Senator representing Anambra North district Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah OON has unveiled her 2023 campaign, ‘Oluchukwu’
Gatekeepers News reports that Oluchukwu which means ‘hand work of God’ explores Oduah’s humble beginning and passion for human empowerment.
See the full statement below:
May I respectfully thank ndị Anambra North for the opportunity to serve these past few years; it is an honor and privilege that I don’t take lightly. Thank you very much.
Once upon a time, a little girl had a father whose demonstrable love for humanity was not only infectious but a beauty to behold.
This young girl would grow up in a home where her dad not only took it upon himself to pay the school fees of numerous students from poor families but maintain an open door policy where many were welcomed, fed and made to feel at home.
This girl grew up observing her mum, who was a teacher, tending to the needs of children who were not even her own and her love for humanity was so deep that it was inconceivable for her to accept that any child under her care should ever be sent home by reason of non payment of school fees.
This girl remembers a time she visited her village in company of her father who as usual, took with him numerous gifts for the kids in the village and still recalls how each child lined up whilst her daddy, shared cartons and cartons of cabin biscuits which at the time, she loved dearly.
And as it occured to her that the biscuits where almost depleted, she would cry out to her daddy who lovingly drew her aside and impressed on her the fact that though she has daily access to biscuits, the village kids were only fortunate to eat it once in a blue moon and as such, the need to understand and sacrifice.
That young girl would eventually evolve and grow up to become a woman imbued with certain virtues like Selflessness, Charity, Love and a strong calling to positively affect the lives of the downtrodden that could only have come from years of observing her parents do the exact same thing and just incase you’re still wondering who this young girl is, that girl is me!
Indeed, I would go on to start my work life in the NNPC where a man whom I didn’t know would turn around to favor me for the simple reason that my late father, saw him through school at a time in his life when nothing was working for his parents.
It is an unarguable fact that prior to joining the murky waters of politics, I’d made a name and some considerable fortune for myself and even though I continued my acts of charity, I just knew that I needed a bigger platform to do the most good for a larger swathe of society which is why approximately 8 years ago, I was led by a calling higher than myself, to seek your mandate for though I’d spent considerable time and resources attending to the needs of the downtrodden during my time in private business, I instinctively knew that public office would afford me more latitude to do more for a larger swathe of the people and this would explain why I’ve approached every minute of my legislative stewardship as a divine calling that must be obeyed for I fear God enough to do otherwise.
This in a nutshell, explains why our campaign mantra is OLUCHUKWU, for indeed, our work is motivated by God.
Recall that when I set out to seek your mandate in 2015, we had spent enormous time brainstorming and coming up with a NEEDS analysis which encapsulated the numerous challenges confronting Anambra North and actions that needed to be taken to mitigate them.
This document, done in the spirit of OLUCHUKWU, continues to represent our roadmap or work plan and has served as the basis for our campaign promises, which to all intents and purposes, have literally been exceeded; but going through the roadmap, we found out that there was still far much more grounds that needed to be covered.
In continuing with OLUCHUKWU for the 2023 general elections and going through the plan, we recognized the need to do far more in order to consolidate and usher in the kind of development that would stand the test of time and be sustained; for our passion arises from a belief that we must leave Anambra North far more better than we met it and develop human beings by making them assets and the best commodities the zone will ever possess.
This in a nutshell explains why we prioritize Human Capital Development by ensuring that those who do not have will have, those who have nothing at stake will not only become stakeholders but become the engine that will protect our communities and society.
To achieve this transformation, we shall continue to mainstream the youth and women as catalysts and will train, certify and in collaboration with foreign agencies and the Ministry of Labour, export these skilled young men and women to where they will become global citizens, who in return, will send back diaspora funds for community and zonal development.
We will also ensure that the oil found in Anambra State, will have our skilled workers that will be in a position to occupy the existing skill gaps in the sector, otherwise people from other states and regions will end up leveraging on the existing skill gaps.
We have a plan to ensure that every LGA will have a minimum of 3 standard skill acquisition centers where various skill sets will be taught and we want to treat this as industries where we will massively train, certify and export to the global skills market.
As you well know, Anambra North is a commercial center and so, our aim is to make it a commercial hub and to achieve this, we will start with communities where at least, one out of every 3 women will have more access to grants and funds to do petty trading.
The essence is that in doing this, women will be in better position to raise well rounded children and we all know that a happy mother, makes a happy home with healthy normal children.
We will also extend this to Agriculture where we shall be making available, more trust funds for farmers to improve on their crop cultivation.
This should aid in massive training that would change the usual way of planting and preservation and for this, we shall be creating clusters that will have both crops and processes to leverage on the value chain.
Our concept in Agriculture is the farm to supermarket model, which means that each cluster shall have both the farming, processing, harvesting, preservation, packaging and storage.
To achieve this, we shall be working in collaboration with food regulators, Standard Organization and all critical stakeholders to ensure that our produce are in tandem with global standards and acceptable in hotels and supermarkets.
I firmly believe that in a country of 200 million people, clearly we have a local existing market which shall be our catchment area and what we have in excess will be exported but we must leverage on the available opportunities because we currently experience lost costs and lost opportunities running into billions; and translating this to opportunities and revenues means that we would be recouping and halting further escalation of opportunities lost.
Because of the significance of education to the new normal, for any trader to truly progress, they are required to have the knowledge of some of the skills required for global commerce like ICT, therefore, we have an existing plan with UNIZIK to organize a weekend part time adult education that would award degrees and we shall be selecting a hundred traders per year. This is our way of sensitizing this demographic on how significant it is for them to acquire requisite education that would enhance their trading and embrace global trends in education for progressive trading. In addition to this, it is to implement a Federal Government law that requires every market to have at least two classrooms for the part time adult education.
We also propose to do more in the area of providing access to scholarships for indigent students by selecting a minimum of 50 students from public schools per LGA as beneficiaries.
Recall also that we had earlier on, embarked on the construction and equipping of classrooms in various LGA’s but we shall do more in this regard to ensure that communities that are yet to benefit, shall benefit.
The importance of having a roof over ones head cannot be overemphasized and ours by culture, makes it more pivotal, which is why we had earlier on, commenced on a housing scheme with an aim to make sure that nothing less than 350 constituents have access to these low cost houses and we will continue in the same line to ensure we spread and accommodate more people. Currently we have built free homes for widows in various communities in the numerous LGA’s and hopefully, by 2024/2025, we will achieve our target.
Also, we shall be teaching local people on how to build affordable houses on their own by relying on local materials available.
The recurring flood menace gives room for concern and I’ve had cause to raise this issue in the Senate, calling on government to come to our aid.
Our plan is to tap into the FG special intervention fund.
Last year, at my instigation, the SGF office had commissioned engineers to conduct a study which proffered solutions like water re-channeling, distillation, construction of dams/embankments and a whole lot of plans to end it.
We are currently at the stage where we need to push and ensure the implementation of this study and we’re hoping that we put in sand dredging to enable us sand fill the local communities by the water banks in subsequent budgets.
More importantly, it is imperative that we retrain our people on how to live with the reality of its flood and erosion prone environment; the way to build their houses, how to even plant crops etc, and all these are new normals that should engender a paradigm shift for communities living along the water.
For instance, in Thailand, you cannot build the same way people upland build for obvious topographical differences.
Recall that we’d consistently made sure to provide free medical outreaches for the indigent in our various LGA’s, equipped hospitals with solar grids to ensure a seamless power supply and constructed Diagnostic centers but Health being wealth, we want to consolidate on what we have done by also ensuring to create an enabling environment where affordable healthcare is available for all, particularly for old people and women who are the vulnerable demography in the healthcare sector; therefore we shall be providing medical insurance to them in every LGA.
In addition to this, we shall be ensuring that the FMC Onitsha, which came to be as a result of my successful bill for it’s establishment, is fully activated with all its auxillary branches/arms which is to make sure that every LGA has functional General Hospitals that will have the complements of the FMC, both in training and in providing medical health.
We also want to leverage on the global opportunities that exist in the medical health sector and so, we shall be massively training nurses and care providers to make sure that we engage them globally where the opportunities exist, in hope that they would send diaspora funds back home. This we have already kick-started with the training of selected constituents in various nursing schools in Nigeria.
We had ensured to provide water in most communities but a whole lot more needs to be done for we recognize the importance of water and have a target to ensure that no child should have to walk for more than 10 mins to have access to water.
This will help mitigate against preventable deaths and minimize water borne diseases and so, we shall be constructing more boreholes in the various communities.
SOLAR STREET LIGHTS.
Recall that we already embarked on the installation of solar powered street lights in strategic areas and streets in our various communities and LGA’s but we shall be doing more in this regard for we understand the importance of street lights in minimizing insecurity, encouraging good and healthy neighbourhoods but most importantly, encouraging commerce and local economy by extending the number of hours an average petty trader has to conduct their trade.
Consequently we are committed to ensuring that every street and community has a significant number of street lights and thankfully, the job is ongoing as we speak.
Recall that we already have several schemes aimed at ameliorating the plight of our people and initiatives like our Ego Mbido Afia which targets indigent female petty traders, our Omueze Farmers Trust Fund for those in our agrarian communities, various scholarship and training schemes for the youths in various institutions, and our recently introduced N200M Agro Entrepreneur ship scheme which should take off in late January 2023, are all targeted for the common good.
We plan to introduce more schemes and also, increase the number of constituents that have benefitted so far from the aforementioned initiatives.
It is an incontrovertible fact that we have so far, facilitated either the construction or rehabilitation of well over 129 roads and our intention is to make sure that every community has access to their farmlands and market places. We recognize that because of our unique topography, road construction is far more expensive and very different from other areas, and so, we will change the methodology of our road constructions to make it more durable and more sustainable by using available local materials so that communities can manage and maintain their various community roads.
For instance, it is easier for us to build roads in Anambra North with concrete as opposed to asphalt because the latter is not water friendly and as such, not durable. This will also entail the training of local people with new skills and new opportunities on how to utilize these resources and we are committed to do just this.
I am pleased to announce that I retain the unique record of having the most bills and motions in the national assembly but beyond this, our emphasis in this regard shall remain the making of enabling laws that will stand the test of time and promote Equity, Fairness whilst curbing disparity.
To mention but a few, It was my bill for the Establishment of a Federal Medical Center in Onitsha that has not only been passed but is poised to open up ancillary centers in the various LGA’s.
Let me at this junction, call on every lover of the South East region to join hands with me as I continue to push for the passage and eventual assent of Mr. President for our Bill for the Establishment of a South East Development Commission which if you recall, was previously submitted in the 8th Assembly but was eventually denied assent.
Undaunted, I had resubmitted it in the 9th Assembly for I understood the importance of having a well funded commission of this nature in the South East which will replicate all the wonderful developmental efforts of a similar Commission currently backed by law for the North East.
I believe that that which is good for the geese is also good for the gander, moreso when the South East, is suffocating and in desperate need of such an interventionist commission and I therefore call on everyone, every critical stakeholder of South East extraction, irrespective of political affiliation, to join hands with me as I continue to fight and demand Equity for the South East through this well considered bill.
As you well know, FG jobs are increasingly hard to get which has rightly necessitated the reliance on skill acquisition that is guaranteed to make any serious minded person, self reliant but be that as it may, we have over the years facilitated FG pensionable jobs for many constituents in the various ministries, parastatals, MDA’s, Security Outfits and numerous universities where many are now working as lecturers and other support staff.
We are poised to do even more and shall continue to be on the lookout with a view to leveraging on any opportunities that arise.
In conclusion ndị Anambra North, that young girl now turned a woman and mother who continues to burn with a passion for service, still has many things undone and things she needs to do for her to accomplish what she set out to do as encapsulated in our 2015 NEEDS analysis document so as to make lives much better and also, to develop our dear zone to a level where every community will have more basic amenities, economies that will be active for every man and woman so that they’ll have something to do, prioritize more on human capital development with it’s attendant skill acquisition training programs etc.
Indeed, ndị Anambra North, I need a revalidation of your mandate to be able to accomplish this work which is OLUCHUKWU, OUR PASSION, OUR MESSAGE, OUR MANTRA.
Thank you and may God bless you all.
Distinguished Senator Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah OON.