An aspirant to the Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency seat of Imo State in the House of Representatives in 2015 and daughter of the immediate-past chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Maurice Iwu, Mrs Ijeoma Nwafor, has described as insulting the insinuations that she is riding on the back of her father to contest election.
Mrs Nwafor, a former adviser to then Governor Ikedi Ohakim, had also contested for the same constituency seat in 2011, with insinuations becoming rife that the then governor would give her the position as a payback to the former INEC boss, who was said to have made him governor in 2007. The ticket was however said to have been given to Hon. Bethel Amadi, who was also said to have promised to hand over to her in 2015.
But, speaking with journalists yesterday at the state secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Owerri, Nwafor said her father was never an issue for her aspiration during the 2011 election.
“It’s an insult to my husband for anybody to say that I was riding on the back of my father to come up in politics. I didn’t start politics here. I was in politics in the US. My father is not a factor in my joining politics. Left to him, I shouldn’t be in politics in Nigeria. He feels it’s too rough here.
“But it’s a choice I made and because I’m a grown woman and an adult. So he wasn’t even a factor and is not still a factor. Apart from the usual “it shall be well with you my daughter”, there is nothing else from my father. He is a native of Ehime Mbano LGA in Okigwe Zone while I’m married to Ekwereazu Ogwa in Mbaitoli LGA in Owerri Zone. So my father was never a factor.
“But unfortunately, because of my pedigree, people tend to associate anything I do here with my family background. It’s not our fault that we have such pedigree and antecedent. I find it insulting that people forget that I’m a married woman who is still under a man. I’m coming out(to run an election) because I have the full support of my husband. If he doesn’t support me, I won’t come out because I’m under him”, she said.
Nwafor restated her preparedness to clinch the PDP ticket and win the House of Representatives election in 2015, having picked her nomination and expression of interest forms, adding that this was her time to win the race.
She described the House of Representatives seat as one meant for advocacy and empowerment.
“It is where you advocate for the challenges of your people and work towards empowering them financially and otherwise so that people can be financially independent and to live a better life. So by way of infrastructure and other necessary amenities such as education, labour and power, when you are on the floor of the House you are advocating for things that will come to your people”, she said adding that she had enough capacity to defeat all my opponents because the people of the constituency who own the mandate were behind her.