Hon. Vita Abba is an enigma, a man of many parts. As the erstwhile Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu state, the softspoken engineer is no mean manager of men and materials. He is a fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers and a distinguished entrepreneur with excellent records of performance and integrity that earned him Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON, under President Obasanjo in 2005. A recipient of Nigeria productivity order of merit by President Yaradua and a patriotic Nigerian who was the Chairman and Pro-chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri with outstanding performance to his credit.
Presently, he is contesting for the Federal House of Representative under the same party in Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal constituency. In this no holds barred interaction with our Assistant Investigator Editor, Ekamma UBA, Hon Abba gave an explicit insight into the political developments in Enugu state; saying if elected he would right the wrongs in infrastructural development in the University town of Nsukka. Excerpts.
You now have PDP ticket for House of Representatives for Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Constituency, what are your plans for the people if you win the election.
By God’s grace we have the ticket today. A lot of gratitude to the people of Nsukka and Igbo-Eze South constituency. I thank God for everything. I also thank Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for making things easy and creating enabling environment and for making the primary election successful.
What should your people look forward to after your victory?
If by God’s grace we get into office, there is a lot to bite and chew because our constituency is one of the largest constituencies in this country. For instance, Nsukka local government alone is well known as one of the largest local government area. It should be four local governments in one because it has been an urban city since sixties. You can imagine the deficit of infrastructure in this local government especially, the rural areas.
How can you situate Governor Ugwuanyi’s leadership with your expected victory?
Yes, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in his magnanimity have turned Nsukka town into London with infrastructure. But, in the rural areas, he can only do what the resources could limit him to do. So, all the villages nooks and crannies of Nsukka, you should understand that Nsukka has a boundary with Idah, in the Northern side, Nsukka is so vast and we expect to use our good offices to bring a change in terms of infrastructure for our people. Though, Igbo-Eze South needs a quantum lift in terms of development because it is a rural local government, not much infrastructure and it’s equally rural based. We know these are things we should seek for aids from federal level. Enugu is not an oil producing state and the resources of Enugu can’t be compared with Lagos and Port-Harcourt. We need a lot of assistance to be where we’re expected to be in modern Nigeria.
It’s like your focus will be on rural areas because they are lacking a lot on roads, agriculture etc. Which key areas are you going to focus in rural development?
We’re going to take all the key sectors including education. We should be able to impact on education because we have the population and we need more institutions, especially, Technical institutions, specialized institution, school of Agric, Animal husbandry, Veterinary and all those special schools we have in the North should be here. We should have them here. If we have them here, people will stop migrating to the center. We have fertile land and we expect that if we have those facilities here, it will stabilize those areas. We will start being sustainable because when the economy is dead, we don’t need to run to town to look for job because job is already created there. It’s a vision that will come. All the problems will be tackled. My constituency is an agro area local government. We have a lot of potentials, cash crops that we can invest in. If you come to other areas like technology, Nsukka could be the Silicon Valley of Nigeria because we have multitude of manpower, the youths, young and dedicated once. We want to harvest the University of Nigeria for our economy. There is no reason Nsukka should not be the silicon Valley of Nigeria where children in the school cannot have a computer and some of the things that is coming out as second value should be used in those places to better our economy. Our prayer is that the economy of Nigeria should be vibrant to sustain most of our dream projects. In terms of health services, we believe that whatever we bring will compliment the already established University of Medical and Applied Science. It’s our intention to compliment what our state governor has done and still doing in that sector and various sectors.
After the primary election, people of Nsukka took it to social media to attack Governor Ugwuanyi. However, outsiders see a lot of projects when they enter Nsukka. What is your reaction to this?
As a matter of fact, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is the liberator of our people. He has suffered for them. Nsukka people will know what Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi stands for and what he meant and the love he has for Nsukka in due course. It’s unfortunate that in this country, when you see reality and try to play politics with it. It’s allowed when it comes to politics but when you come to reality, Nsukka has gotten more than its own share in present dispensation, all to Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s magnanimity. And you can see that every part of the state is taking care of and there is no reason Nsukka man should be complaining of flash project, infrastructure and legacy projects if that person is aware of resources coming into Enugu State. But one thing is talking what you should have while another thing is the available resources. So, for those who know the resources, it is pure wickedness to Governor Ugwuanyi and for those who don’t know the resources available, I will ask them to go and do research, seek for more information to know the available resources in the state. For me as a person, who have been feeling the trauma of what is going on in the state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has been a blessing to Nsukka and its course and I pray God to favor him in other endeavors he wishes to embark on after leaving government house Enugu
What is your dream for Enugu State?
My dream for Enugu State is a sustainable state without going to Abuja, a state that can improve economically to sustain its citizens, a state that can make a budget without thinking of what will come from Abuja. That means it’s a state that can sustain itself. Had it been that Enugu is a state full of love, where there is no North, West or East, where we see our brother as one common people with one common destiny, a state where merit will be at the center, a state with equity, a state where love reigns supreme.