Michael Nnachi is the current senator for the Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone and will run in the 2023 election against incumbent Governor David Umahi, Linus Okorie and Ifeanyi Eleje, among others. he talks to EDWARD NNACHIabout the part-time legislature, its performance, the system of local government and other topics
Low Umahi’s administration, the local government system is supposedly a shadow of itself in the state, and development at the council level is being stifled. Care to suggest how to make LG management viable again in the state?
There have been Supreme Court rulings affirming the independence and autonomy of the LGAs as the third level of government and not as an appendage to state governors. But governors who are so obsessed with expanding their frontiers of power don’t want to hear that. The way to end such impunity in Ebonyi is for the people to vote out any APC candidate who stands to be a replacement. The people of Ebonyi should take a stand and return the LGAs to their constitutional position and honor by making sure that Ebonyi, the traditional state of the PDP, remains so after Umahi leaves office. Let’s make it happen on March 11, 2023, when the state will elect its next governor.
What is your opinion on the part-time legislature for members of the House of Assembly, members of the House of Representatives and senators in the country, as requested in some quarters?
So far, I cannot recall any group or groups that have submitted such a position as a bill to the National Assembly to effect such a change. Whenever we receive such a bill, I’m sure we’ll consider it on its merits.
Before going to the Senate, he had been a renowned accomplished surveyor. I have been in private practice since after my National Youth Service and am a pivotal person in the private sector, which is true of many NASS members as well. For me, I am not afraid to become a part-time National Assembly lawmaker if that is what Nigerians want, as long as it is backed by law. NASS belongs to no one but Nigeria. Therefore, whatever Nigerians want rules the day.
Umahi recently said that the PDP has no structure in Ebonyi State. Aren’t you concerned about the incumbency factor of the Umahi-APC?
What difference to the structure of people? The Ebonyi PDP has the Ebonyi people because it is the only party that can free them from their current slavery.
Again, did Umahi win any elections in any APC structure? If the PDP has no structure, how did he and the others who migrated to APC come to power? Anyone who says that is like a child who claims that his parents did not exist.
Since 1999, Ebonyi has been a state of the PDP. It was the PDP that made him and his people go over to the APC. Everything they boast about today is attributable to the PDP. They would have no personality to despise the party (PDP) that made them.
There have been reports of billboards and campaign materials of opposition politicians in the state being damaged or destroyed by state government agents. How does this make you feel?
It makes me and the rest of Nigerians confirm that the Ebonyi government runs a dictatorship where opposition politics has been made a crime. It is clear and unequivocal that Umahi and his followers are the most intolerant political races and have the wrong democratic culture.
It appears that the ban on political campaigns in schools, markets, parks and other public places by the Umahi government is taking its toll on opposition elements in the state as there appears to be a pause on their part, even to the point of not campaigning Is it true that the ban is the reason why your party (the PDP) has not campaigned in the state?
That’s not a major problem. There are many ways to reach the electorate. We are not rude or violent and would not resort to banditry or confront them. This misguided style of policy will expire on May 29, 2023.
After the election, the governor becomes a lame duck in office. He can ban anything he wants to ban, but the Ebonyi people who love their freedom from his “cell” will still circumvent those bans and vote for the PDP.
Some analysts say that the Ebonyi Mall is a “white elephant” project, questioning its economic benefits for the masses. What is your opinion on this, sir?
First of all, who owns that mall? The EFCC will resolve it soon. It’s a matter of six months, and the world will know the facts. That will be the starting point.
Umahi has repeatedly alleged that he personally selected him to become a senator and that without him he could not have become a senator. For the first time, tell Nigerians what happened.
I only laugh when I hear that.
First of all, Umahi is not Nnamdi Azikiwe, who won Nigeria’s independence and paved the way for us to participate in politics to lead our country. He is not Herbert Macaulay, who formed the first political party in Nigeria. He was not on the team that created the PDP in 1998.
So what caused this arrogance? I was in politics long before I met or knew him. If Umahi or anyone else claims to have appointed me, and I wouldn’t have been without him, he should have picked an illiterate wheelbarrow pusher in the market and made him a senator. If Umahi can take credit for creating me, which is still not correct, he possibly took an interest in me because he saw qualities in me that impressed him. I was a man made by the grace of God before I met Umahi. I had a brilliant professional practice, which he can never deny. The people who were governors before him led him to be the state PDP chair and created the opportunity to make him lieutenant governor. They bet his trust and resources on making him governor. Or did he make all of those himself? If people did it, why is it news that he did someone else? And to those who made Umahi, including Governor Martin Elechi, did you ever show any appreciation?
God made Umahi what it is through the use of people. God made me a senator, also using the people.
What are your plans for Ebonyi South to change the narrative of rising unemployment in the area if he is re-elected senator?
First of all, I am a legislator and my main constitutional role is to make laws for a better Nigeria. The uniqueness of Nigeria requires that all elected or appointed public officials contribute to the development of society in ways other than by law.
For the record, the peculiar nature of labor shortage makes it impossible to cancel that pain overnight. It would take a concerted and sustained effort to overcome unemployment. But that doesn’t mean we all have to sit idly by. That’s why I’ve played various roles to make sure the people of my Senate district aren’t left out of the effort to keep younger people busy. With the job openings that I know of and my drive, I know that I have created the opportunity for more than 20 of our youth to gain employment with government agencies.
On top of that, I’ve lobbied hard to ensure that the federally assigned State College of Education is located in my area. That university in Isu, Onicha LGA, is an employment group, and with the local content quota and policy, hundreds of people from my constituency will be employed here by the time it’s up and running. These will range from the best professionals to the lowest paid unskilled workers.
There are accusations that he hasn’t done well since he joined. What is your reaction?
I’m glad you describe the position as an accusation. It is a mere allegation and it must always remain so because the facts on the ground are totally different from such allegations. Meanwhile, whoever makes the claim is unaware of the reality on the ground in my constituency. There is not one of the five councils in my constituency that I have not had a positive impact on.
No leader does everything or provides everything that the people need, but overall, there is no senator who has represented Ebonyi South and given the peculiarities facing Nigeria, who has done as much as I have in four years. I say this and expect to be challenged. All the LGAs testify to me that I didn’t leave any, not with the “wars” I fought in Abuja, even against Governor Umahi, who wanted the new College of Education to be assigned to the state somewhere, to make sure it got there. to Onicha. Will the LGA ever deny my impact? It is not possible because they know of my insistence that made it possible. I have built roads, provided water, healthcare facilities, provided electricity, empowered people to acquire skills and much more.
Regarding road infrastructure, I attracted and completed Iyi Onuu Itim Edda highway, Isu Amanator highway, Isu Onicha, Amaeze-Amaeke Ishiagu highway, Ivo LGA, Nde Chima Amoso Edda highway, Iyi Offia Itim Edda highway and the Ugwuegu Afikpo road. We made a credible and verifiable impact by ensuring that the construction of the Owutu-Oso federal highway is not sidelined by obtaining a budget allocation for it. The work is still on at this time. Construction is still ongoing on Iyi Onuu road in Ishiagu, Ivo LGA.