Honourable, Ossai Nicolas Ossai a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal Constituencies bared his mind on a lot of local, state and federal issues in an exclusive interview with the Ndokwa Reporters in his home town Kwale. He spoke on issues affecting Ndokwa/Ukwuani, leadership, 2015 zoning, the presidency and his future in politics.
Political Background: I started politics when I was in the university. While there, I entered the student union politics, which I was elected into the student union senate, after sometime the student union body was dissolved and I was made to head a care-taker body of the student union of University Of Nigeria.
Marital Status: I am married with five children. I had always been faithful to God, in the area of sanctity of marriage. Even when In the University I never had girlfriend (s) not until my final year but still I never had carnal knowledge of her. I wanted to marry her but she disappointed me. And because of my been faithful God made it possible for me to become a pastor in his vineyard. And this surprises many people. Yes I may be a radical person that is to an extent but when it comes to issue of God, the radicalism is to serve God. Many that accuse me to be radical do not know my background.
Public Politics: I entered real politics 1999. I was playing politics why in the National Youth service Programme. Immediately after my youth service the opportunity came in the year 1999 when I entered the race and as it happened I was elected into the Delta State House of Assembly to represent Ndokwa West Local Government at the State Assembly.
Achievement While at the State Assembly: A lot was achieved while I was there. I did not disappoint my people. But rather I started having challenges from those who felt I should not be there. That I am not worthy to represent them. Those who felt that I have no name and my father or family has no political history that will qualify me to go to the Assembly house. I was contending with a lot of forces, but I never allowed it to bother me. To tell you it had been a tough and rough political terrain. For that period we did our best, but it may not brought succor as expected by our people, but we did our best.
As at the time I came in, in Ndokwa West it was only Kwale and Abbi that can talk of electricity, but the time I was leaving virtually all the communities in the LGA had electricity. This shows my impact as the peoples representative. The same is applicable to roads and health Centre’s. At the time I came in few communities had health Centre’s, but today virtually all towns have health Centre’s. This shows an impact. On Kwale roads, today the town is wearing new looks because of the roads which through my effort, using DLA and other government agencies’ the roads are now tarred. The same is also with water, before my coming virtually no community had water facility. But through my representation these were done. I gave my people a voice to be heard.
But despite these achievements some people fought me because they believe I am a son of nobody. The attitude of Pull Him Down syndrome is the type of politics we are playing here.
Leadership in Ndokwa Nation: The idea that we have no leader or leaders to me is not true. I will not subscribe to that. We actually have pocket of leaders, but what we are experiencing is lack of the real or substantive leader. As the tradition of Ukwuani stands, we must look up to our elders to lead us. Leadership as we know it is evolving. Until we get there we will continue to look up to our elders until it is our time. We have leaders. Leadership does not mean just to be head of the people. It involves a lot of things. That I was elected into the house of Assembly does not qualify me to lead the people. Mine was to represent the people, there are other local leaders that you have to respect, and Ukwuani people believe on this. We are only passing through a process.
Affiliation with Ndokwa Sons/Daughters Atlanta: In 2006 to United State of America where I met one Mrs. Maduka, who the husband happened to be the President of the body then. I had a synergy with her, and we went to Mechell to buy our people hospital equipment’s. I paid with my money, the sum of $10,000.00 and along the line some of our people in America petitioned Mechell that some of us want to take this equipment to go and sell and they should not give it to us. This people were not part of the process that went for this negotiation. They did this because I was not supporting some body. When this happened, we allowed it to lie low. Recently when Mr. Chukwuma became the President of the Association in Atlanta, he brought it up again. He called me if he can go ahead and I said yes. He did this and the equipment’s were released which had since been given to different health Centre’s in Ndokwa/Ukwuani Constituency. The equipment’s were worth $250,000.00 and i cleared it from Tin Can Port Lagos, with N2.5million. All was paid for by me.
On the Issue of poor Power in Ndokwa Land: During my time, I brought 7.5KVA to kwale. This is serving Kwale and Abbi. This Transformer was issued to Kwale when I was the majority leader in the state House of Assembly. And now much pressure is on that transformer. Presently, the Commissioner for Energy in the State through his ministry is installing another 7.5KVA. This will go a long way to improve the power situation in this area. Also an arrangement is on in bringing another 7.5KVA to Ndokwa East which will go a long way to improve the power situation in the area. This will be included in the 2014 appropriation bill.
However, the IPP in Okpai supposed to have being stepped down within this area. We had being putting pressures to make that happen. With the private initiative on power sector will believe the light situation in this area will improve soon.
While is Okpai neglected: Some of us in government had come together to express our mind on the state of Okpai economy. The bad roads and economic situation is being looked into and some of us are working to see that AGIP will sit up.
Your Future Political Plan: For now I do not know what the future will be in politic. That I will go to the state house in Asaba as Governor come 2015 is all speculations. First I believe that a man with my recent encounters and trial at the court I will like to lie low. May be by next year we will see how it will be like. for now it is too early.
Ndokwa position on the 2015 Governorship Position: Yes the Ndokwa people have capable men to produce the next governor of the state. We have the caliber of men and women. When that time comes we will play our card. We have the resources in terms of human capital and resources. Let x-ray our people. And don’t forget you require lot of resources to run for this position.
The Zoning to Delta North: The PDP officially had zone the position to Delta North. All the senatorial district of the party in the state had agreed to. The Delta North is to present the next governorship candidate of the party. And this needs to be celebrated.
How can You Access the Government of PDP in Delta State: I don’t know what you mean by not performing. Today people can fly from anywhere into Asaba airport, and you are saying the PDP government is not performing. The general hospitals are doing well. People go there for treatment and come out successfully. Pregnant women go for free treatment. So what is performance? The party is doing very well. And come 2015 the party will win the state again.
And what is your view on the security situation in the country with kidnapping, killing, bombing everywhere: The security situation is not as bad as you are saying. The country is exploding in terms of population, new technology and this becomes a new challenge. And with this new challenge the technology also need to change, not that the security services are not doing anything about they are actually working on a counter and better method to secure the country. We should not forget that there was war in Libya and many of the weapons used there was transported to this country, because of our porous borders. It is unfortunate this is happening in the time of President Jonathan. This government is doing all to curtail this. This government needs to be given some credit. There is no society without insurgents. After all countries like united states and others where they have the so called perfect system you see people coming out from nowhere and shoot people recklessly. And with this no one is talking about this, or are will saying that Obama is not doing anything?
The population is rising. Take Kwale for instance. Before now, you Hardly here anything about robbery, but today there is violence and stealing in the city because of expansion. It is not a village as at yesterday. The young ones are getting new technology. They are interacting in Facebook and other social medias. They can do a lot of things here. With these new sources of problem in the country, it also requires a new solution and the security agencies are doing just that. It is not what you can do within a short time.
Why the delay in the disbursement of the SURE-P allocation. The LGA’s are just receiving year’s allocations: You don’t just have to pay people. There must be a process of data gathering of the people that will benefit, the personals that will carry out the training, and other logistics before money is disbursed. That was the reason. All the necessary parameters for successful implementations need to be in place first. You don’t just gather people and start paying them there are some bureaucracy procedures that need to be followed. Structures are difficult to setup but once this is done, every other things will follow. And this government part agenda of transformation is to empower the youths who are leaders of tomorrow.
Talking of President Jonathan, is he doing well? Of course the president is doing well. He is the most criticized president, but when you look at sector by sector you know he is doing very well. Before President Jonathan came to office, many of our roads were in deplorable conditions. Now some of these roads had being rehabilitated. Railways are functioning. Auctioning out of the electricity is going on. Our Electricity had gone up by certain level today. We should be proud of this Jonathan. He had being able to curb the insurgent in the Niger Delta. The crude oil production had risen, and still nobody is recognizing this.
If the President is performing what is happening to the East-West Road? This also shows leadership, that he is waiting for the last move to do his own. If he had started well with that, again criticizing will follow. Yes majority of the other roads had been fixed. The South-East roads and the others. They all had being fixed. Enugu to Port Harcourt, Onitsha to Owerri roads. This process shows that Jonathan is a true Nigerian. He is not being biased in his actions. Again the Lagos –Benin road had being awarded and it is ongoing. Obasanjo was there he didn’t do that. But today the roads are being taking care of, and the president is being crucified.
Is it not better the Empowerment programme of the Government is made more practical, because for now it is more of theoretical. I don’t think so. For instance the SURE-P programme is off more practical than theory. The giving out of the electricity is a sign of more empowerment. Youth empowerment is not only when government give out jobs. There are other private operators. How many people will the government engage? For instance when we stop buying diesel the money will be re-channeled to engage more hands. That is the beauty of the privatization process of the electricity sector. Electricity will bring a lot of empowerment. Industries will thrive.
President Jonathan went to China to sign a bilateral agreement with the Chinese Government so that a lot of companies will come to this country to invest. And not through importation. Today you have a lot of Chinese companies operating in Nigeria and they are employing Nigerian’s. Some of them are into furniture, some of the things that were imported into the country before are now been made here. And Nigerians are employed.
Let look at the issue of Electricity again. What is the government doing about generator importation? The Jonathan government is telling your that before the end of this year, they will climb up to 10,000MW of electricity. This was 1000MW at the time he came in. This he had taken it from 1000MW to 4000MW. And with the increase in the megawatt, this will mean steady light and the issue of generator will not arise. This will definitely kill the importation of generators into Nigeria. This means the Cartel had being destabilized.
How is the court case instituted against you? The case is still in court. It is a two way case. One with Okolocha who said that I didn’t take the right person to court. We are in court who will decide. The other one is with Imeagwu, who said I forged INEC documents, I had tendered the documents in court and they were fined genuine. But let it be put on record. I am not an author of unit result. The author of unit result is INEC. Had they done a forensic report on the signature and found it different? Is only when this is done can you termed a case forgery. These are issues that are left for the court and not mine. And that is while I kept him quite, and I kept him quite because I know he had no case.
Had this case affected you in any way in performing your constitutional functions? No. Despite these challenges I had achieved a lot within the period of one and half years. This shows confidence, direction, and focus.
Outside politics what do you do: I preach in the Church. The properties we have are all vanity. It is good to show support to other people, and this shows good leadership, and when you are gone you will be remembered for the good thing you did.
And I look forward to o you enjoy coming back home? Yes. Anytime I am in Kwale, I feel joy, peace, and confident. Kwale is my home. I am here always. And I truly enjoy it.
And on a final note? There is a lot of disconnection between leadership and followership and this is what is affecting the Ndokwa man. And not only in Ndokwa Land, but also in Nigeria. followership must understand the direction of its leader. Again followership should not look up to the elected ones to solve all their problems.