Lawmakers Not Elected To Fight For Positions – Egoh | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lawmakers Not Elected To Fight For Positions – Egoh

Posted: Jul 29, 2015 at 1:19 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
Hon. Oghene Emma Egoh

Hon. Oghene Emma Egoh

Oghene Emma Egoh is a House of Representatives member representing Amuwo-Odofin federal Constituency in Lagos State. In this interview with Juliet Oyoyo, he captures the situation in the National Assembly, the Buhari administration and his plans for his constituents. Excerpts:

Recently, President Buhari was alleged to have said that he will only consider those that voted for him, that the people that did not vote for him should not expect the same treatment with those that voted for him.  How do you rate this statement?

I will be surprised because the President is the President of Nigeria, as he is not the President of the APC. He is an experienced man. I didn’t believe it but if he said so, I hope that he will change his mind because every Nigerian is hopeful, the money they are using to run this country belongs to all Nigerians and does not belong to only APC, and it does not belong to a section of the country. So, he should know that his duty is to serve everybody and I am not sure if his Oath of Office will permit him to serve only those that voted for him.

 

How do you see this issue of chasing after corrupt past leaders, instead of facing the business of the day? Don’t you think it is a form of distraction?

I do not think that it is a 100 percent bad. If some people are corrupt and have made our economy to get worse, that it is also making some people not to progress, it is alright. But, what I am against and what the PDP is against is witch-hunting. A situation where you see anybody who was not a member of the APC as a thief, a situation where you invite people indiscriminately, a situation where you besiege people’s homes, it is not done that way. You have to have concrete evidence before you begin to harass people. The people have human rights and I am not sure that the APC as a party is less corrupt than the PDP.  So, if we want to pursue an agenda or, a particular agenda, it is good but let us see the APC people also being arrested just the way that they are arresting the PDP. If he does that, Nigerians will applaud him but if he faces only one side, they will know it is political vendetta.

 

Now that your party PDP is in the opposition, what are your people doing to re-strategize and get ready for 2019?

We are ready for opposition. When we first started, we were looking like fish out of water but we have ruled for 16 years. But, I can assure you now that it has dawned on us and we are ready for opposition and we are re-strategizing. We want to take over. We also want to go back. If you were in power you will not wish to stay outside power for too long. So, by God’s grace and with Him on our side I am sure that very soon, Nigerians will know that PDP is a better party than the APC.

 

 What efforts are you making to bring back some of your members that left for other parties?

I do not know but once people leave for a different party, it becomes a different ball game. I am sure that our party leaders at the national level are aware of that, what made PDP to lose was because of our members who defected. And, we are praying that some of those who defected, having seen the dictatorship on the other side, they will know that the only democratic party is PDP and by God’s grace, they will come back.

 

Recently, the President visited America and he was quoted as saying that he suspected them of sponsoring the insurgents in the North-east;  Boko Haram and a lot of people attributed it to the fact that they refused to sell arms to Nigeria. How do you explain this?

Well, the President was a top ranking General in the army before he retired and he knows more about military terms and we can only wish him well in the battle against Boko Haram. Whatever he has said, I cannot say he is lying or saying the truth.

In all, I hope that he is saying what will make the war on Boko Haram to be fast because, before Jonathan left, Boko Haram was in disarray. They were being captured here and there. Even Sambisa forest where they were, were given away. But, as we speak today, Boko Haram is everywhere, killing people. That shows that this President in spite of his military background is not doing well enough.

We will pray for him to do well because nobody is happy if there is insecurity. It will drive away foreign investors, it will lead to the death of people, and more people will be displaced. Nobody likes that. So, we pray that he wins but, I think he is not doing enough.

 

Do you see any hope of reconciliation in the House and the Senate; that is, between the Like Minds and the Unity Forum?

Whatever they call themselves, I will say that politics is a game of compromise. At a stage, you must compromise. I mean, look at Iran and America and the other five World powers. They are negotiating on this nuclear issue. Iran said they would never negotiate as they have a right to produce but after sitting down on the table for a long time, they came with a solution. Iran has now agreed to the demand of the international body. That is compromise because Iran wants to move ahead. Their people are very hungry, there are economic programmes, and the sanctions are biting on them technologically and economically. And they feel that they cannot sacrifice their people, so they compromised.

So, I am only hopeful that the two bodies; Unity and Like Minds will realize that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. They should realize that it is Nigerians that are suffering. They should also realize that Nigerians pay us to work for them. They should realize that, we were voted for to be in Abuja to legislate and not to fight for positions. When they realize this, I am sure that they will be able to take a decision that will be in the best interests of the nation as PDP is doing.

 

You will observe that there are no women amongst the Principal Officers of the National Assembly. Why is it so?

I am not happy about that. Women should be given a voice but sometimes, when the women are not there, it is difficult to give them a voice. They have to be there before you can give them a voice and, I will want to say this; every woman has a husband. So, if there is a man there, there is a woman there.

How are you touching on the lives of your people knowing that legislation has not started in earnest? How are you relating with your people back in your constituency since you came in?

It has been very wonderful. Anytime I am going down to my constituency, I call them and they equally call me regularly. We try to see how we can attend to their problems whenever they call. We interact often. The problems of my people is always top on my priority list and many of these problems border on infrastructural decay and I am just praying that the National Assembly will hear my cry and the government will come to the aid of my people. My area is completely under-developed. Infrastructures that were built 40 years ago by Gowon in FESTAC are completely destroyed. No renewal. The Satellite town is the same thing. Go to Ojo road, it is packed up. Even the riverine areas in my local government, it is very  bad. So, we are just praying that government will come to our aid but I am in constant touch with my people and they are very happy with my performance in the House.