wrong areas that might not be what they want, when you will be thinking you are actually working, sponsoring bills and other things that might not interest them. But if you engage them regularly, you will find out that as time goes on, as needs come up, they supersede each other.
Coming to the constituency project funds, I intend it to be self sustaining in my constituency. By that, I mean, the money will not be in constituency so that my constituents will be in liquid. What do I mean by that? Let’s assume, sometimes, constituency project funds come in form of projects and not cash. If it happens like that, the people that will execute that project must come from my constituency. The materials that will be brought for that project, must come from my constituency.
That way, my constituents benefit from the fiscal money, not outsiders coming into my constituency doing it by taking the money out. No! I will not want the money to be taken out but to be brought into my constituency. I need the money in the constituency, not out.
That way, you find out that more jobs will be created because the people that are going to get the job will employ more people. That is why I said, it has to be self sustaining.
Then for women, I intend to run an interest free programme for them. If I am able to access funds, I intend to map out some for market women because some of them, their capital are less than N50,000. And those kind of people, if they have that money without interest and use it for a quarter or a quarter and half, you find out that they would have covered that capital.
Then, they can take the money; lease that capital to another person. So it’s going to be rotational, from village to village. Like if it is 100 persons,200persons for a particular village, in that village, they will run it for a quarter after which they will unlease the money back to the next village.
For us to achieve this we have to sit down and argue on all this and necessary measures will also be put in place as an agreement to avoid people running away with the money. We will ensure that people don’t defunct it. You know, if you don’t have strongholds, people then think, it is free money and may take it and run away. But we have stronghold that people can’t run away with it. You come along with some kind of guarantors of local-stand that you know.
Even when this person gets to run away, he can refund the money. That’s why, you find out that by the time you run it for four years, you have empowered a lot of people which will in turn empower their own children, by taking them to school and other things.
I also intend to continue giving free scholarships to indigent students and it will be running side by side with what we do.
Last year, I did free medications for my constituency. It was the best that had ever happened in my constituency. We gave out over 4,000 free glasses. We gave injections for arthritis which lasted for six months.
We did test for hepatitis A,B,C,D; malaria, typhoid, we gave out mosquito nets, drugs for all kinds of sicknesses and diseases, including test for protein and urinary analysis. And whatever we discovered, drugs were administered to the people concerned. There are those that went for operation.
There was also a woman from Umudioka, that had elephantiasis on her leg but now, she is working again and happy now. There was a woman as well, that had twins prematurely and couldn’t afford incubator. We paid for that for four months. We have done a lot and intend doing more, if given a chance to serve.
Leadership is about service, not words. We have done well in the business world, we just want to serve. And the reason why I am doing this is because God gave me a second chance. November 15th, 2015,I was actually announced dead by Road Safety. I had an accident on my way to Enugu around Ugwuonyeama. A dangote truck carrying cement failed break and ran into my vehicle and three other ones.
The Dangote driver died with nine other persons. I was fortunate to have been saved by a police officer’s wife who rushed me to the hospital. After that, I decided to give back by helping people. Not just that I was given second chance but 10 years ago, I was on my way from Enugu to Port Harcourt for a friend’s wedding with a friend. I witnessed an accident.
There was a young boy of about 6-9 years who was involved in the incident and lost his parents as well. But I helped him by taking him to the hospital notwithstanding that three hospitals rejected accepting him. It was Parklane Hospital, Enugu, that later accepted him and an operation was carried out on him. Now,10 years after I saved him, mine happened and somebody else helped me as well. So, what goes around, comes around. When you do good, it comes back to you. That is what I believe and decided to give back”.
Is this your first time of vying for the election?
Yes, it is”.
What message do you have for your people?
“They should look out for people with leadership mind. Whoever you want to elect, what has the person done for the people? Is it someone that doesn’t have leadership skills or the heart of a servant or the heart to serve his people with truth. One doesn’t need to have billions before doing something.
There are people that don’t have work, you find out they are eager to do something for the people. The little they have, they intend using it to help others. These are the kind of people you elect – people that have the heart to give, not the people that don’t have the mind to give.
My advice to them is to ask the person what he has done before. If he has not ran for position before, he should show what he has achieved for the people in the past. If he is in government or he has been in government, what has he done vis-à-vis what he has been given? That will decide if he should be elected or not. If, what he has done cannot be measured with what he has been given, then he shouldn’t go back. He doesn’t need to be elected”.
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