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I will contest Deputy Speakership race till last minute on the floor of House of Reps – Hon. Ogah



Hon. Chinedu Ogah
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Member representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chinedu Ogah has vowed to contest for the office of the 10th House of Representatives Deputy Speaker till the last minutes on the floor, stating that his colleagues who have the mandate to elect the Deputy Speaker are fully behind him.

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In an interview on his aspiration in Abuja, Hon. Ogah expressed optimism that he will clinch the office despite the party’s different choice, adding that the idea of tagging the office to an individual was an error which the ruling All Progress Congress will correct before the inauguration of the 10th parliament.


Can tell us your ambition?

I am aspiring for the 10th Deputy Speakership of the 10th House of Representatives as it was zoned to the South East by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC which am qualified in all ramifications as a ranking member and we are three according to the rules of the National Assembly. We have Honourable Princes Miriam Onuoha from Imo State; Benjamin Kalu from Abia and myself from Ebonyi State.
I am contesting because I look at myself as someone that can build a bridge to reconnect the South East people back to the centre, because am a grassrooter and I know the feeling of my people and I know how to solve the problem of the South East.

The party zoned and micro-zoned to individuals in the Senate and the House of Representatives, the outgoing governor of Ebonyi and other Senators-elect from the State supported the position of the party and in the House of Representatives, and you seem to be on the other side of Ebonyi caucus.

That is Senate and there is a difference between Senate and House of Representatives. I am a founding member of APC and if our party zoned, we have to be called. We held a meeting in the Villa where the Vice President-elect told us that we should all wait till after the supplementary election. After the supplementary election, we were not called until we started seeing something on facebook.

If our party is going to zone presiding officers, we are going to be called. I will always make a reference, when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was the National Chairman that led to the emergence of our Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila. Oshiomhole called a meeting, then Hon. Idris Wase was contesting, Hon. Betara was contesting and they were kind of written agreement and harmonized and came out to have Femi as the consensus candidate of the party. Wase to deputise him, while Betara was to go for House Committee Chairman on Appropriations. The party came out with a unanimous voice and push their decision to the press.

I stand to say am the only person that stand out to campaign for our party in the South East. Check out results in 2019 and in 2023. It’s not when somebody has 15 votes in his polling unit. We are all qualified to contest. To the extent of it, am going to contest to the floor of the chamber. If my colleagues reject me, I know that I was rejected, but to come now and say that I heard it on the Facebook page, on the media? Our party is very organized. There is a Constitution and whatever that must go out of the party must be signed by the Chairman and the Secretary.

So our party will call us at the appropriate time, even the President-elect, because during the primary, I put my best for Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Shettima to win especially that those in the South East neglected them. To the extent that I fought to deliver 24 delegates to his emergence. Today, you are seeing much of agitation in the South East, we are talking of who can sit down and discuss with those youths to know what their problem is all about and bring it to the floor of the House and discuss. Am competent because I can go to any part of South East today because am a friend of the youth and am a grassrooter.

Am not one of those who’s family is in abroad. My family lives with me in Abakaliki and that is what we take in this country and not just when we get money, we export it abroad. No, we need a leader that will be here with us, that will do his medical check up here in Nigeria. We know the feeling of the people and propel that into a legislation to become a law.

We want to know if the leadership of your party will back your aspiration to be deputy Speaker

Yes, one of my leader has just left here. They are supporting my aspiration and it is not only my constituency or my State alone, but across the country both the northerner and the Southwest are behind my aspiration. What we are saying is that let it be open. Let the members vote. Let there be no intimidation Let the members vote according to their choice and what am contesting for is Deputy Speakership, let the right thing be done.
Are you sure you will present yourself because of pressure here and there?

Which pressure? It’s pressure that made some of us to stabilize. We don’t yield to pressure and most of you know too well. So when pressure will make us more because, we are working with the people’s mandate.
As it stands, what do think are your chances and secondly if you win, how will reach out to your colleagues and if you lose, will you give support to the winner

Let me tell you one thing. We have 360 members. They are the one constitutionally empowered to elect who is going to be their leader. I didn’t just wake up and started contesting for the office of Deputy Speakership. I am awakened by the opinion of the people that I should come out. It is their duty; it is their mandate. It is not about me, it’s about us who can stand to network to speak for the masses.

What people need is not about self-end, it’s not about selfish individual and about the choice of the people. You are now a journalist in the National Assembly and it is supposed to be articulate whatever we discuss with you within a moment because its journalists that promote the activities of National Assembly. Don’t we suppose to care about the welfare of journalists and know what we can do because if journalists don’t report what we do here, our voice will not be heard outside here. We need such leader that can run open policy door, we need such leader that can give listening ear and that can be accessed and that can answer his phone. We need such leader that you can be reached and that can obey the rules. Such that if our president brings something to the National Assembly, we need such leader that can galvanise people, look into it and if it will help the people, work on it and pass it.

We know you very well as a grassroot person who is always with the youth especially in the South East and like you mentioned that there are agitations here and there and if you win, do you that the South East will that they are part of the country.

Yes. Our major problem is that most of us who are leaders have failed. There is a demarcation between leaders and grassrooters and that is why you see infiltration that leads to agitation. You should be able initiate cohesion, run an open door policy , call these people, listen to them and know what they want. By the time you listen to them and know what they want that is when you can introduce what they call reconciliation; the reconciliation will give cohesion and know what they want. By the time you place a lot of things and they began to see dividends of democracy, those agitations will die off.

It is not just being a member of the House of Representatives; there is no State in the south East that I have not given a job in federal parastatals to their citizens and I stand here to speak. There is no State in the South East that I have not given a scholarship. I am the only National Assembly member in the whole of South East that somebody from Anambra is part of my aide, somebody from Imo is part of my aide; somebody from Enugu is part of my aide, an Hausa man is part of my aide. That is what we call cohesion to show us that we are united.

When you get to my village, who is working for me there. He is a Fulani man who has lived with me for 15 years and today, he is a graduate. That is what we need. It is an integration to bring every body together.

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