By Kennedy Eweama (09030300795)
Dynamic, astute, humane, focused, affable and Charismatic are perhaps, apt adjectival definitions of Hon. Tony Nwulu, a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Oshodi/Isolo II Federal constituency.
Though a native of Eziudo in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, Nwulu’s foray into politics is very significant. His emergence as a member of the National Assembly, speaking the minds of thousands of Nigerians inhabiting the cosmopolitan and vast Oshodi/Isolo II constituency, in an APC firmly controlled State like Lagos, is indicative of his public acceptance across party lines.
To many, it is also an eloquent affirmation that Nwulu has the midas touch to turn around things positively and to triumph even where acclaimed mighty men of political valour had faltered or failed. To him, if the likes of David and Josiah could rule their people at very young ages, he can replicate same in the modern day Imo State despite the vicissitudes, gargantuan or hydra-headed nature of things in Imo State.
At a breakfast meeting with top media managers in Imo State recently, Nwulu unfolded what he termed “re-branding Imo project blue print”. The re-branding project is a holistic appraisal of issues and prospects as they affect Imo people vis-à-vis the state as an institution, the aim being to ultimately make the Eastern Heartland State, a primus inter pares as well as the cynosure of all eyes from 2019.
This revelations were indeed, incisive, informative and educative. With the likes of Tony Nwulu, the aphorism that “the age of Methuselah has got nothing to do with the wisdom of Solomon, is a “quod erat demonstrandum (QED) that is to say, it requires no further proof.
As National Co-ordinator, PDP Youth Advocacy Initiative since 2012, Nwulu has worked tirelessly at pursuing projects that are people oriented and which would at the same time, improve and uplift the living standards and income generating capabilities of Nigerian Youths. His entrance into the National Assembly in 2015 at the age of 35, provided him with an enhanced opportunity to further push his populist perceptions about leadership into limelight.
As a federal lawmaker, Nwulu sponsored the famous Not-Too-Young-To-Run and the Independent Candidacy bills. Both bills which are constitutional amendments bills are awaiting con-concurrence by at least 24 State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria, for them to become effective as constitutional laws. Already, over 14 state legislatures in Nigeria (as at the time of writing this piece) have endorsed the two bills. This a heart development indeed.
Appreciating the fact that Imo, his home state, is in dire need of altruistic, visionary and ragmatic leadership, Nwulu, after wide consultations, has decided to seek Imo people’s mandate as Governor come 2019. According to him, “my foray into Imo governorship race is to create a paradigm shift from our old ways of doing things in the state which has stagnated the state’s socio-economic development and made her vulnerable to undue manipulations by Some political cabals.”
He explained that these cabals establish political camps in order to actualize their personal interests against that of the people. He also alleged that some constitute themselves into political godfathers who must be consulted and pacified to their taste before any meaningful development can take place in the State. This is absurd and unfortunate, Nwulu regretted.
“Leadership is about selfless service to the people. Political camps and godfatherism in Imo State are the bane of her socio-economic and political development. I belong to no political camp. Imo people is my camp”, he stressed. He vowed that as a Pan Nigerian, he will not serve any myopic interest if elected Governor of Imo State in 2019. “I will serve only Imo State. There should be a paradigm shift from parochial mentality to populist mentality. We must not allow any cabal to hold hostage, the destiny of Imo people. Imo can’t be mortgaged under my watch rather, she will be a truly independent State from devilish manipulations” Nwulu assured.
As a pointer to what his administration would look like if gracious given the mandate by Imolities, Nwulu outlined a tentative blue print of his Re-branding project for Imo State from 2019. He hinted that to drive development down to the grassroot through the three geo-political zones in the State viz: Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe – he would establish a government agency known as Owerri Zonal Development Commission (OWZDEC), Orlu Zonal Development Commission (ORDEC) and Okigwe Zonal Development Commission (OKDEC).
Each of these Commissions shall be responsible for the socio-infrastructural development of each zone, he stated. According to him, the Nigerian film and entertainment industry vide Nollywood, will gain a boost as an international film village (the first of its kind in Nigeria) will be established by his administration.
He further hinted that the three zones in the state will all have equipped research facilities which would be divided thus: Owerri Zone – ICT software development research centre, Okigwe zone– Engineering research centre comprising mechanical / electrical research centres and Orlu Zone – Biochemical/medical research centre. He added that the three zonal commissions earlier mentioned would be manned by only indigenes from the respective zones to avoid sabotage and complaints.
On education, Nwulu explained that he will focus on qualitative rather than quantities education. To this end, he averred that schools will be adequately equipped with study materials, functional libraries and laboratories. Both public and missionary schools will also enjoy government patronage to ensure quality and affordable education, he assured.
Nwulu posited that his administration will ensure “the use of E-Governance and One Stop Shop Model (OSM) where all information about Imo State can be gotten online which also involves application forms for land allocations and processing, which is also tied to discussions with land owners.” He stated that “before any land is acquired or used for government project, negotiations must be held with the locals and their entitlement or compensation for such land paid to them”.
The Imo guber hopeful opined that hospitals (health facilities), tourism, social infrastructure, Local government autonomy, power generation and distribution, amongst others, will be revolutionalized to make them really people oriented. He posited that to hit the ground running from day one, his administration has already prepared “11 important bills for the Imo State House of Assembly that will drive the state’s socio-economic and political development”.
Very importantly, Nwulu made it clear that “if I become governor, I will partner with the media. I will never condone assault on journalists because without the media, there is neither democracy nor government of the people. Criticism is a healthy ingredient in democracy and any responsible leader or administration should be tolerant of criticism no matter how harsh it may seem because out of a mad man’s voice, something sane and reasonable could still be deduced’?
There is no gain saying therefore, that Nwulu has shown focus, Charisma and determination to re-brand Imo and turn things around. Besides, he is committed to returning power to the youths without prejudice to the wisdom and fatherly advice of the elderly in the state.
Nwulu acknowledged that “though we have a lot of re-branding to do in Imo State in order to overcome the gargantuan problems of the state, I am nevertheless very optimistic that 2019 will bring real and people oriented change Imolities desire. God has ordained it to happen”.
Eweama is a Media Consultant
Based in Owerri, Imo State