Mr Godwin Udu, AKA Godino, is a young Ebonyi State business man who is based in Abuja. At the moment, he is in the village because he is vying to represent Afikpo North-West Constituency in the State House of Assembly as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). In this interview with Ebonyi News Network, Godino reveals that Human resource development and infrastructure for the people of Ibii-Oziza, Akpooha and Amasiri form the core of his administrative vision. Godino.
You are young. You’ve never run for any political office before. What propelled you to run for the State House of Assembly now?
True, I have not run for any political office before, but I have saved as the P.A to a former Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly. Why did I choose to run now? I have been to my village and I have seen what my people are passing through. Do you know that my people still use open air defecation? When I asked around, they said that politicians would usually promise them castles in the air during campaign only to abandon them after being elected into office. I weep when my mothers go out early in the morning to serve as stone crushers for mere N500 a day and still be owed by the young men that engage them. My heart breaks each time I see my people go out into the deep of the ricer to scoop sand for tippers for 100 turns for a paltry N100. These are all dehumanising. They are the main reason why I am doing my very best to win and be able to support these women in any small business they can venture into. In addition to this, Ikoro, the current member representing my constituency, is my friend. In 2015, I personally came down to Ebonyi State to help him with his campaign. Ikoro promised me that if I helped him win the election, he would empower the youths and women, construct road networks and carry out many other projects. But immediately after the election, Ikoro stopped taking anybody’s calls, including mine. He regarded our calls and text messages as disturbance. But now that election is around the corner again, he would return to the people, take every call and reply every text message. I think we deserve better than that. My people can’t continue like this. So when I made up my mind to run for this office, it was based on a desire for my people to enjoy the true dividends of democracy. Do you know that some parts of my constituency do not have access to electricity even when they are surrounded by nearby communities who do? Now there has to be a different way. That is why I seek to represent them in the State House of Assembly.
Precedence. Are there things you have done in the past that should make the people believe you can deliver when elected?
There are lots of things I have done for the people. I have empowered the youths, women and men alike. Now I believe that goodness is about what we do for those who cannot pay us back. For instance, there is this cripple in my area, Dona. One day while I was giving money to the people of my constituency in my party office, he came to me and appealed that I buy him a generator. He said that I should not give him money but rather a generator with which to charge people’s phones and earn a living. I granted his request and now he would not have to beg to survive. Apart from that, there is one place along Ekpe Amata-Elu. That spot had been cut off by erosion. Vehicles and bikes were falling into the place. The most recent one that happened involved a pregnant woman who fell into the spot alongside a motorcyclist. Till today, the woman is still in the hospital. The people had called on politicians several times to fix the area but got no reply. According to them, Ikoro had failed to fulfill his promise of fixing the area countless times. So one day when I got to the area, I did an estimate of what it would cost to solve the problem. And now, I can happily say that the area has been fixed and no casualties were recorded throughout the Christmas period. People were so excited when they heard that I was the one who took the bull by the horn. That’s why today, my name is on the lips of everyone. More so, I have helped to empower many youths by giving them motorcycles. I have equally given financial incentives to market women to help them boast their businesses. Time will fail me to mention them all. But I did these as a business man not a politician.
Now to the future. What projects do you have for the people of elected?
When elected into office, the first problem I will solve will be that of electricity. I will ensure that areas in my constituency which have been dark all the while are lighted up even if this will require having to purchase power generating plants. This will help boast security within the area. People will be able to move freely at night without being a afraid of anything. I would empower young people by helping those who do not want to go to school to learn a trade. For the ones who are inclined towards education, I will provide scholarships, grants and bursary to encourage them to do well. I will equally construct modern toilet facilities for my people.
How do you hope to finance these projects?
I am a business man. So if my constituency allowance is not enough, I will use my personal fund to power these projects.
If you win and your party does not emerge as the State ruling party, will this have any adverse effect on these your proposed projects?
My people are die hard people when it comes to politics. Once you’re representing them well, they will be willing to stand by you come what may. So with the support of my constituency, minority will not stop our progress while in office
Will you consider defection after winning the election?
No. I don’t think I will defect. You know I am the national Deputy Secretary of APGA and the member of the NWC representing Ebonyi State. I want to groom APGA from my bursary so I don’t think I will defect. I know that being in the minority is not usually very easy. But if you’re there for the right cause, then it is certainly redemptive.
Do you have a godfather?
I don’t have a godfather. Do you know why? Because I want to be able to deliver on my promises to my people when elected. I told my people that I have come to help them not to bribe them. My people are tired of electing people who only give them #500 and cups of rice once in every four years. They desire something better. That’s why I am financing my campaign. That why I do not have any godfather.
Political parties apart, what is your assessment of the Umahi-led administration in Ebonyi State?
Well I think Governor Umahi has tried. We all know how Abakaliki was few years ago. But now, the city is a place of beauty. However, it is regrettable that my constituency has not felt much impact of his administration. Not much has been done for the good people of Oziza/Ibii, Akpoha and Amasiri. I hope to correct this when I’m elected into the State House of Assembly.
Speak to your people Godino. What is your message to Afikpo North-West?
My message to my people is that they should be steadfast, pray to God and believe in themselves.