Hon. Maria Ude Nwachi is a member of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, representing Afikpo North East Constituency. She speaks in this interview with Ogochukwu Anioke on the six month suspension slammed on her by her colleagues, challenges and political aspirations.
THE belief in some quarters in the state over your suspension by the state House of Assembly is that Governor David Umahi is after you because of your national assembly ambition. What is your take on that?
Before I won the State House of Assembly election, I had a pact with myself that I will only do one term. And there is nothing on earth that will make me change my mind. It has nothing to do with my governor. This is my own decision and I have every right to take such decision. I would rather be out of politics than go back to the state Assembly. This is not arrogance; this is a resolve I made even before winning the election.
I had never even met the governor when I told myself that I will do only one term in the state assembly because I knew nothing about politics prior to winning the last election. I had not met or seen many of the politicians I know today in the state, including my governor. I do not mean to disobey his order; this is something I cannot compromise on for anything on this earth. It is a personal decision.
You left Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which earned you lots of criticisms. Do you regret joining the PDP?
No, I do not regret joining PDP. I don’t like the feeling of regrets because no matter how bad a situation turns out, there are great lessons to take away from it. You can’t eat your cake and have it. You cannot benefit a lot from the lessons situations taught you for free and at the same time regret the situations. Joining PDP to please my governor was the right thing to do at that time.
I was in the fore-front of promoting his developmentl strides, which are real, and so it was an easy decision to make; when he insisted I join PDP. I don’t regret taking that decision to leave the PPA and join my governor in the PDP. I am learning from the situation today rather than regretting it. It is never over until it is over. I was once in PDP before moving to PPA to win my election.
I have no regret whatsoever and I am not trapped or cornered. I am the architect of my decisions and will take personal responsibility for the outcome of every decision I make. I am not a child. I don’t feed through my nose. Therefore, I welcome every consequence of my decisions in life. I am 47 years old, a middle aged woman. I am old enough in all ramifications; I take responsibility for all my actions.
Being suspended for six months means that your constituency, Afikpo North East will not have any say and representation for that period. Do you have any plans to fight and get back to where you were duly elected to be?
I will do the best I can.
Without any godfather, you won the 2015 House of Assembly election through a relatively unknown platform. How are you going to go about the present challenges you are facing, which many people believe is political?
I came into Nigerian politics because I want to do things differently from the norm. I wanted to prove to the world that a Nigerian politician can put her needs last before the need of others. And I am living it. I have spent millions of my own money working in my constituency. I have not built a single thing for myself. I started work as soon as I was elected with my own money, even before I received a penny as a legislator.
A state of the art facility, which I built for my people would be unveiled in less than two weeks. I am in politics to affect lives, to affect positive changes and to tone down the bigmanism associated with it. I am not in politics to look s3xy or to build personal houses. I am not in politics to acquire wealth for myself. I am not into politics to bear endless titles. I came in with good intentions for others.
Be that as it may, if I am not in politics today, I will still be fine. I have killed and buried my ego. I have no ego to feed. I am not ashamed to work, to do any work, I got to do. I am a natural servant and can serve anyone with pleasure and dedication. I am not lazy. My life should not start and end with politics. If I am not in Nigerian politics today, I will be just fine. I am contented with whatever I have.
Have you reached out to the governor since the House of Assembly suspended you, possibly to intervene?
Yes, but he is yet to grant me audience.
Your admirers, supporters, friends and constituents are worried about your suspension, what is your word for them?
I am grateful for their concern, but I am assuring them that I will not stop to work hard towards my goals and vision. It is going be a bumpy ride, but nothing good comes on a platter of gold. I will be roughed up, I will be humiliated, mocked and debased, but in the end, my good intentions will see me through.
To your ‘traducers,’ what is your word to them?
Whether you pushed me or pulled me; drained me or fuelled me, stayed by my side or left me, loved me or hated me, hurt me or helped me, you are part of my growth and I thank you.
– The Nation