The Parliament Diary

Princess Chinwe Nnabuife, who contested for the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives in 2019 under the platform of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), but lost at the election tribunal, emerged winner in the 2023 general elections held on March 18. During an interview with some Journalists recently, she spoke on what are her views and worries following her victory in the polls.


May we meet you proper?

My name is Princess Chinwe Nnabuife. I am a native of Umunze in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State. I am a graduate of Mass Communication; a businesswoman and politician by inclination. I contested for the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives under the platform of Young Progressives Party and to God’s glory, I emerged winner. In the election in 2019, they stole my mandate but in this year’s general elections, I regain the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives under same party because the mandate of the good and loyal people of the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency is still in my custody and their support remains unwavering. I say so with ultimate trust and confidence in God, the Almighty, who will pull down all barriers, because He directs my affairs.

Now that you have emerged winner despite losing your case at the election tribunal in 2019, would you say that your victory is tied to your unrelenting efforts?

Yes, I lost the case but not the mandate. Yes, I was taken for a ride. In party politics contests, the antithesis is a win or lose. It was unfortunate my mandate was stolen, but I am not inclined to recount that past. I am a progressivist at heart; forward-looking at all times and in all situations. I was back in the race, regain my mandate; gallant as ever. I believe in mankind’s ability to improve the environment and conditions of life; I believe I have the obligation to intervene in economic and social affairs; I believe in the ability of experts and in the efficiency of government. Now that I have been elected as member of the House of Reps for the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency, my interest and focus would be towards establishing a more transparent and accountable representative leadership geared towards improving Nigerian society. I will support such policies as civil service reform, food security laws, and increased political rights for women and Nigerian workers, national security, national unity and inclusion, social justice etc.

Question: Having won the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency seat in the House of Reps, what are you bringing to the table?
The rhetorical question is: What should a legislator be seen doing for her constituents and Nigeria in general? I do not need to blow my own trumpet. The Orumba North and South constituents can attest to my honest commitment toward service to humanity. Yes, we need people who can relate to the concerns of the masses. Yes, a Reps member must consider the concerns of her constituency because that is why the constituents gave her the right and the mandate to represent them. Primarily, my desire is to assist the collective effort to bring development to Orumba North and South and ensure such efforts are sustained for the social and economic growth and development of the area and the wellbeing of our people.
I know the value of investing in human capital and will continue to invest in the youth. By God’s grace I will use my office to create opportunities and benefits for our people, even in political matters.

Question: You are highly optimistic. Do you have a magic wand?

No. Understand me. I am not saying when you become a legislator and go to Abuja you can turn things round in a jiffy. I am not saying the National Assembly is where you can get all the jobs quickly for your people. I am not saying when elected to the National Assembly, all legislators become millionaires and should come home with sacks of money for share. Emphatic No!
Let me say this quickly: Legislators worth their onions remain true to the fundamental purposes of representative democracy and the legislative system. Constituent service, which includes responding to constituents’ request for help and taking care of the constituency’s interests with respect to government-grants and assistance, local project support, and etcetera, will be my focus.
So, adding strength to the process of developing our infrastructure is vital. Improved infrastructure attracts investment. Improved infrastructure promotes sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Improved infrastructure augments productivity and quality of life of constituents. We would be doomed if we continue in the present direction. I am here to represent the interest of ordinary people by supporting and advocating for improvement and reforms of conditions in government and in society generally.

Question: What were your experiences or the new knowledge you gained after suffering the loss in 2019?
They stole my mandate, but I adhered to the Bible counsel that it is virtuous to forgive. Forgiving people who wronged you or disagreed with you is virtuous even in politics. I was wronged at each turn, but did not keep malice, or turned my back on anyone. Sometimes people do wrong things unknowingly. Besides, I am aware that in politics, seeking personal interest is like the norm, but that disposition is wrong. It is greed, not service. And greed is not a virtue. On the other hand, we of course must learn to create room for compromise, and I believe I have paid my dues in that regard.

Question: You attained top-level leadership in the private sector, but you have not tested representative political leadership. Considering the unpredictability of the … (cuts in)
It was the Greek Mathematician, Achimedes, who said, ‘Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.’
Nigerians are yearning for good governance, for leaders who are honest and possess the ideas to take us out of our present depth of hardship and underdevelopment. By the special grace of God I have been elected by the people, and I will be in the 10th national assembly to help build a new Nigeria; a nation where peace, unity, justice and progress will reign supreme.
I have enough to offer Nigeria and Nigerians in terms of thought leadership. I will be the go-to legislator who will set the national discourse and agenda on issues—such as sustainable urban development because that is my background; on strengthening actions on climate issues, because erosion is taking over our communities as much as domestic and industrial wastes are becoming too much a menace even in rural communities; on children issues because I am a mother; on gender policy as affects women because I am a woman. Women are still under-represented and obviously marginalized in our democracy; be it in legislative or executive arm of government or in local government, women are underrepresented more so in the leadership positions.

Question: What are your parting remarks?
Having won the 2023 election to the House of Reps, I will, by the special grace of God, contribute to making sound and effective laws for a progressive Nigeria. I will not be a bench warmer. I will be a change maker. I will add strength and voice to recalibrate and rejuvenate the Nigerian system through lawmaking. Unless we build our nation, no one else will do it for us.

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