I Proved Myself in 17 Months at Senate – Umeh

…Predicts Sweeping Victory for LP in Anaocha

By Jude Atupulazi

The senatorial candidate of Labour Party for Anambra Central Zone, Chief Sir Victor Umeh, says it took him only 17 months at the senate for Igbo people to know they had somebody.

Umeh who disclosed this to Fides in an interview in Aguluzigbo, said he recorded landmark achievements in one year which included graduating 76 students from tertiary scholarship.

His words, ‘I was at the Senate for 17 months, and I had by every standard, very outstanding performance in the National Assembly. Not only the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District were pleased with what I did, but also the entire Igbo people were so pleased with my outstanding performance in the National Assembly.

‘At the senatorial level, I recorded landmark achievements within one year. I was able to graduate 76 students from tertiary scholarship I gave them in 2018. Even though I didn’t go back to the senate in 2019, I continued training them, and they were passing out in flying colours.

I did constituency projects – more than 55 of them were completed in a record time of one year – nobody had been able to do this; but I was one that opened the eyes of our people that there is something called constituency project, because those who had been there did not do anything visible.

‘But when I got there, I made sure that the money I sourced through the National Assembly was used to execute these projects in all the communities – any place you go, you see something I did. So, my campaign has been very wonderful; any community I come to, there must be something I have to show that I did in one year – 76 university scholarships – any community we came to, we bring out the list of the beneficiaries of my student scholarship scheme.

‘When we call the names, the people shout ‘yes’ they know the person. So people see and appreciate these things; it was a wonderful experience; the projects I did are all over the places.’

The senator, who disclosed he was going to be the state collation officer for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on election day, said the robust debates he made during plenary and interventions he made for people were all recorded in their consciousness.

‘When the vigilante people were to be proscribed at the National Assembly, I stood against it and defended it with Anambra Vigilante Services. And through my intervention, that motion was defeated.

‘I was the one that raised a motion to stop the degrading of Akanu Ibiam International Airport. I did that motion successfully, co-sponsored by 16 senators from Benue, Cross River and parts of South East. We got it through and stopped the Federal Government from degrading the airport to local airport.’

Umeh also recalled how he challenged exclusion of people from the South East from federal appointments like the EFCC board, where, he said, 6 nominees were brought for confirmation and no one from the South Eat made it.

‘I stood up and resisted this confirmation. We eventually went into close session over it and resolved that we would not confirm it; and returned the list to the president. And in 2021, he constituted the board and put somebody from Enugwu-ukwu, Adaeze Anumba, to represent South East as a member of the board,’ he said.

He also said when Fulani herdsmen killed two Catholic priests, catechist and 17 worshippers in Benue State, he was the only one that stood up in the Senate and challenged President Buhari to halt ‘the massacre of Christians in Nigeria’ and demanded that those responsible be fished out which was done.

Umeh also recalled his intervention on  the Eastern rail line that was omitted through a motion that it must be included and which was done.

On the coming elections, Umeh declared Anaocha Local Government as a no-go area for the opposition, stating that the LG would vote Labour Party massively, being that Obi was from there.

According to Umeh, Obi winning the election was no longer open to speculation as Nigerians were behind him. He therefore wondered if it was in Obi’s local government that anyone would come to look for vote.

‘Absolutely, nobody can do that. I am also from the local government. Our people cherish me for I have not disappointed them. Remember that it was myself and Peter Obi started the journey of redeeming this state – myself as the National Chairman of APGA, and through our joint struggle, he became governor and he worked for our people and Anambra State. In this local government, we have 10 communities.

I hold chieftaincy titles from eight of the 10 communities – and not that the other two could not want to, but for some reasons, they will still honour me. But we are popular here; that is why my involvement in politics in this state is always won from Anaocha Local Government even when I was the National Chairman of APGA.

‘But how much more now our people are more than happy that I have rejoined Peter Obi in the same platform? So there is no opposition here,’ he said, recalling that recently the whole of Agulu Community endorsed all the candidates in Labour Party.