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I’ll change the narrative in Awka North, South Federal Constituency – Ozalla




Chukwudi George Ozalla is an Abuja-based media consultant and an aspirant for Awka North and South Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives under the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview with CHIKAODI CHUKWULETA, he assured he will work with vital interest groups to bring the needed change in his constituency. Excerpts:

WHAT informed your decision to aspire for this position?

  It has been an age-long burning desire to render self-less service to my people. I didn’t just wake one day and decide to run for this office. I have been nurtured and mentored by many notable leaders. This is aside personal leadership development courses and programs I have also attended. I confidently believe that this is the time to put into practice all that I have learnt so far towards representing Awka North and South Federal Constituency qualitatively and differently because, really, it does appear that since 1999 to date, we have been jinxed.

Reason being that we keep having only those who go to the upper legislative chamber to  warm seats without much tangible legislative inputs that have direct impact on the constituents. This is why I am going there to change this old narrative with both visible capacity and pragmatic leadership dynamism. My past record of dedicated service with one of the federal government’s financial institutions – I put in over a decade there. The record is there for all to see, coupled with my active trade unionism, consultancy, civil society activism, media and publicity practice exposure, etc.

 So you can readily see that these rich experiences and ‘political will’ to deliver optimally are already existing, waiting to be fully utilised at this most critical moment of call to sefl-less service.

APC has not enjoyed commendable popularity in the South East, how do you intend to sell your candidacy using this platform?

  Thank you very much for this important question. This is not the time to reason narrowly or parochially.  The beauty of politics is all about choices, diversity of opinions and ideologies, broader perspectives, interests, consultations, lobbying, cross-border friendships and cross fertilisation of ideas, golden handshakes across and what have you.

So for me, I strongly believe that it is both uncharitable and unpatriotic to fanatically label and embrace mere popularity, symbol, slogan and shenanigans of any given political party at the expense of true essence of prospective individuals’ contestant’s track records, antecedents, strength of good character, courage, capacity and vision to ultimately deliver leadership goals. 

It is indeed high time, the electorate were well enlightened enough to remove what I shall term ‘corporate veils’ of members of political parties and vote in  good candidates among them without needlessly dwelling on the political platforms that they choose to present themselves to the electorate. Furthermore, political party can best be described as more or less a commercial vehicle that conveys one to one’s destination.

It doesn’t park there more often to monitor what one does. It is essentially about conscience, altruism and willingness to serve well. And let us also note that for the very fact that one belongs to a political party does not necessarily mean that that individual agrees with every policy, programs and decisions of that political party.

 Will you therefore, keep jumping from one political party to another because you are aggrieved or certain decisions didn’t go down well with you? No, no! Remember the saying that “politicians are like the Chinese: They all look and behave alike”. May be, with the exception of a few of us. However, let’s not forget that firstly, any political party that wants to be well reckoned with must have a nationalistic ‘out look’ and patriotic ‘eye view’. By the way, an elected federal lawmaker does not even represent his or her constituency alone.  He or she can make laws for the good of all citizens as well as represent, defend and speak for all citizens on the floor of the house.

What areas of representation do you think your constituency lacks that you want to focus on if given the opportunity?

  My key legislative interests will be focussed on the areas of justice, agriculture, education, ICT,  youth, good governance, transparency, accountability and women empowerment. Of course, I shall also endeavour to attract as many people-oriented projects and infrastructures as possible to my constituency, award scholarships, convince and partner with both local and foreign investors to come and invest in my constituency- which will no doubt, in turn,  create employment opportunities for my people as well as huge revenue inflow.

I shall unlike others, make myself readily available because leadership first and foremost is all about accessibility before responsibility. Most people get in there and forget entirely where they were coming from. You will never reach them again until the next election period. It is that bad to say the least, no excuses whatsoever.  If you know you cannot withstand the pressure, don’t come out to deceive the electorate. The conduct of my constituency’s over all affairs shall be open and transparent, periodically rendering accounts.

The electorate seem burdened with political promises that are rarely kept, what makes you different from others?

  I think I have just answered it substantially, that’s why I am coming to change the narrative, a clear paradigm shift from what used to be, getting in and getting esconced, totally removed from their people.  Those who know me very well, know that I take promises very seldom. I don’t intend to change that principle over night but rather to strengthen it.

 I want to use this medium to also educate voters that the primary responsibility of a law maker is to make good laws, contribute meaningfully on the floor of the house, present matters of urgent national importance concerning his or her constituency/constituents and then of course, use his or her peoples’ given mandate to touch as many lives as possible. Finally, I shall work closely with interest groups and my constituents with brilliant ideas to make my representation qualitative, felt, worthwhile and quite different! Thank you.

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