By Jude Atupulazi
The Anambra State House of Assembly aspirant for Aguata 11 State Constituency, Chief Kevin Onyema, is adamant that the ticket for the state assembly seat be given to Umuona Community where he hails from.
In this short interview with Fides, Onyema who is aspiring on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, tells Fides Editor-in-chief, Jude Atupulazi, why he, Onyema, holds tenaciously to this position.
Who are you and what position are you aspiring for?
I am Chief Kevin Onyema (Chinaemeze). I am contesting for the Anambra State House of Assembly for Aguata II State Constituency on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. I am from Umuona Community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
You are known to be making a strong case for your town to be considered to have a shot at the assembly seat. Can you tell us more about it?
Umuona Town is one of the eight communities in Aguata II State Constituency of Anambra State. The constituency has eleven wards. The other seven communities are namely: Ekwulobia, Isuofia, Aguluezechukwu, Oraeri, Igboukwu, Ikenga and Ezinifite.
I will proceed to give you a rundown of previous representations by others in Aguata II State Constituency from inception in 1960 till date.
In the 1st Republic, the constituency was represented in the Old Eastern Region House of Assembly by the late Hon. S. Ebon from Isuofia.
In the 2nd Republic of 1979-1983, the constituency was divided into two state constituencies in the Old Anambra State House of Assembly sitting in Enugu. They were: Aguata North West and Aguata North Central, represented by the late Hon. Barr Okeke Izuagwu from Igboukwu, and Sir Hon Josiah Akunne, from Ekwulobia, respectively.
In the 3rd Republic of 1990-1993, under President Ibrahim Babangida's regime, the constituency was unified as Aguata II State Constituency and was represented by Hon Samuel Chukwuma Obelenwa Nwosu from Ezinifite.
In the present 4th Republic from 1999 till date, the constituency has been represented in the Anambra State House of Assembly as follows:
1999-2003, Hon. R. C. K. Ezeilo from Oraeri; 2003-2007, Hon. Okechukwu Jude Aronu from Ikenga; 2007-2011, the late Hon. Prince Ebele Ezechukwu from Ekwulobia; 2011 till date, Hon. Ikem Uzoezie from Igboukwu.
In addition, in 1999 to 2002, when it was the turn of Aguata II State Constituency to produce the Executive Chairman of Aguata Local Government, the late Engr. Godwin Amamchukwu Osele from Isuofia was elected Chairman of Aguata Local Government. In 2013-2016, Aguata II State Constituency again produced elected Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Aguata Local Government in persons of Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji from Ezinifite and Hon. Anaedu from Aguluezechukwu.
It will be recalled that Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji from Ezinifite had earlier represented Aguata Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. These facts are well known and are dearly incontrovertible.
So where do you go from here?
The inevitable conclusion on the above stated facts is that no Umuona indigene has ever been elected to represent either Aguata 11 State Constituency or the entire Aguata Local Government Area at the state or federal level since the inception of this nation.
What do you think has made things to be this way?
This is indeed quite inexplicable because other communities in the Constituency had at one time in the past, supported indigenes from sister communities of Oraeri and Ikenga to represent them in House of Assembly.
God Almighty in His infinite wisdom knows why there should be big communities and small ones. All fingers are not equal but they all work together for the good of the hand.
What then is your message to the stakeholders of the local government?
There is a question I will want everyone involved to answer: Is Umuona really part and parcel of Aguata II State Constituency? If it is so, is there no reason why what is good for the goose should not equally be good for the gander?
Therefore, 2019 general elections present a unique and golden opportunity to redress this anomaly on grounds of equity and fairness. Umuona is not asking to be given party tickets on a platter of gold without working hard for it. Umuona has an aspirant who has the prerequisite qualification and what it takes to run for House of Assembly seat for Aguata II State Constituency successfully in all its ramifications.
I therefore urge my people to support Chief Kevin Maduabuchi Onyema for Anambra State House of Assembly, Aguata II constituency.
A vote for me is a vote for fairness and equity and you ll know that equity breeds unity.
I'm assuring the people of Aguata 11 that I will display transparency, efficiency, fairness, inclusive participation, rule of law, accountability, development, empowerment and decent society.
What's your assessment of your acceptability so far by the people of your constituency and what are you promising them?
It's been absolutely wonderful. I have been privileged to use this opportunity to meet with many of them to share my vision with them and I can confidently tell you that they share in that vision and see me as someone they could trust. This is not easy but that's what it has been. I'm driven by a passion to lift my people out of poverty by empowering them, as well as touching their lives positively.
If I get the ticket, and eventually be elected, I will make APGA proud by providing quality service delivery. I will draw from my wealth of experience, both within and outside Nigeria, to make my presence felt in the House.
Have you had any past association with your party, or is this the first time you are meeting them?
I have since been associating with the party in Lagos and helping Igbo people there to establish themselves in the true spirit of APGA. The APGA in Lagos has also endorsed my aspiration because of what I have done for the party there over the years. I have served them there with great zeal and I will utilize same to serve my people down here.
Thank Your Sir