Thousands of Electorates from Ehime Mbano/ Ihitte Uboma/ Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State on Thursday obtained House of Representatives’ Nomination and Expression of Interest’ forms for the former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health Services, Hon. Chike Okafor in reciprocity of his humanity and quality representation.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony of the House of Representatives’ Nomination and Expression of Interest’ forms held at the National Assembly, leader of the Group called Mr. Egbukwele Emmanuel disclosed that the monetary donations were made by over 180 people who secured employments in various public institutions and security agencies through Hon. Okafor.
He said: “Today, May 5th is the day that we the people that Chike John Okafor gave employments to in different areas. We gathered money together and said that what he has done in our lives will not go in vain. Especially myself I never believed that where he placed me today, that I will be there under my own agency.
“And in my own agency we are 26 in number that he posted, this my brother in their own side, they are 32 in number in total we are 182 in different agencies and parastatals NDA, NHIS, Primary Health, Civil Defence, Immigration, Paramilitary, Banking sector, Customs and Excise, medical line; in total we are over 180 and we have a platform for him.
“So we gathered together and contributed little token that made up the amount we were able to purchase the Nomination Form. And good enough is that, everyone of us contributed little token.
“There is something that he used to say, he says that in a year his priority is to raise men and empower them. We have a platform and we named the group ‘Honourable John Chike’s Children’, comprising of men and women that he has affected their lives.
“And I believe before this quarter is ended, we will be up to 200 persons, so we are praying that as he is returning back the their term God will be with him, no evil shall ever reach him and he will always be there for us in Jesus name.”
In his acceptance speech, Hon. Chike Okafor who appreciated the kind gestures of his benefactors including various Community and Youth groups across Party lines.
Hon. Okafor who pledged solidarity for Governor Hope Uzodinma administration said: “My journey started with my appointment as a Commissioner and cabinet member by the then governor of Imo State. I became Commissioner for Finance and held the position almost throughout his first tenure and all of you here, my brothers and sisters will bear testimony that all I did within that period was to use the goodwill and contacts of that office to see how much I can impact the lives of our people because my mantra was and still remains the reason for holding political office either elective or appointive is to bring development to your immediate constituency.
That means that the first responsibility or duty of the person holding the political office is to define. You may say and that gave impetus to the call by you that I should go to the House of Representatives in 2015 with massive support by you.
Even when opposition when from the two major opposition parties in Imo, notably, APGA and PDP candidates came from a sister local government area, that Ihette Uboma, we still in that local government and we won’t be election and I can to National Assembly precisely, on June 9, when the 8th Assembly was inaugurated. I didn’t have to come that time I came to begin to know or understand the nuances of legislation and representation generally. May be because of my academic background.
“Right in the chamber on that day, Okigwe South was heard. I was the second person that spoke, seconding the nomination of Yakubu Dogara who later became the Speaker and I later became the Chairman, House Committee on Health Services. I don’t bore you with my scorecard. You are here giving testimonies to what we were able to do and still doing. And that propelled you to say go back again in 2019.
“But because of my late return, I didn’t get any Committee chairmanship or deputy chairmanship. So, suffice it to say that in this 9th Assembly, one is struggling but I remain grateful to God.
“There were people who also fought for their mandate and didn’t get it back. By the mercy of God, I got mine back. That’s why it is symbolic that this ceremony is hiding right inside the office of Okigwe South federal constituency in national assembly. To God be the glory.
“Today I am very happy that my brothers and sisters by the grace of God I had the opportunity of helping them with employment here and there. So, when they reached me a few days ago and say this is what they are thinking, including Ihette Uboma youths who also on their own mobilized resources and sent across and in the last couple of days, then young men and women came here and started looking for resources.
“They put the resources together and what is more encouraging is that they said we are going to raise money even if we have to borrow to make that the campaigns will be funded and the elections will be won. So, I want to thank you. We will lead the campaign of APC in Okigwe zone and we will do what we have to do. We will bring the victory and God will crown our efforts.
“I want to tell you that the game in the National Assembly is not the game of first timers. I will tell and assure you that we have a governor who is highly pragmatic, forceful and connected in the annals of politics in this country.
“Whatever position that will come to the South East in the 10th Assembly, Chike Okafor, I am rightly positioned and equipped, rightly ready to go for it, not for my own good but for the good of the people of Okigwe zone and Imo State in general. But we have to do the first things first.
“We have cross the hurdles of primaries, secure the ticket and then face the general election. I won’t bother who the opposition will present but I have confidence in the strength and ability of the people that are here and the others ones that are not here.
“So, I want to thank you for coming. This journey to the 10th assembly that has started today, I have accepted it and I am gonna run with you with God on our side and the backing of our people, the support of our party, the Governor and government of Imo State, I am confident that we will be a part of the 10th Assembly that will be inuagurated by the new President that we don’t know, come June 2023. To God be the glory.”