Kingsley Chukwuezugo Okoyefi, a lawyer is vying for the Njikoka State Constituency 1 seat in the Anambra State House of Assembly in the 2019 general election. In this interview with SAM NZEH, Okoyefi lists reasons that lead to face-off between the Legislative and Executive arms of government, what he intends to achieve if voted into office as a legislator, among others.
What do consider as the missing link in the legislature that you want to fill should you be elected into the House?
The issue is that most legislators we have had in the past and in recent times have not looked at their job descriptions as entrenched in the Constitution.
This lack of understanding is the principal reason for the face-off between the legislative and the executive arms of government in most states and at the national level.
We have ended up having people who are in the legislature thinking that they are part of the executive which in turn makes it difficult for us to thrive because they have failed to make laws to regulate the environment and the society in a way that will serve us and we’re going to make good out of it.
If given the opportunity, do you think you can make the difference?
Yes, of course. It is because I can make the difference that I am currently vying for the Njikoka State Constituency 1 seat in the Anambra State House of Assembly come 2019 general election.
I know there are a lot of things begging for attention starting from portable water, agricultural financing, healthcare, waste management, and education among others.
I believe that going by the experience I have garnered from working for different organisations and agencies as a lawyer, and exposure to better societies, I believe that I am properly equipped to make good laws which are going to be suitable for the growth and development of Anambra State in particular and Nigeria in general.
Some people say youths lack requisite experience and are not qualified to seek the highest office in the land. Even President Muhammadu Buhari not long ago asked the youths not to contest against him in the 2019 general election. What is your view?
I think that President Buhari was politicking when he said youths should not contest against him in the 2019 general election. I am a youth and I know a lot of youths who are very experienced and intelligent enough to be able to man certain things.
I’m a private sector person and I know youths who are below the age of 25 organising and managing over a 100 persons and running efficient organisations.
Whoever says the youths cannot manage the country or manage anything is being delusional. Such a person is detached from the reality on ground.
Also, the President who said youths should not contest against him; we should look at when he started seeing himself in government. That should be over 40 years ago when he was barely 35 years or thereabout.
If he believes that he has done so well as a young man to still be there today, I don’t think he should have made that statement, rather he should encourage the youths to run against him and let the best win.
How would you rate the performance of the Governor Willie Obiano-led Anambra State government?
Ananmbra State government led by Governor Willie Obiano to be candid has been moving at a very great speed towards development and meeting the yearnings of the people. However, I think the governor and his management team seem to be the only arm of government working.
This, in my view, ought not to be so. Government is made up of three arms- Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. The Judiciary is doing well, so we don’t need to talk about them.
The Executive led by Governor Willie Obiano is working so hard but not getting the needed support which they should be getting from the legislature.
We end up seeing legislators who are pushing to be like executives; they want to be seen constructing roads, classrooms, boreholes which are things that should be done by the executive.
Legislators should be able to make laws that will make it easier for the executive to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
In summary, the Governor Willie Obiano-led executive is doing so well in Anambra State, but I think they need to be supported by the legislature through law-making.
What qualities should Anambrarians look out for in those aspiring to be lawmakers?
I want Ndi Anambra to look at the challenges they are facing today and elect people who can solve these challenges through legislation. Anambra State currently does not have a functioning Water Board.
There are boreholes everywhere, but this is a danger to the society. The markets are not neat and not well regulated; people are getting sick without requisite hospitals to take care of them, etc. All these can be tackled through legislation.
So, I want Ndi Anambra to elect as legislators people who are strongly built on ideologies that can transform the state.
I want Ndi Anambra to shun money politics which has become the bane of the Nigerian society where every Tom, Dick and Harry who have made illegal wealth from somewhere comes to buy off governance and when they get into they are unable to perform.
What kind of legislature would you work to realise if you are elected?
In government, there should be harmony between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The Executive and the Legislature should be able to work together.
However, the Legislature should be the engine room, the thinking part of the government. So if I’m elected, I will work with others to ensure that there is harmony between the Legislature and the Executive in Anambra State.
Also as much as we as legislators are going to work together with the Executive to meet the yearnings of the people, we also are conscious of the needs of the people and make necessary laws to tackle such needs.
I will also in concert with other colleagues see to it that we monitor the Executive to make sure they are performing satisfactorily.
What is your message to your constituents?
My message to the electorate in my constituency is that if they want better water, good technical education, good health, good waste management, they should vote me.
If they want to feel government close to them, they should choose someone like me who has ideas on how to transform and bring the government closer to them.