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Defection after election is illegal –Ezeh

As the 2023 general election draws near, the issue of zoning is becoming a determining factor even at the National Assembly level. Prince Dr Emeka Ezeh, a House of Representatives aspirant for Anaocha – Dunukofia – Njikoka Federal Constituency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) speaks with OKEY MADUFORO on this and other matters

 

The PDP in Anambra State has had a litany of crises. What do you think can be done to check the problem?

 

Our party is the most democratic in the country and other political parties that are existing today copied from the PDP. When you look at the constitution of all these parties you will discover t hat they practically scripted their laws after our party.

 

So when you talk about the crisis in the PDP you should also know that the crisis is not only in the party but other parties and it would be incorrect to only single out the party.

 

Now you should know that the problems of our party in the state are the handiwork of some people who feed on crisis and if there is peace in the party they are never happy. Anambra has always been a PDP state until some people came and started causing trouble. But you can agree with me that our party in Anambra will come out of the crisis better and stronger.

 

After the state congress and our leaders emerge we would have been better poised to go for the 2023 general elections and the outcome would be great. We have been discussing with stakeholders of the party and all the perceived factions in the party and in due time all issues would be resolved.

You recently declared to contest for the House of Representatives. What informed that?

 

I have been in politics for such a long time and I have all the experience in politics, so I am not a greenhorn and I know exactly what I am going for. Come to think of it, I am from Ukpo in Dunukofia Local Government Area and in the history of representations in that federal constituency it is only my local government area that has not produced a National Assembly member.

 

Njikoka has been there for 12 years as well as Anaocha Local Government Area but Dunukofia has not been there and there is no equity at all and there is no fair play. So it is fair and just that Dunukofia should produce the next National Assembly member and we have all that it takes to actualize this objective. Similarly you know that when it comes to representation I am well informed about my federal constituency and what they need at this point.

 

All that we need is to capitalize on the human and material resources that are bound in my constituency and leverage on them. For instance, as a medical practitioner one of my first line charges is the primary and secondary health which would impact positively on the people at the rural areas.

 

We have health centers in the three local government areas and with my medical connections health care delivery would be addressed to its fullest and we shall also fight infant mortality rate in our communities.

 

The problem we have in the area of representation is that some of our lawmakers    dwell more in sharing Keke tricycle and bags of rice with few medical missions towards the general election and this doesn’t have any positive effect on the constituents. We have constituency projects that are represented in the annual appropriation; that is the budget and all they do is make inputs and possibly get the contractors that would do those projects.

 

But those projects end up as white elephant that would never be completed to the peril of the electorate. They prefer to do what is inspected and not what is expected and nobody accounts for those projects .You cannot tell me that if we have a data of the skilled and unskilled unemployed youths in the federal constituency and work with the National Directorate of Employment to train them and empower the youths that you cannot get a second term.

 

When you power a hairdresser or a young man that is a mechanic or electrician he would engage an apprentice who would also generate income that would also feed his or her aged parents and with that you serviced more than one family and take the youths out of crime.

 

When you look at the educational sector you would discover that vocational edu-  cation has become a thing of the past and people now go for white collar jobs. But if we can reintroduce vocational and skill education the problems of unemployment would be a thing of the past.

 

I am not going to the National Assembly to enrich myself because going by my background and pedigree I am comfortable coming from a royal family but what about those who are not as lucky as I am? So it becomes instructive that we use the instruments of governance to alleviate the problems of our people.

 

Coming back to your party, do you think that the primary election of your party would be free and fair?

 

I believe in the internal democracy of my party the Peoples Democratic Party and after our congresses and convention you will see that the issue of free and fair primary election would have been taken care of.

 

The issue here is that people who are not members of our party would always come to contest and when they win they would return to their party and that has been affecting our electoral process.

 

Let the owners of PDP go for primaries and when they win they would remain in the party and carry party members along.

 

That brings us to the trending cases in the courts about the party and the candidates: who is the sponsor?

 

The Electoral Act which is part of the Constitution made it clear that the party sponsors the candidate and a candidate cannot just go for an election without a political party.

 

So it is against the law for one to use PDP or APC to go for an election and win and then midway you join another party and expect your initial party to keep quiet. I think this would indeed ensure discipline and stop this anti party game that some of our politicians are playing.

 

This would also give our political parties that strength of having an ideology. Most of our parties do not have ideology and that has been the bane of party politics in Nigeria.

 

My party, the PDP has ideology from the onset and that has been the guiding principal of our party; power to the people but all this other cloned organisations that claim to be parties were formed simply to fight the PDP and despite all that they have done the party has remained intact and more people are still joining us.

 

This style of changing political parties some three times in one year is a dent on our democracy and this should be stopped and I am saying it without prejudice to whatever court case or matters that are pending in our law courts.

There is this strong demand for president of the South-East extraction. What is your take?

 

I am from the South-East and it is fair and just for the next president to come from the South-East but we have to interface with other geopolitical zones across the country and we alone cannot do it.

 

We need to present our best and not just an all comers affair and in the PDP we have them but it is only dependent on the position of our party about zoning.

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