Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Orji, who marked his 50th birthday on December 25, granted interview to TheSun about his life, politics and governance.
In this rare interview with the Speaker, a son of former Governor Theodore Ahamefula Orji, also spoke about his relationship with the present governor of Abia State.
Below is the interview.
Mr. Speaker, we will start first by congratulating you on your birthday coming up on December 25. You were born the same date Jesus Christ was born. How does it feel to share the same birthday with the Saviour of the world?
Well, I feel special as a human being, knowing that there is reason for everything and even though nobody is perfect, I try to do things that will please people, being born on a Christmas Day. I see it as a rare privilege.
Would you say sharing birthday with Jesus Christ is a blessing or burden?
It is both a blessing and a burden. It is a blessing because everything associated with Jesus Christ is good. However, I think it’s more of the latter because nobody can equate himself with our Lord and Saviour. Your life should not be for personal aggrandisement but for the benefit of others. Christmas is a time you reach out to the less privileged in society; you try to make your environment better than you met it, whether you are rich or poor.
People say life begins at 40 and you are 50. How does it feel to join the golden club?
I feel a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment. I feel a sense of pride in the sense that I’m grateful to God that He has kept me alive up to this point. I feel accomplishment that God has granted me favour in His eyes. I am happy for the grace of God. It is His grace that has made it possible for me to achieve whatever I have been able to achieve.
Looking at your family background, could you share with us what your growing up was like and what life has taught you?
My growing up was very interesting. I was the only child of my parents for almost 16 years. Most people don’t know that. Because of that, my parents, especially my mother pampered me a lot. In fact, while growing up, when I walked in the street with my mother, people thought she was my sister; they never believed she was my mother. So, I was well taken care of by my parents because I was the only child for close to almost 16 to 17 years. In fact, when they put me in boarding school, I ran back home after one month. I couldn’t stay because as only child then I got all the attention. In boarding house, it was different; so I ran home. My parents didn’t chase me back; they allowed me to go to school, Government College, Owerri, from home. So, I was desirous of having other siblings around me, I was not happy being alone for almost 16 years.
By the grace of God, my parents were then blessed with two other girls and three boys, who came after me. I don’t have any other best friend; my wife, parents, brothers and sisters are my best friends.
Talking about what life has taught me, I would say that life has taught me resilience, loyalty to a cause, hard work and being generous to people. It has taught me many good things, which I imbibed when I was growing up. My father told me something that has helped me in life. He listed somethings I should avoid in life; they are about four . He said I should never allow quarrel to come between anybody and I based on four things.
The first one is land matters. I don’t get involved in land matters. I know you will be shocked to hear that. Two, money. If you and I do a business together and you decide to cheat me, so be it. I know that God has a way of sorting it out, in the long run. Three, my father told me not get into confrontation with my friend or anybody because of a woman. Then lastly, he said I should be careful how I drink. According to him, there is nothing wrong with socialising, but do everything in moderation.
With those four principles, my parents, especially my mother who is the stricter person, helped me to mould my attitude in life.
Life has taught me how to cope with such things as betrayal, envy and jealousy. I did not make myself to be the son of a governor, neither did my father wake up one day and saw himself as a governor. Somebody and some people made very big use of the man’s quality as a decent man and based on those attributes, he became a governor. So, for somebody to envy you or to betray you means that that person may not likely get to the position you are currently occupying.
How do you manage things like betrayal?
It is usually painful to be betrayed. I have had it in abundance. People will betray you when they feel that they need to be you. I have learnt to ignore them and move on in my life. I know that as long as there is this thing called conscience, such people do not eventually have peace because betrayal is very bad. It is sad that some people will instigate problem between you and somebody deliberately. That’s why we should not be too quick to judge. People cause crisis and fuel it for their own interest. So, it takes wisdom and God’s guidance to manage this. Always pray to God to open your eyes and help you to avoid such people, to stay on your own and allow nature to take its course.
Anambra 2021: Why Ekwunife Remains Exceptional Among All The Contenders
As INEC Puts A Date for the Battle for the Soul of Anambra State, Few Reasons Why Ekwunife Is Top Among Contenders
By Kingsley Ubani
With the announcement of November 6, 2021, as the date for the Anambra Governorship election, it is now exactly 288 days before Anambrarians go to the polls. Sequel to this, it is therefore expected that in the coming days and months, the argument and discussion on who becomes the next Governor of the State will become more intense.
While those who may argue for or against an Aspirant will do so based on personal conviction or interest. The life wire of every productive argument is facts rather than sentiments.
The indices or criteria for choosing an Executive Governor are generally known. But for each time the opportunity to make that choice, which is often once in four years comes, new criteria usually emerge. These criteria are usually influenced by how the State has been governed by the outgoing administration, and the present demand of the people of the State.
One does not need to be a mind reader to decipher the fact that in 2021 Anambrarians would want to choose a leader with a greater grassroots understanding. This basically means that one of the criteria that may inform the choice of Ndi Anambra, is the Candidate’s affinity to adopt a bottom-top approach in developing the State.
It is not out of place to say that politics of the grassroots is common in most political domains, but politics and political campaigns are only precursors to that which actually drives development – Governance or better put Good Governance!
I believe that the reason why in most settings, activities at the grassroots grow in political seasons and shrink after that, is that while many play politics of the grassroots, the ability, capacity and skill to translate this into governance that drives grassroots development seem to be reserved for a few.
It is no longer news that the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Uche Ekwunife, is in the race to become the next Governor of Anambra State. Aside her gender which obviously adds credence to her aspiration, Ekwunife’s antecedents speak volumes.
I have often described leadership as a process which involves learning and growth, and in terms of political leadership, experience, track records and antecedents count for much. If it didn’t, Anambrarians wouldn’t have much to complain about the current government. Senator Ekwunife’s capacity to deliver in office has been put to test not once, not twice. Somehow she has managed to live up to the often time, very high expectations.
As the resources of our dear State which is a microcosm of the Nigerian State remain even more limited in the face of a deadly pandemic, Anambrarians must choose a Governor who can identify 1-Our greatest need. 2-Those who are in greater need. This of course, does not require rocket science, but it takes experience and understanding of our developmental challenges as a people to achieve, an area Senator Ekwunife has proven to be very knowledgeable.
Ekwunife’s recent stakeholders’ meetings in the three Senatorial Districts of the State availed her the opportunity to state what she has achieved in her 18 months stay in office to the members of her party, the PDP which represents a glimpse of what is possible if she is given the opportunity to govern the State.
Part of her records were the attraction of an unprecedented 27 community development driven road projects. Several 3-bedroom bungalow projects for indigent local families. Erosion control projects. Borehole and Street lights Projects. Medical Outreach programmes. Capacity Building and Empowerment Programmes. Employment facilitation for the unemployed youths, etc.
A study on the siting of Senator Ekwunife’s projects and the beneficiaries of her programmes cum facilitated employments should leave no one in doubt of the capacity of the Senator whom many recently dubbed Madam Project, Oji Uno Eme Ogo, Ekwueme Et al to deliver purposeful leadership and reach out to the most vulnerable, as well as the developmentally troubled communities.
While history will be made with Ekwunife’s emergence as Governor, which will see her become the first Nigerian woman to through the polls occupy the seat many believe the time is ripe for women to show their mettle on and prove the onus of their managerial abilities, let me re-echo the words of the quintessential Senator, “I am not in the race because I’m a woman. I am running for Governor because I have the competence, capacity and capability to deliver the much needed development to Anambra State”. Quite frankly, even detractors cannot deny the truth in this statement uttered by the woman I like to call the Lady with the Midas Touch!
Herdsmen’s Actions Illegal, Presidency Misinterpreted Constitution – Adegboruwa
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has faulted the presidency’s opposition to the vacation order given to herdsmen in Ondo State by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
CHRYSORA MEDIA reports that Akeredolu had asked herdsmen to leave the state’s forest reserves within seven days.
Apart from ejecting the herdsmen, Akeredolu also banned under-aged grazing, night grazing, movement of cattle within the cities and highways.
But the presidency in a statement on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Akeredolu lacked the power to unilaterally sack herdsmen from Ondo forests.
Reacting in an interview with The PUNCH, the senior advocate said the presidency misinterpreted sections of the constitution.
Adegboruwa said, “I salute the courage of the governor. He displayed rare statesmanship and courage. I think it is a lesson for all governors to take hold of their territory and safeguard the lives and properties of people.
While it is herdsmen in the South, it is foreigners in the North. All of us are suffering.
I backed the governor 100 per cent because the constitution, in Section 14: 2, makes the security and welfare of the people the primary essence of governance. Any governor that cannot guarantee the lives and properties of the people does not deserve to be in office.
The constitution that the presidency is referring to is being misconceived and misinterpreted. Section 43 which grants people the right to own properties anywhere in Nigeria, cannot be construed as taking other people’s properties.
Your right to acquire properties is that you acquire according to law and follow due process. When you get to a forest, it rather belongs to an individual, a community, or government. So, if you want to come to occupy a forest as a stranger, you must obtain the consent of any of the owers. You are a trespasser and any of them can activate a process to forfeit your trespass. This is what the governor has done by giving notice.
“What the law requires is seven days to forfeit the occupation of a place occupied illegally. It is the presidency that is not conversant with the laws of our land, not Akeredolu.
“Section 44 of our constitution is against the compulsory takeover of lands. Let the presidency read the constitution properly. What the herders are doing is a forceful takeover of people’s land which is unconstitutional.”
Makinde Condemns Call For Herdsmen’s Exit From Oyo
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has warned against actions that could incite peace in the state, saying that no individual or group has the right to initiate forceful eviction of the Fulanis from Oyo State.
Makinde gave the warning in a statewide broadcast, on Wednesday, in reaction to the ultimatum that was reportedly given to the Fulanis in the state by Chief Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a Sunday Igboho, a popular businessman and activist from the Oke Ogun axis of the state.
The governor, who said that whoever defaults would be made to face the wrath of the law, directed the chairmen of all local government council areas and local council development areas in the state to work in harmony with traditional rulers and the security agencies in their councils to ensure that peace is maintained.
Governor Makinde, while reiterating his determination to uphold the nation’s Constitution, said the common enemy of the people is not the Hausa/Fulani who is looking for pasture for his flock nor the farmer who just wants to grow food to sell in the market to feed his family but the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers and bandits who infiltrated the society.
Governor Makinde said, “The past few weeks’ events have made it imperative that I address issues that have to do with the internal security of our dear state.
“Barely a week ago, I had cause to call out members of the press who were allowing themselves to be used to stoke ethnic tensions among the good people of Oyo State. There have been stories in the press targeted at exaggerating the security situation in the state.
“We cannot overlook the fact that there had indeed been instances that caused concern. The fragile peace between the herdsmen and farmers in Oke Ogun is being threatened. Individuals who are not authorised are going around chasing people from their homes and causing mayhem. This assault on residents of Oyo State is not the way to further the Yoruba cause.
“Let me state that we shall not sit back and watch anyone make any law-abiding resident of Oyo State feel unsafe in their homes, farms, or business places. We are aware of some people circulating flyers and giving people ultimatums to leave their land. This is totally unacceptable and will not be condoned.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which I swore to defend and protect, guarantees freedom of movement in Section 41(1), such that citizens are free to reside in any part of the country without fear. We are determined to preserve that right in Oyo State.
“Therefore, I am calling on individuals or groups planning to take actions that would lead to the forcible removal of anyone from Oyo State to desist from taking such actions. Any persons who fail to abide by this directive will face the full wrath of the law.
“All local government and local council development area chairpersons are directed to work with the traditional rulers and the officers of the security agencies to ensure that peace is maintained in all parts of the state. Let me also use this medium to speak to our traditional rulers; they must not be part of plans to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of residents of Oyo State.
“I must reiterate that we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against any individuals who try to disrupt the peace in Oyo State. Our administration is taking all necessary steps to protect the good people of Oyo State from harassment, thuggery and banditry. We believe we have the situation under control.
“It is time for us to come together and put the interests of our state first. We have a common enemy. That enemy is not the Hausa Fulani who is looking for pasture for his flock. It is not the farmer who just wants to grow food to sell in the market or to feed his family. Our enemies are the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers and bandits.
“We have constitutionally empowered people who will arrest and prosecute these criminals. Our job, as active citizens, is to help them where we can to identify these enemies. Report any criminals and criminal activities you are privy to and let the authorities take action. If you see something, say something.
“I must acknowledge the efforts of some officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have resumed their constitutional duties of maintaining law and order in our state. I encourage the leadership of the Police to continue to collaborate with our administration to secure Oyo State. With our collective efforts, we can continue to keep the peace in Oyo State.”
World1 week ago
Trump declares state of emergency in DC ahead of Biden’s inauguration
News4 months ago
Nigeria will support Joe Biden with $600M as a pay back to Trump who supported IPOB – Lai Mohammed
News5 months ago
Ex Gov. of Ekiti, Fayose condems former President, Olusegun Obasanjo for his comment about late Buruji Kashamu.
Entertainment1 year ago
Bird turn into naked beautiful woman after been knocked down by Driver (video)
News1 year ago
Thunderous C2IFG "Own Your Life Campaign" Retreat That Storm Whole Of Abuja
World8 months ago
US PRESIDENT CANCELLED BILL GATES PROJECT KNOWN AS ID2020.
News7 months ago
President Buhari Considering Fresh Nation-wide Lockdown, Gives Reasons
News11 months ago
Lady mistakenly uploaded her n@kkɛd video on social media