Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the house of representatives candidate of the Action Democratic Party for Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency seat, Chief Paul Meregini has declared that he is well-ready and fully positioned to compete with co-contestants for the revered national assembly seat in the forthcoming elections.
He was speaking on Sunday, on the backdrops of the forthcoming main elections in 2023 by the nation’s electoral commission across the 184 electoral wards of the seventeen local government areas of Abia state.
Meregini who also doubled as the immediate past administrative Secretary of the Abia chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before his sudden defection to ADP to run for 2023 national assembly elections, maintained that he’s not frightened by the ambition of the current Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly and House of Representatives candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Chinedum Orji, and rest of other co-contestants.
He also reminded the opposition elements that the power to choose or elect leaders lies in the hands of the people, and expressed total confidence in securing a win in the upcoming 2023 election in Abia, and many other states in Nigeria federation.
His words: “I don’t see him as a challenger in this election at all because the power belongs to the people. The people will decide. The speaker is not going to cast votes to the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, so don’t say is a challenge. People I have at heart are the electorates of Ikwuano, Umuahia north and Umuahia south local government areas that formed the present federal constituency; they are the ones going to cast their votes, and they are those am going to speak for.
“He has the right to aspire, just as i have the right to aspire. We are all sons of Ikwuano/Umuahia constituency. And there is nothing wrong that someone is aspiring for an elective political position. So, I don’t see him as a challenge. And the challenge I have is to talk to people to vote for me. And that is what I’m currently doing.
“He is the current speaker doesn’t stop me or anyone else from contesting. He didn’t give me a direct ticket. And now let me tell you the truth, it is not a matter of political party, what is important now is who is going for us. What are the person’s antecedents? Those are vital questions you would be asking. What are the antecedents of the people. Governance is not all about party. But the onus lies with the people that are being affected.
“They would decide who would go and who would not go. I don’t have any challenges. I don’t have any challenges from anybody. We are brothers, and we can always work together. If he wins, I will give him a handshake. Likewise, when I win the election he will give me a handshake. Because we are brothers.
On agenda to address socio-economic and Infrastructural problems facing the federal constituency when elected into the national assembly in 2023, Mr Meregini assured that he would interface with relevant ministries, departments and agencies of the executive arm of government, through the sponsoring of legislative motions and lawmaking to attract the needed developmental amenities being yearned for, by the populace in the federal constituency.
“By my virtue of being in national assembly, I will come up with ideas and necessary legislations that will help to alleviate the sufferings of our people. We will create a pool of unemployed and come up with ideas that we can them engaged in one thing or the other to be very productive to the society,” the Abia national assembly hopeful revealed.
He particularly frowned at the worsening dilapidation of road infrastructure in Ikwuano/Umuahia areas, berating successively elected representatives at the centre to draw attention of statutory federal agencies of the government to fix the bad Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road so as to cushion the difficulties on human and vehicular, and also guarantee ease transportation and conveyance of goods and services on the road.
Words: “I’ve toured round areas in Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, and I saw deteriorating condition of infrastructure, and plights of our people. I saw devastating gully erosion wallowing some residential buildings. I owe it as a duty to make sure I assist in my little way to make sure that government come to the aid of my constituency. Because my constituency is in deplorable state. There is no road, and gully erosions is swallowing buildings.
“Again, I know too well this Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene federal road has been in national budget for so many years. And what is holding it, is what no one can tell. I know that it has been put under NNPC fund project And the idea of making the road one single lane doesn’t give me joy. Because the road has to be dualized so that it will lessen burdens and difficulties faced by road users on daily basis. Because the dilapidated road is the gateway to Akwa- Ibom and Cross River States, including a neighbouring country, Cameroon”.
However, while suing for violence and rancour-free electioneering campaigns among all the candidates of registered political parties participating in the forthcoming polls across Abia state, and beyond, Meregini admonished people of Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, and entire Abia electorates to cast their votes to the right candidates with the needed capacity to foster genuine, human empowerment, economic and Infrastructural development in all strata of the constituency and the state at large.
He partly stated, “am advising that all candidates, co-contestants and major political players to maintain tempo of peace, harmony and stability before, during and after conclusion of the general election in 2023.
“Because, we gain nothing to instigate violence and bloodletting against one another for the sake of achieving peaceful and credible process that would be acceptable to all, devoid of electoral malpractices and manipulation”.
Meanwhile, apart from the speaker of Abia House of Assembly, Hon Chinedum Orji, who also doubled as the house of representatives standard-bearer of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Paul Meregini, the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) will slug out Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency seat election in 2023 with candidates of Labour Party (LP), Chief Obi Aguocha, All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Obilor Ogbonna, and many other candidates in other registered political parties by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)