Enugu: How PDP, APC House of Reps’ candidates boycotted town hall meeting

By Gideon Arinze

Candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Congress, APC for Enugu North/South Federal Constituency, recently shunned the House of Representatives candidates’ town hall meeting organized by Office of the Citizens, Enugu.

Offor Chukwuegbo of the PDP and Maduka Arum of the APC were absent all through the Town Hall meeting which was intended to have all the candidates aspiring to represent the constituency at the Federal House of Representatives engage with their electorates.

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Meanwhile, candidates of the Young Progressives Party, YPP, United Progressives Party, UPP and the Africa People’s Alliance, APA who were present at the Town Hall meeting all advocated for a change of the existing Land Use Act to empower states create jobs for their teeming unemployed youths.

According to the candidates, it was completely out of place for a state to possess huge natural resources and not tap from it to better the lives of their teeming populace.

Ozioma Ani, who is the candidate of YPP for Enugu North/South Federal Constituency, said that he would galvanize like-minds to sponsor a bill to repeal the current Land Use Act so that states would engage actively in tapping natural endowments when elected.

“Leadership is about the people and that is exactly why I am running. I know that what we need in government are people who are confrontational and who can stand up to their feet and say no to the sufferings of the common man in the society”. he said.

He stated that repealing the Land Use Act will tremendously open up the space for job creation in states and as such, he would make efforts to draft and lobby for people-oriented bills less concentration on executive bills.

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On his part, Chukwunonso Ogbe, the candidate of APA said that he will make efforts to sponsor bills that will positively affect the lives of the ordinary citizens and also ensure that the youth are intellectually empowered to carry on the mandate of making the country a better place for all to dwell.

“I will be as vibrant as possible and not be a bench warmer as most people do when they get into the house.  I will also join progressive minds to push Enugu State and the entire country forward through positive bills,’’ Ogbe said.

Onyedika Agbo, the candidate of UPP said that there was an urgent need to tackle the current rate of unemployment especially among youths in the state and the country at large.

He however said that the election goes beyond personal interest and should not be a do or die affair and that whoever wins among the three candidates will try to represent the interest of the people.

While addressing newsmen, the Convener, Office of the Citizens Enugu, Onyebuchi Igboke said that the ideas and projects of candidates become even clearer to the people because Town Hall Meetings like this avails the electorates opportunity to ask them questions and have them answer these questions.

“Usually at campaign rallies, we only find people dancing to musical tones collecting money from politicians and at the end, nothing changes. It is the same old story of ineptitude in government. But now, the story is gradually changing”. He said.

Continuing, he said “It is not business as usual and as such, it is going to be difficult because we would always have candidates who would not want to come and sit down and have the people ask them questions about why they are actually running for elective positions”.

He noted that it is about time the electorates become wise enough to know that it is not just about collecting money from selfish politicians who later go in and work to satisfy their personal desire.

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