Ofoni Daupomo Williams is of the All Progressives Congress (APC), aspiring to represent his people in the Red Chambers. He spoke to PAULINE ONYIBE.
What qualifies you for the position you are aspiring for?
I am a member of All Progressives Congress (APC) and I am going to the red chambers to deliver the dividends of democracy to my people especially the basic amenities which are seriously lacking in my area. I’m going to the red chambers to give my people effective representation. My people have suffered for so long because those that are supposed to bring needed developmental projects are there to enrich themselves. Of course my people believe in me and they know that a vote for me is a vote for effective representation and for service delivery. My people know what I can do. I have impacted in so many areas including serving Sagbama constituency 3 in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. My campaign slogan would be Restoration of Divine Mandate 2019 which would be achieved under the APC.
You seem to have so much confidence in yourself. Why do you think you have all it takes to defeat your opponents?
I started politics at a very young age and I have a political antecedent that people know. As far back as 1996, I was the vice chairman of Sagbama Local Government area. It is on record that I touched the lives of so many youths many of whom today cannot tell their success without him. I’m also one of the founding fathers of Bayelsa state. I participated in the political outing that led to the creation of the state. I was in the Justice Mbanefo panel of state creation in Port Harcourt where I presented a paper under the auspices of Sagbama development league. I was the youngest of all at that time less than 30 years.
After your stint in Bayelsa Assembly, you have made some attempts again to represent your people but you didn’t succeed. What makes you think now that you will be given the opportunity?
Point of correction please. It is not that I didn’t win but I was victimized and denied the opportunity. In 2010, I made an entrance for the House of Representatives under the PDP and won but I was singled out by the powers that be. But my people knowing what I did during my days in the Assembly and my contributions in my local government and the state, decided that I should go and represent them. Various groups even outside my senatorial district are calling on me to contest for the Bayelsa West Senatorial seat which is actually zoned to my local government area. Of course you know that people primarily believe in me because they know that I can give them that effective representation at the national level.
But those powers that be are still there and there is this belief that Bayelsa is a PDP state but you are in APC. How are you going to convince your people to vote for you under the APC?
That is what I have been telling my people. I have told them, it is now that we should look inwards and align ourselves to do what is right. I do tell them that people should start voting for people and not party. They should vote for people that they think can represent them well. For once, let us do it, anybody that can represent the people well should be given a chance. That is why I have been talking to them. I have been telling them that they should think deeply before voting this time around. Let them vote wisely. They should not sell their votes as election comes next year.
What are some of your achievements that will make your people want to align with you again?
My good works during my years in the assembly as the member representing Sagbama Constituency 3 still speaks volume. I saw 50 students through their Diploma in Bayelsa State College of Arts and Sciences. I also provided teaching aids for biology and geography in all secondary schools in Sagbama Local Government Area. I trained 40 students in DSP technology center for Diploma in computer and bought JAMB/WAEC/GCE forms to students. To also make sure that the youths and the women are engaged during my days then, I bought 60 motorbikes for some of the youths, 30 sewing machines to 30 women, 50 phones to all communities in my constituency and other things. I also ensured the proper delivery of constituency projects like in Asamubiri, Etopewari and Anibeze communities.
But now the Niger Delta needs development not all these. Don’t you think so?
Yes, that is the reason I want to get to the National Assembly for effective representation. I want to go and sponsor bills that would bring development to the Niger Delta and to my senatorial district in particular. Of course there are lots of communities crying for social amenities in this region. Some of these communities don’t have portable water, no good hospitals, no roads, lack of good schools. I will make sure that I bring those challenges to the table when I get there.
How do you think that you can defeat those that are already there now?
I know that I am very competent. I have been there before even though at the state level and I did well. My going to the red chambers will be different from other National Assembly members. There are genuine complaints that some National Assembly members have not really impacted on their constituents, I am going there to make a difference. Many of our representatives don’t know the reason why they are there. For me, I have done it before, of which my impacts are still being felt after some years. I know what it takes to represent my people well and I am assuring them once again of effective representation if I’m given the opportunity. As a former lawmaker in the state, I know what I am going to the red chambers to do. I will be voted to go and bring development to the yearnings of the people and that is exactly what I’m going there to do.
How would you advise the youths that are always used to perpetrate violence?
I advise the youths to be wise this time around. Don’t allow yourselves to be used by anybody because of election. There is no need for electoral violence. We are one.
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