Why I Nominated An Akara Seller As Local Government Councilor
I have received an overwhelming number of phone calls and text messages in reaction to the recent BBC Igbo video documentary of Hon. Mrs Ugochinyere Ezeh, an Akara (Bean Cake) seller in Nnewi, I facilitated her appointment to serve in the Transition Committee of Nnewi North Local Government as one of the Councillors.
While many sent in their commendation, others inquired on the wisdom behind the appointment. I appreciate all for the encomiums and will also share my thoughts on the appointment.
Before I joined mainstream politics, I have always believed that the less-privileged should be an integral part of our society and the society should not turn a blind eye towards them. While we sleep in the comfort of our beds, many of them cry themselves to sleep.
Since I was elected into Anambra State House of Assembly, most of my projects and programs are focused on touching the lives of the poor, oppressed and deprived, all in an attempt to give them a sense belonging.
The nomination of Mrs Ugochinyere Ezeh is not an exception, she is one woman who has serious determination and commitment to her Akara (Bean Cake) business, she is always seen in her shop as early as 6am and even late in the night, although save for the few times I have patronised her, I have not really had any personal encounter with her.
When I had the opportunity to nominate someone to serve in the local government council as one of the councillors, I discovered that most of the nominees in the list were from privileged background, with no consideration for people in the class of Mrs Ugochinyere Ezeh, without any hesitation, I forwarded her name as my nominee to represent the less privilege and the downtrodden.
I believe that people don’t need to be born with a silver spoon before considered to be elected or appointed in any vantage position. Obviously, if Mrs Ugochinyere Ezeh has shown serious commitment to her trade, she will also bring such vigour in any assignment given to her, especially when she also had the educational qualifications.
As one who comes from a humble background, I believe that the circumstances of birth of anyone should not be an impediment to his or her growth in life. Our people should also understand that no one is ever rewarded for what he/she has received, but what he/she has given.
It is my view that while we continue to push for good road networks, steady power supply, business-friendly policies, youth empowerment and development, improved quality of education and other necessary infrastructures, we should not lose sight of the poor, weak, and disadvantaged who go to bed hungry and even wonder if they will pull through the night, let alone surviving another day.
I remain yours sincerely,
Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor,
Nnewi North Constituency,
Anambra State House of Assembly.