Benin City — Mr. Ehia Olu Akhabue is a United States of America (USA) based Nigerian businessman and ICT consultant who clocked 65 years today. In this interview, he spoke about insecurity in Nigeria, way out of the country’s socio-economic challenges, politics ahead of 2023, and other issues;
Briefly tell us about yourself
I am Ehia Olu Akhabue and I hail from Unuwazi ,Uromi in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State. I am 65 years old.
How do you feel at your new age of 65?
I feel good and I give God the glory. Age is a number. Though there have been ups and downs, God has really been in charge and has been faithful. Whatever I am today would never have been possible without God, I really thank Him for keeping me these past 65 years
When I look back, I have reasons to glorify His name because I have become the expression of His goodness and grace.
What’s your take on the security situation in the country?
It is worrisome. Any lover of this country should feel worried over the deteriorating security situation in the country. I am worried. I expect the government to see it as a serious challenge and then halt this terrible drift into a state of lawlessness where banditry and kidnappings have seized the nation by the neck and made life discomfiting and discomforting. During the last election, two of my campaign officials were kidnapped. This is terrible. Where there is insecurity, such as we have now, there can’t be investment inflows. People are always reluctant to visit or go and invest where there are severe security challenges. So, the need for the government to strengthen the security architecture of the country has become a categorical imperative. And the Government should accept this as a responsibility because Section 14 (2) of the Constitution of Nigeria states that the provision of security and welfare of the people shall be the primary responsibility of the government.
You were in the race for the Senate race in the last election but lost, what would you have done by way of attracting infrastructures to Edo Central?
It’s true I contested and lost that election and as a lover and respecter of democratic ideals, I commended the winner because I knew he met the requirements of the conventional yardstick of numerical democracy.
If I had won and was in the Senate, my task would have been to walk my promises. Esanland is shackled by a lack of drinkable water. The water problem in Esanland is terrible and if I had my way, my first major task would have been to tackle it through the instrumentality of various agencies– leveraging my role as a lawmaker Water problem in Edo Central is something that makes me very sad. In the last election, I spoke about it. I feel the pain the people are going through.
There are other basic things that Edo central needs but water tops the priority list. When trees fall on one another, the one on top has to be removed before others. That does not imply that different problems cannot be simultaneously addressed.
What is your response to the various calls on you to run for a Edo Central Senatorial Seat?
There have indeed been a babel of calls on me to join the race. The pressure has been much. Few days ago, a traditional ruler called me and said I am the kind of person that is needed to be one of the major voices in the National legislature that has the integrity and influence to attract development to Edo Central.
I am consulting friends and the people whose mandate is needed to translate desire into democratic results. I don’t own myself. I am also consulting my family members. When I am through, I will make my position clear.
If you eventually bow to pressures and decide to run , under which party platform and what do you consider to be your competitive edge over others.?
I am a registered and card carrying member of PDP . So after wide consultations and I see the need to run, I will drive my ambition on the PDP ticket.
My knowledge of the grave problems in Esanland and determination to use my position to address them sets me apart from others. Earlier, I talked about the water problem in Esanland which does not challenge the attention and conscience of those who have had the privilege of holding political positions since the dawn of the present democratic epoch.
I am passionate about the restoration of adequate and uninterrupted water supply in Esanland. Should I make up my mind to run based on the overwhelming desire and encouragement of those who are to vote, I will ensure water supply to Esanland and pursue the project with a crusading elegance. There was a time long ago, when water was everywhere in Esanland. What has happened? Those who should have tackled this problem long ago are not talking and are not doing something.
Another edge I have is that I might be in a race with those who have been there for years but have nothing on ground to show for it. I understand that one of the aspirants has been in elective positions since 1999. He is now a political ancestor.
I am really disappointed that those who fought and made third term impossible for their predecessors have forgotten what they did and are now in the race. Is politics their farm? Don’t they have jobs?
Well, I am optimistic that the people will reject them because they need a fresh breath to change the narrative in Esanland.
If I make up my mind to run, I will first commit it to God because the race is His, not mine.
How will you describe your sojourn so far in the US and what is the way forward for Nigeria?
I give God all the glory for the over four decades in the US, I give God all the glory. I went to school here. I worked here and now I do my business to the glory of God. I am an IT person and I have been in the IT world for over 35 years. The way to solve modern day challenges is through IT. The future for Nigeria is IT and not oil. Look at those people who are billionaires today in the US and other parts of the world, they are not people into oil business the owner of facebook is not an oil man, google owner is not into oil even Dangote who is the richest man in Africa did not make his billions through, he is just going into that sector now so oil will dry up, the way of the future is IT our people should know that. You use IT to solve a lot of problems