Chief Ali Odefa is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and currently the Senior Special Assistant(SSA) to Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State on Infrastructural Maintenance. In this interview with CHIJIOKE AGWU in Abakaliki he spoke on the politics, governance and the Infrastructural revolution in Ebonyi state among others. Excerpts:
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has consistently maintained that they would take over the state in 2019.Are you confident that the reelection of your principal will be possible in 2019.
Firstly, let me make it abundantly clear that I am not interested what anybody or party said about 2019.My interest is to ensure that our government is delivering democracy dividends to the people of Ebonyi state and that is the focus of our governor for now. You could say that I am saying all this to attract positive publicity to my principal, the governor of Ebonyi state.You may not be far from the truth because when a man has done well everybody should be made to know that he has done well. So my I will always say it anywhere that he has performed extremely well.
As for my confidence in the possibility of his return for second term in 2019,we have said it many times that power belongs to the Almighty God and He gives it to whoever he wishes to.However,I believe strongly that my governor has done marvelously well and therefore deserved a second term. He has transformed Ebonyi in terms of infrastructure and in orientation too.And that is very very important. Today Ebonyi man will go any where around the World and be proud to raise his head and say I am from Ebonyi state.When you look at other states created 25 or 30 years ago and you look at Ebonyi ,in just three years, you will be amazed at what this Governor has done.
Something happened last week Friday when we were working on the All Saints Road.We were asphalting at night and suddenly the public power came on ,so they have to switch on the alternative power supply to the streets lights to turn over to the public power supply and within that few seconds the streets lights were off the entire place was completely dark, horrible and unexciting. And we felt insecure for the the entire seconds the lights were off. That experience dawned on us how important and exciting the streets lights have made life in the state.
In the areas of Empowerment, the governor has also done very well, Thousands of Ebonyians have been empowered with not less than 250,000 naira each to start up businesses of their choice.He has also empowered ten thousand widows in the state .
I can say without mincing words that in the light of the global economic recession, that governor Umahi has done well and deserves commendation.
So you are confident of his victory in 2019?
We are not worried .Ebonyi people know what they want ,they know how their lives have been impacted upon,they know that if they allow this mandate to be taken by the enemies of the state they will suffer such much hardship and retrogression. So we are very encouraged and we are very confident that during the governorship election Ebonyians will vote for the victory of this governor who has given them reasons to be proud of their state.
Civil Servants in the state are not singing the praises of the present administration, don’t you think it may affect the reelection of your principal in 2019?
The problem with civil servants in the state is that they don’t seemed properly informed or guided.If they were properly informed they may not harbour as much anger as they seemed to have for this administration. This is a government that has done a lot to make them happy and productive. For instance,recently the governor set out a two billion naira loan to be accessed alone by the civil servants.
That is a huge sum of money.Do you know how many houses 2 billion can get. Assuming the government decides to use the money for housing estate for civil servants , it will fund over a thousand pieces of 2 bed room flats .But building estates for them now can only afford them of their today and not their future. But with that loan,any civil servant who accessed it and make judicious use of it has guaranteed and assured his future .I believing that securing their future is much better than securing their today and that has been the priority of our governor and his administration.
The problem is that some people are somewhere sowing the seed of discord and quarrel between the civil servants and the government by way of misinforming the civil servants.
Let me use this opportunity to advise our civil servants to stop listening to gossips and lies from the opposition and enemies of this government and take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities being provided for them by this government to improve their lives and secure their future.
As SSA to the governor on Road Maintenance can you give us an overview of the achievements of your office so far?
Before my appointment, there was no office as Infrastructural Maintenance. But as you know our governor is a very smart and intelligent leader.He created the office and assigned it to me. That is to say that my office entails supervising the Ebonyi State Road Maintenance Agency(EBROMA).In the agency,we are charged with the responsibility of maintaining roads,be it local,state or federal raids.Our job is to ensure that all the roads within the state are in order. We started in 2016 with the maintenance of internal roads,streets roads on concrete,those streets that were yet to be asphalted and tarred we ensured that they were all maintained .We maintained about 20 to 30 roads .We have graduated from there to maintaining federal high ways.For instance ,we did that of Amasiri,Afikpo federal high ways.Before then,the roads were very bad. There was a particular spot along that road that was so bad that armed robbers habitually attacks people there.We waited for FERMA,we wrote a couple of letters to them but they didn’t respond .We quickly swung into action because according to the governor ,the road is being plied by Ebonyi and and not federal government and therefore should be maintained. We took measurement and worked on the road and today you cant even find a spot on the road. We have also maintained Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway. Outside Abakaliki,we have also done the Ugwulangwu-Idembia road,Eke Market in unwana to the late Ezeogo Akanu Ibiam ‘s house in Afikpo among others.We have done so many works I can’t remember offhand .
You court the media a lot in the discharge of your duties unlike many of your colleagues ,why?
Everybody has his own approach to issues.This is my own approach; I want to leave my marks on the sands of time so that in the future facts and records will not be distorted.For instance, I don’t want a situation somebody will come tomorrow to say that the the All Saints Road for example ,was constructed by Tarawa Belewa or any other person and not Governor David Umahi. So my targets is to put facts and records ready to speak for us .Beside,you know I use to be in the media,I was a publicity Secretary of PDP in South East for 8 years,so I shouldn’t be media shy in whatever I do.
The post Umahi’s Achievements Will Speak For Him In 2019 – Odefa appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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Author: Chijioke Agwu