JUST IN: WHY HON. CHINEDU OGAH SHOULD OCCUPY THE SEAT OF THE DEPUTY SPEAKER IN THE GREEN CHAMBER – CHIJIOKE PAUL OKEIFUFE
Hon. Chijioke Paul Okeifufe, the South-East Zone Deputy Director of National Youth Mobilisation in the just concluded Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council in the 2023 general election explicitly gave reasons why he prefers Honourable Chinedu Ogah to occupy the position of the Deputy Speaker that is allegedly zoned to the South-East Region.
In a phone interview with our reporter, he reiterated the need for the party to honour those that genuinely worked for the party with sensitive positions.
He presented Hon. Ogah as a young man that worked selflessly for the success of the party in the South-East region and produced results for the President-Elect and himself.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Osun Reporters: It is no longer a piece of news that you have chosen Hon. Chinedu Ogah to become the next deputy speaker of the National Assembly. Why Hon. Ogah?
Okeifufe: I did not choose him, he chose himself by working assiduously for the success of the party in Ebonyi State. His local government votes are higher than votes from 3 States in the South East
During the 2019 presidential election, his Local Government Area, Ikwo LGA, gave the highest votes for President Buhari in Ebonyi State.
In 2023, he repeated the same feat by making sure his local government scored 12,000 votes for the APC. The votes from his local government are higher than all the votes scored by Abia, Enugu and Anambra States.
He selflessly laboured for the APC without compromising. His mission was to deliver Tinubu and deliver himself. But many candidates in the South East delivered themselves without delivering Tinubu.
Osun Reporters: do you think he can handle the position of Deputy Speaker if given the opportunity?
Okeifufe: he can do more than that. He is loved by his people. I am not saying this as one of his followers, but as a distant admirer that saw his good works for the party in his state.
Let me tell you something, the first day I saw him was during the Presidential Townhall meeting with the President-Elect in Imo State. The second time was when I went to Ebonyi State for the Presidential Rally. I wanted to have a word with him before going back to Enugu, but he made me walk several kilometres with him from the stadium to his house. When I got to his house, it was so clear to me that it will be impossible for us to have words together because of the mammoth crowd already waiting for him in his house, so, I immediately turned back to Enugu. Even on our way to his house, the exhilarating cheers from the crowd shows that he is a grassroots politician.
The third time I saw him was during the Enugu State presidential campaign rally. Despite being the deputy director of the national youth mobilisation in the South East Zone, he got the attention of the Youths of my state away from me in my state.
I trust the President-Elect, he has a penchant for honouring political industriousness and he is very allergic to political laziness.
Osun Reporter:s But there are speculations that the President-Elect has his preferred candidate for the position of deputy speaker in the South-East. Don’t you think it will… (cuts in)?
Okeifufe: my brother, thank God you called it speculations. This is politics and speculations are associated with politics. My dear, it is normal to speculate. Honourable Chinedu Ogah did not work for himself alone but for the party and the President-elect.
The President-Elect is a Democrat. There is no way he will impose the wrong choice of the leadership of the national assembly on the party.
Before anybody from the South-East should come out to vie for the position of deputy speaker, the person should also come along with the votes he gave the President-Elect in his local government.
Let us keep charms of speculations aside, it won’t work on the President-Elect. He knows those that truly worked for the party and his presidential ambition in the South-East.
Osun Reporters: how optimistic are you that Hon. Chinedu Ogah will become the deputy speaker?
Okeifufe: I am highly optimistic that he will emerge as the deputy speaker because he worked tirelessly for it.
It will be a thing of shame for anybody to contest that position with a man the votes he gave the President-Elect from his local governed area are higher than votes from 3 states in the South-East.
Osun Reporters: before we call it a day, I have a question for you. What is your take on the present position of the South-East in national politics?
Okeifufe: hahaha (laughs)… We are where have placed ourselves in National Politics. No good politician gathers all his political eggs in our basket. If we continue to gather our political eggs in our basket, we will inevitably remain where we have placed our region in national politics. But don’t get it twisted, we are not marginalised as some people may want to make it look. We are only reaping the kind of political seeds we have been planting in the soil of national politics.
Osun Reporters: What if Hon Chinedu doesn’t emerge as the Deputy Speaker, will his loyalty to the party be 100%?
Okeifufe: A loyal party man like Honourable Ogah will remain loyal to the party.
The position of the Deputy Speaker is secondary. The primary position is the office he is presently occupying to represent his people. So, if things go against our wishes, he will fall back to effectively represent his people.
You see, almost all the political officeholders under the platform of the APC are playing anti-party politics to the detriment of our party in the South-East. Most annoying is that they are also greedy and they empower the opposition youths, while the Youths of the ruling party are left to cater for themselves.
The reason many of us are clamouring for him to emerge is that his emergence will affect the South-East APC youths positively. He will make the youths feel the positive impact of the party in our region.
The loyalty of Hon. Ogah to the party will not be affected in any way if he did not emerge as the Deputy Speaker, but his inability to emerge will negatively affect our party in the South East.
Osun Reporters: How sure are you that he will emerge as the Deputy Speaker?
Okeifufe: I am an optimistic person, therefore, I am 100% sure that he will emerge. As I early said, the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an ardent supporter of political industriousness.
He is the only House of Reps-Elect member that gave President Tinubu 12000 votes in the whole South-East, a vote higher than the total votes three good states in the South-East gave to the president-elect. I am 100% confident that he will emerge. The party has no choice but to encourage those that sincerely worked for the party by honouring them with good positions and appointments, so that they will, in turn, remember true party followers.