The Executive Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area, Mrs. Chinyere Nwogbaga has stated the need for power brokers and the people of other zones to support Ebonyi North to produce the next Governor even as they queue behind Engr David Umahi as president of Igbo extraction come 2023 general election.
Hon Nwogbaga made this known in an exclusive interview with NWOGHA NDUBUISI ANDY in her office at Ugbodo, Ebonyi LGA headquarters. She explained that the maintenance of equity in the State would encourage peaceful election come 2023 and would also prevent waste of resources by intending aspirants.
”Every good citizen of Ebonyi state should know that it is good for us to maintain that equity because it will continue to encourage peace and unity and make the system run very well, even as,it will also discourage the waste of resources by aspirants and not bringing division. I, so support that equity be maintained in Ebonyi state for the overall development of the area”.
Hon.Nwogbaga who also double as ALGON secretary in Ebonyi state, described the activities of Ebubeagu as a welcome development, while describing those who are calling for the scrapping of the regional security as distractors that should be ingnored.
She lauded the state Governor, Engineer David Nweze Umahi for his developmental strides and for giving women in the State the opportunity to hold top political positions in the State, while praying that more opportunities should be giving to women, to enable them contribute immensely in the development of the State and beyond.
May we know you Ma?
I am Mrs. chinyere Nwogbaga, the Executive Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area.
You have been the chairman of Ebonyi LGA for some years now and has been rated as one of the best chairmen in the health sector, kindly tell us your achievements so far?
“Thank you so much. As far as I am concern, I can’t say that am not the best because, really I am not competing with anybody but trying to put legal system that will stand test of time. I give God all the glory, because it is not by my power but it is through God that strengthens me. “So, on the side of health sector which you asked question on. Health is life and as a leader, you have to look into health of the people by putting some instrument on ground that will affect positively the health of the people, by providing provisions, caring for the health workers and many other things.
In Ebonyi Local Governmen Area, the salary of health workers comes monthly, they are not being owed and in Ebonyi State in general. All of us can bear the government witness that our Governor always pay members of the staff including the state workers their salary on or before 30th of every month unlike other state. The story of Ebonyi state is different because they have a leader that carries the interest of his people at heart and that we actually emulate by stepping down the good works to our local government councils to make sure that we care for people. We have constructed Health Center at Abofia village, if you go there you will see things for yourself that we are doing that to make sure that our people have access to medical attention, thereby, have health attendance, and doctors. Through that, the NGO’s like USAID and others have been coming to render their own services towards health and they know people are happy with the administration and on their own they get to assist the health sector through their immunization activities, distribution of net like mosquito net and sustaining our people with the need for them to get immunized. The need for pregnant women to go for Antenatal so they have been doing well in health sector.
What are your other achievements in different other sectors?
In Agric sector, we are equally giving attention in the area, like in Ebonyi local government, we have poultry farm and Piggery farm. I constructed piggery and poultry farm to boost the Internal Generated Revenue of the local government. “So, we put it in place we have asked our people if they are interested the local government is ready to lease the poultry and the piggery farm to our people, to our youth and to our women. Just for them to buy their own pig and their own Day old Chicks put it there, manage the whole thing, and by the end of the month you can pay at the tranche to the council because we are not going to charge them. We did it in order to empower them, so there’s no need telling them to pay a lot of money, it has been there as an avenue to create a revenue to our local government, we must have to collect a little stipend from the people that want to manage it and if you go there you will see the piggery and poultry pen still open for business. Also, we have some people who face the risk where their livestock died in large number due to disease outbreak in the past. We agreed to assist such person, we also assist our rural farmers by giving them fertilizer from time to time which we called our women and give them farm input, like last week the farmers received yam seedlings among the community leaders whom we mobilize and gave them little money during farming season. In area of social amenities, we have given traders at Kpiri- kpiri a facelift to those affected by fire incident by building them 50 open shops where they can stay and sell their farm inputs without collecting money from them,likewise, at Ogbaga market, We built 12 open shops also at Ogbala market we built 36 open shops. And in educational sector, we have assisted our less privileged students by given over 12 students 7 female and 5 male free scholarship and some have graduated and some are still in final year. We have also constructed 4 class room block in Amegu, we have also renovated Mbeke community school. The council has also organized a committee with the Education Secretary in visiting schools in the state at least 2 or 3 in a week to know how the teachers are teaching and sometimes we have meeting with the P.T.A and I do go to school to know about the school activities. Sometimes if the committee see any small child along the street they would pick the child and interrogate the parents on why the child is not going to school. I, have also given bursary to about 1,200 students in Ebonyi local government because the money is helping them in buying hand out and taking care of their minor needs. Hence, do sponsor students in their community programmes,like last time some students came to the office and told me they want to organize a sensitization programme for pupils and students in the school about the negative effects of cultism and in-take of hard drugs and other social vices which our people need to know and we supported them they also shared exercise books to the students. We are trying our best towards improving our educational sector to make sure that our children are not left behind.
Then that of school monitoring, we are not taking it lightly because if we don’t supervise, that means we will not achieve a good result so it’s always advisable for a leader to advise the system very well and that is exactly what our governor is doing. He is a man that supervises and that is why we are having a good result in Ebonyi State.
In the area of Infrastructural development, I wouldn’t say but to the Glory of God we have done much in line with the mantra of His Excellency. When I came on board as Council chairman, I met a bushy environment which made this place looks not like a Secretariat; we renovated, repainted the whole building and stadium. So, we constructed bridges, Eze Ngele double cell bridge at Aboffia while the other one is at Achara Nkaliki. Also, graded so many roads which I cannot mention all. We drilled 36 boreholes across the 13 wards that we have. Since I am saying it off hand, I cannot remember all of them. We, equally constructed two rooms and parlor for indgents family since the man and his wife have no home they were living and they were extremely very poor. so we built a house for them. We constructed so many culvert and installed transformer in communities, we even stepped down electricity in some villages. To the glory of God, I think today, we are doing our best to make sure that we leave a legacy. So I can beat my chest and thank God that during my own administration that projects got down to 11 communities in Ebonyi LGA. We constructed culverts, drilled boreholes, stepped down electricity, and graded roads across the 11 communities. I have empowered alot of our youth and women in their businesses, sometimes I give them financial assistance to support their business. How have you been able to manage your home as a mother and Council Chairman? Thank you so much, it has not been an easy task but I believe that one with God will make a good success, you have to be confident in yourself and have to cool down and do things because if you don’t make a good home you can’t be able to lead others. You must be a good wife and mother before you can stand before the public and talk. I have able to overcome that through prayers, that God may help me perform my works perfectly and I haven’t failed. I humble myself before my husband as the head of the family; we do things together, discuss together and plan together and I always take advice from him because you can’t say that as the local government chairman there is nothing like a husband. As his wife, he will bless, encourage you and you will have peace of mind and discharge well in your administrative duties. But if only you don’t have peace of mind, definitely It will show in your work place. So make sure you perform your duties as a mother, bring up your children well because when you go out and your children misbehave you will not be able to face the youths when they misbehave, because your own home is not organized. So, it is good to do your best as a mother to make a good home as the public look up to you. But when you start raising your hands that you have arrived, you can’t do things well. So bring up your children, obey your husband and he will bless you. Have there been any challenges? Well, they have been alot of challenge but what matters is how you are able to defeat them. You will encounter alot of individual difference from people you are working with, some working with you and at the other hand back bitting you, you will encounter bad attitude towards work, non-challant behavior and some disturbing conflict because of hatred, because you are in a higher position than them. So as a leader, when you discover those challenge, you should be able to use the right approach to tackle them inorder to achieve success. There are challenges but to the glory of God, we normally encounter them and defeat them. So far so good I have a cordial relationship with my principal officers,with the legislatures,the executives are working cordially and the stakeholders. they are all wonderful because they’ve always been there for me to succeed in this my administration. Their fatherly advise, their motherly advise, their corporation anytime that I encounter any challenge and we will always put hands together to resolve it and that will always make a leader to succeed knowing that you’re not the owner of a particular place that you’re governing and you still have an Elder that you are supposed to from time to time, ask questions and seek for advice.
Women have really done much in various elective positions such as councilor, chairmen of LGA and even house of assembly, why is it that Ebonyi women are not giving bigger support for senate?
In this present administration I believe that Engineer David Nweze Umahi has done so much by accommodating women in his administration both at the local government level I can tell you that all the vice chairman we have in the 13 Local government council are all women .The secretaries of the local government they are all women. Since the inception of democracy in Ebonyi state, it’s under the leadership of Engineer David Nweze Umahi that we have three female local government council chairmen . The ALGON secretary is a female, the ALGON chairman have been piloting the affairs of that body very well. So, having given us such privileges,such opportunity to occupy, we are grateful. That is why I always advise my women that anywhere you find yourself be it the local government chairman, house of assembly, be it the commissioners, the supervisors, councilor, leaders and so on and so forth. Play your role very well because if we play our role very well that means we are seeking for more.That which we have done will speak for us, the men will say good, let us entrust more power in the hands of women as that we have handled our positions very well. Through that we will be giving much more opportunity to contribute towards the development of the country and State at large. The other day we went for a convention and women are saying give us a chance. With women, we’re the highest people that cast our votes and we always dare not to compromise. Once the woman have aired their opinion then we will go. We don’t compromise. What we have been saying is women can be governor, woman can be senator, women can be in house of Representatives,women can even be a president and even a vice president or deputy governor. Give us chance because the ones they have entrusted to us,we didn’t disappoint the people. Men shouldn’t always look down on their woman. If we start to mention the women that left a legacy and have made things happen in Nigeria in any circle they find themselves you know that if we’ have been given a chance to occupy a higher position like Senate, house of rep, house of assembly even to be a speaker or deputy governor, even to be a governor we will still perform credibly well because men have now known that all the women will occupy a position and will not fail to do their work as a wife or a mother. So if somebody like me can still occupy a position of local government and still take care of my home,other women can still do so. Give us a chance and we will surprise men. We’re not competing with them, there’s no how we can compete with our men but wisdom cometh from God.
What is the possibility of a woman succeeding Gov Umahi as the next Governor of the State?
Every possibility comes from not from man but from God. If it pleases God that a woman is going to occupy a position in the government no human being can object that. Every power comes from God, every opportunity comes from God and even anything that somebody will be in life comes from God as far as God has destined because once we are doing our own as human beings still remember that God exist. That is why a man like Governor David Nweze Umahi will always say talk to God first,just pray to God, he’s the only God that can direct. That is why he said politics is not only about causing problems, carrying gun, instigating crises here and there. That is not what will give you a vote. We believe that when you do good to your people and always work together, you will succeed. So if God had destined that a woman will be the governor of this state, nothing is impossible. For me to stand here and I say that a woman must, you know I can’t use such a word but tomorrow. This one should go to this side and the other one should go to the other side, we will join hand together because everything has been distributed.
Insecurity has been a major concern in the South East and beyond, will the emergence of Nigeria President of Igbo Extraction quell the situation?
It is a welcomed development, my advice is, first of all they should not start rising their shoulder up, and a proper consultation need to be done, go closer to the women tell them why they should support you and the agenda, what you will do and the area you will help the women, and again if you have occupied the position you tell them what you have done, the legacies you have layed that will speak volume for you to excel higher and also know what the law says and make sure you are law abiding citizen and be sure you didn’t engage yourself in something that will deprive you of that position, Consult the leaders, pray and work harder. Tell the women what you have for them and they will be there to give you all the support. On the side of men tell them that your administration will accommodate everyone including the youths, your agenda should also be to elevate the success of the people and creating employment and making yourself accessable, this is because you pleaded to them to vote you so you must be accessable to them, and it’s the Better way to succeed, the pregnant women are to be cared for and some homes that death has taken away their parents and the children has passion for education or has taken a bold step to further their education should be assisted financially. If people can access you, go down to people in rural areas gather information, listen to people’s stories, bring them and scrutinize it and know the one’s to assist, Coming down to the people you are governing or the people you intend to lead is very important, Social media can not help you if your are contesting your own in the media, you need to go down and listen to people people and God will help you.
As 2023 is around the corner for general election, various political groups have rising up calling for the maintenance of the charter of equity, while other say it should be disregarded, what is your take on this ma?
If there is equity there must be peace, Now we have three senatorial zone and south is currently occupying the Governor’s seat and will believe by 2023 it will be the turn of North, every good citizen of Ebonyi state should know that it is good for us to maintain that equity and it will be peace and unity and make the system run very well and also not wasting resources and not bringing division, let equity be maintained in Ebonyi state. That is why I’m happy we have someone like Governor David Umahi, a very courageous man, if he is allowed to take a place in the presidency, with what he has done in Ebonyi state I bet you we will have a new and a better Nigeria, because in the side of security, infrastructure and development he has done very well, and is also allowing everyone to contribute in policy making. Let us not see it that David Umahi is contesting rather let us see it that the whole Ebonyians and south east is contesting. What is your assessment between member of Ebubeagu security outfit and the community.
Will you say that with the presence of Ebubeagu security men, there are less crime in your council?
I know youths, so many of them are not doing anything that’s why I said it calls for someone with wisdom and new ideas on how to santinize the system. He brought up the idea of this Ebubeagu just to help the security. When it was established, we used jobless youths making them busy, engaging them in security. Once they are engaged, automatically they bring peace and life to the community, gradually making that person a reasonable citizen. The Ebubeagu are working in collaboration with the security chiefs. They are rendering their services,they aren’t taking laws into their hands. Sometimes they make mistakes but laws are there equally to correct them or reprimand them. Most times they embark on monthly training. The citizens sometimes commit crime and blame it on Ebubeagu. Due to Ebube Agu’s activities, everywhere is calm now in Ebonyi state, as far as everyone is concerned, the ebube agu teams are doing their jobs perfectly well. Going down to the grass roots , you can ask questions to the traditional rullers and chiefs. Any ceremony, Christmas,they are often present. Being dispatch to various check point for protection. Everyone should ignore the rumors of Ebubeagu misdeed, there are just distractors. David Nweze Umahi is a spirit led man, thank God to him.
Describe Gov.David Nweze Administration?
David Nweze Umahi is a Godsent, and in infrastructural development Governor Umahi has taken the Ebonyians to a greater height and would be missed after his tenure from generation to generation. At night due to the traffic lights, one can easily walk in the streets, he made Ebonyi global,his achievements are second to none. Am proud to be one of his associates in this tenure and again as a local government chairman. The Governor didn’t leave prayer. He always called on God In his endevours, this has made his administration to succeed. His wife is a humble woman because I can’t end this interview without mentioning Mrs Rachel Nweze Umahi. She’s a humble and prayerfull woman. She would secretly call in women to make her proud, not being rude but humble. Currently they are three local government female chairman’s In the state,Vice chairmen and secretaries. And other exco female members, courtesy of Mrs Nweze Rachael Umahi.We can’t ignore her good works. All this benefits women enjoy all thanks to her. So we are thanking our role model chief Mrs Nweze Rachel Umahi, she is a mother indeed. She has done massively by helping motherless children, stopping female genital mutilation.
What would you like to be remembered for after your tenure as a council chairman?
As a Local Government chairman, most people call me peaceful dove because I am always reaching out and advocating for peace. With peace we can achieve many things and I believe I’ll be remembered as a woman of peace, Youth friendly chairman. I have never stopped fighting in ways to better the finances of our youths and indigene student welfare. I remember my background and this thought makes me rethink and impact life’s. If I don’t have I don’t sleep and I become restless. I go to God on my knees. Once I save a soul it gives me joy. It blesses me to do good and thats it.