Why I want to Represent Abia North Senatorial District in The Senate …Hon.Uko Nkole Opens Up

By Steve Unegbu

Hon Uko Nkole while interacting with Newsmen

In this interview with Steve Unegbu, Hon Uko Nkole aspirant for Abia North Senatorial District explained why he wants to represent Abia North Senatorial District to change the narratives as well as outlined some of the projects he attracted as a House member Representing Arochukwu-Ohafia federal constituency and the reason why he did not go for the position of the governor despite pressures from his constituents.

LET US MEET YOU ?

I am Hon. Uko Nkole, representing Arochukwu -Ohafia federal constituency in the National Assembly.

WHAT ACTUALLY DID YOU COME TO DO IN ABIA STATE PDP SECRETARIAT UMUAHIA ?

The ban on electioneering politics has been lifted and people are expressing their interests on various positions they intend to aspire going forward in 2023 in line with the electoral Act as amended in 2022.It has given rise to early preparation unlike what it used to be in the past. Today as part of activities marking the primaries for the Peoples Democratic Party which is my party .Now based on the approved guidelines,today was meant for screening for National Assembly and State Assembly and Aspirants that had expressed interests to run for those offices .

For me I have expressed the interest to run for the position of the Senate for Abia North Senatorial District,which is my senatorial district. So today what I did was to go and present myself to the screening panel for them to run through my documents to be screened after which the next process will commence . So I went for screening as an aspirant.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO CONTEST FOR THE POSITION OF A SENATOR ?

Senate is also National Assembly.
Senate and House of representatives we do the same thing. We have a bicameral legislative arm of government . So I have been in the House of representatives for first tenure and I am serving out for second tenure and considering it necessary that I should have a taste of what happens in the red chamber .I feel I will have to extend the impact I have made so far in Arochukwu Ohafia federal constituency . I need to expand to the rest 5 LGAs ,so that they can have the impact and the feel ,real feeling of what democracy dividends is all about, that is why I am in the race and I am pretty sure that considering the quantum of work I have done in that Arochukwu Ohafia federal constituency going back to memory lane Arochukwu Ohafia is the only federal in Abia North that has two ground A construction giants working simultaneously on the Bende -Ohafia – Arochukwu alignment which I facilitated and attracted in 2017 budget .The Hinter land roads on the side, section 1 and section 2 .Section 1 is the old Soldier, taking you to Ihechiowa , while section 1 has commenced from Old Soldier coming towards Abam and also moving towards Umuahia.

So far a new bridge has been delivered and the road is given expansion going towards Emori also is on-going.

While on the other section there is this project that was attracted in 7th National Assembly,I inherited this project from my predecessor,but work stopped on that project and when I came in ,I had to pull the contact, pull the string to ensure that the contractor comes back to site, because earlier the contractor eloped from the site .

Today they are back on site ,work has progressed from where they stopped moving towards Ututu and so the challenges have been established challenges 3-7 which is about 3 kilometers which should take all.

These are geared towards having accelerated development of that road because it is a very economic road because I can remember in 2016 when the policy thrust of the then administration of the present President Muhammad Buhari was based on diversification from the oil revenue to alternative, especially being on high economic potential and also roads that have high economic value. I did a Memoir to that effect to include Arochukwu Ohafia federal constituency.

The road is a critical economic road because one limestone deposit and it is also in connection to Cameron and it is also a trans International corridor and such roads should not be overlooked .So it has high economic potentials.My constituents are predominantly Agrigerian society in the grassroots. Their products should also have free access to market and also needs not be played down.

So given to that, it gives justification why that road should be rehabilitated and also those dangerous bottle necks in bridge of Omenuko which is in Ozu Abam and also the Emori bridge also be considered and that was approved by the council and that road was also classified as among economic agro roads and was given critical attention,that is the history and story of what is happening.

Going forward now ,these projects are on-going ,I wish to also use my bureaucratic experience couple with political power to extend this gesture round Abia North,so that we can have a circular connection road,so that the component Communities in the 57 wards that made up the senatorial district can also benefit from what the Arochukwu Ohafia people are benefiting.

Now going forward also,the Umuahia,Bende ,Ozu Abam, Ohafia road has been charted as road F107 and constantly the road was subjected to weather abuse during raining season or dry season.You can not even ply the road before my election.During the House of Representatives in 2015 and in 2016 ,I ensured that FERMA ,the statutory body responsible for maintenance of Federal high way had adequate provision so that they can start the restatement of the failed portions of that stretch to give a new life to the road users , while pursuing the long time effect of the total overhauling of that road , that idea has given rise to 44 km taking you from Umuahia,Ajata ,Bende ,Ozu Abam, Ohafia was being rehabilitated .

Traveling time now from Umuahia to my village is about 20 minutes that was a journey that used to take you 2 to 3 hours atimes,most people will end up sleeping on the road because of the nature of that road .So those are the few things I have done, though they are very major ones .It has never happened in the history of Arochukwu Ohafia on that road that a quick solution and instalment restatement that was consistent to see that the road was rehabilitated .

Also the linkage between Arochukwu and Itu has also attracted FERMA and is actually doing a nice job there so far the work is on going .Again Arochukwu ,Itutu ,Ikorokpara , passing through Itu is also receiving attention.Those are aspects of the roads I have facilitated .

I have the initiative to open up all the villages linking them with the specific corridors that can link us with our neighboring Communities. So that we can freely interact , goods and services can also meet which is important in adding value in the lives of inhabitants and also to the road users .

Those are the key things we have done .There are other facilities also there was abandoned water project that was done at Akanu Ohafia in 1986 . It was about 450000 cubicle capacity meter water project and it was done during the military regime ,so I speak to you ,I have attracted over 1 billion Naira on that project and today in the entire Abia North,this is the first time water is being reticulated into individual homes.The similar scheme we have is in Isuochi in Umunneochi is also being monitored.

I have also gotten a quick assessment of those moribund facilities that can improve the lives of the citizens and also taking note of them . So I intend to extend my Midas touch to those aspect, so that going forward the people will also benefit from dividends of democracy. There are other roads I have also attracted within the federal constituency . Amaoji ,Abiriba,Okagbu Ohafia roads are also on- going .There are lots of roads I have attracted so going to the Senate will also reinforce and also enable those projects get to fruition and serve the purpose for which they are meant to serve.

In terms of human capacity ,I have given employment to over 150 persons in the federal civil service.During the time of covid-19, I was practically in the village providing the needs of both Pensioners and the others . So I have touched ,I have the feel on what the grassroots want . So these are the things I need to expand to other local government and I can only achieve that by putting my feet forward in the race for Abia North Senatorial District.

I have also taken time to under study the green vegetation are good in agriculture and they remain untapped .They have not been put to their maximum use .My vision to see that irrigation and valley are cut across boundary to Enugu.

YOU HAVE DISTINGUISHED YOU SELF AT THE FEDERAL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE FOR AROCHUKWU-OHAFIA FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY BASED ON THE MAGNITUDE OF THE PROJECTS THAT YOU HAVE ATTRACTED ,WHY DID YOU NOT GO FOR GOVERNORSHIP POSITION?

Well that is a million dollar question,I am a party man and Governorship is not one man affair. It is a collective responsibility and for today the party has zoned Governorship to Abia central and Abia North ,for me, I am in the race for Abia North Senatorial District and I want to say that I am a party man. I do not have any other political party. I can only flow with the detects and decisions of the political party.If the Governor comes and say this thing should be narrowed down to this place,but he is being a good party man also by allowing the party take their decision.

So for me is a good dream. It is not a very tall one,but for now, I believe my efforts for now in Abia North is also needed.Its also important to the people of Abia North. Abia North is one third of the state.The state is divided in 3 zones ,so I am superintendent one third of the state. I can well also do what should be done and also synergize with the Government,the state Governor in 2023 , whosoever God chooses to be the governor then . I am a good follower .So I can not say it must be me.

I BELIEVE YOU ARE AWARE THAT SENATOR MAO OHUABUNWA AND POSSIBLY SENATOR ORJI UZOR KALU ARE ALL IN THE SAME RACE FOR ABIA North SENATORIAL DISTRICT, HOW DO YOU INTEND TO OVERCOME THEM ?

You see politics and interest is not anybody’s birth right.It is the people that choose . I am going to campaign or speak to people based on the antecedent,my trajectory of projects and whosoever that you mentioned should also be able to campaign based on his projects too.

So, I am not running on any body. I have expressed my interest to run for Senate .The party has sold their forms .The party did not Produce one form to one particular person.This is democracy and its participatory. So I am not running based on sentiments ,but based on the fact that I feel Abia North will enjoy a better life under my watch.

It is for the people to decide. It is a race and I have expressed my interest . Even when I ran for House of Representative, I also had people that ran the same position with me ,but people chose who they wanted . Likewise any other race . It is politics . It is democracy . It is my Constitutional responsibility. I am constitutionally qualified that should be your concern to hold that office and I am telling you that I will do better and the people will also be very proud of me.

What I did in Arochukwu-Ohafia federal constituency today no body that has represented Arochukwu-Ohafia has been able to do that. I believe that I have the content,I have the capacity ,I have the initiative to turn things around and that is what the people are looking for dividends of democracy and if you are talking about dividends of democracy , you are witnesses to what I have done,so it is not a big deal.

I have bureaucratic experience that none of them has . I worked in a federal civil service for 12 good years . I am a fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Town planners ,I have represented this country abroad at the international level. I am known so none of them parades the same credentials I have besides politics . I have had stint at other places. I believe that I have the capacity and I have what it takes to make the people happy in the Abia North,that is what the people of Abia North need.

WHAT IS YOUR ADVISE TO THE ELECTORATES IN ABIA NORTH?

I am riding on my mandate and projects that this is what I have done. I have given you instances of what I have done in Arochukwu-Ohafia federal constituency and this is unprecedented in any where in Abia North and I am doing a 37km road through the Federal ministry of Works and Housing ,that is on going from Ohafia going to Arochukwu and also the remaining portion is also on going.Then from Ohafia also towards Umuahia is over 40 km roads ,it is unprecedented . No body has done that level of project.Go to the project of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,Bende -Ohafia -Arochukwu road section 1 has one billion Naira budget ,the section 2 that crosses my village has 1.5 billion Naira budget.There is no body that attracted that volume on a particular project in the entire Abia North Senatorial District.It is about capacity.So those are the values I want to add and I am bringing on board.So that should be the take home of any body and I know that people are going to be happy that physical infrastructure are provided for them and they have new life where they can do their businesses and get economic empowerment.

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