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By NBF News

Mr. John Ugochukwu Kekeocha, is Secretary, Board of Trustees, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Warri Depot, Delta State. He is not happy over the controversy trailing the zoning system in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and described it as evil and unconstitutional.

Kekeocha wants President Goodluck Jonathan to contest in 2011, saying he has no choice than to listen to the voice of reason. He is eyeing a seat in Imo State House of Assembly. He spoke to Daily Sun. Excerpts:

Why Imo State House of Assembly?
I want to go there to improve the lots of my people. Remember, when you are there, you will be able to bring developmental projects to your constituency and enact laws for the wellbeing of the state. I want to go there and contribute my quota that will make my people have a fair share of infrastructure.

Unfortunately the person representing Obowo Constituency is not reaching out to his people and his impact or contributions in the House is nothing to write home about. People are now asking why is his style different from others. He does not brief his constituency on how far he is representing the people in the House.

House business is all about debate where you can fully represent your constituency and bring changes to the area. Honestly speaking, if you don't present any bill there is no way you can effect the needed changes in your area. It is in this area that I feel I am competent enough to represent my constituency because politics is not all about sharing money but to bring development to your people.

Crisis in PDP
The problem in Imo State PDP is different from the ones other states are experiencing. I am happy that Governor Ikedi Ohakim had been able to resolve the worrisome issue. It is obvious that when leaders of a political party are fighting, the community suffers. Presently, we are in a period of restoration in my state.

Imposition of candidates
I can tell you with all assurances that imposition of candidates in Imo State is gone as well as the issue of godfatherism. Every qualified person can now come out to contest.

I remember when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo came in, the late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi contested against him but it was not by zoning. When Obasanjo chose the late Musa Yar' Adua as the PDP presidential candidate, many governors from the South-South and South- East contested before picking Dr. Goodluck

Jonathan. So, where does zoning come in now?
Support for Jonathan
As an individual, Jonathan has no option than to run in 2011 even if on his own he does not want it. There are so many implications that will compel him to contest. I dare say that this is the only time the South-South geo-political zone has gotten the opportunity to get into power.

Even if doesn't want to contest he is putting his life into problem. He doesn't have any choice than to contest.

Even if people are saying he should not contest he has two mandates. If they say he should not contest, do they want him to be Vice- President to anybody after climbing to the exalted position of the President? Okay, if he should sacrifice his second tenure, what does he get at the end of the day? It will be irrelevant for him not to contest.

Electoral reforms
Nigerians will gain a lot from it, especially in the area of 'one man, one vote' and our votes must count. The essence of having electoral reforms is that it will also stamp out fraudulent practices during election. It is high time people believe that political mandate is a responsibility given to a candidate in trust.

Guide against rigging
Before now INEC has not been independent and I am sure the constitution has approved the independence of INEC and independent funding. Another thing you should know too is that if the man at the helm of affairs is incorruptible obviously, every other person working around him will be afraid to be corrupted. Like wise if there is discipline in INEC, then we don't have problem. Nigeria will move forward if we are disciplined because I know Professor Attahiru Jega, INEC chairman, he is a no nonsense man.

His antecedent speaks volume. He is an impeccable person. Nigerians still remember him when he was the chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). I believe he will perform if the government gives him the opportunity.

Creation of more states
Creation of states is supposed to bring more development to the country. But the funny thing about it is that most of the states already created are not empowered. Some of them cannot sustain them selves nor pay salaries of workers if not through the Federal Government.

But with the type of political crisis Nigeria is having presently, the issue of creation of states should be put on hold. If the system is sanitized, then we can talk of creation of more states. Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states have natural endowments that can feed them in generations yet to come. For instance, the man in Katsina State may only depend on grains so also many other states across the country.

Most of these boys who are into kidnapping were brought up by governors and political leaders who used them for one aim or the other. The objectives in which they were used are no more in vogue and they felt rejected, dumped and not acceptable in the community, hence they resorted to kidnapping, vandalization of pipeline and sea piracy.

If kidnapping attracts death penalty, the perpetrators will be scared. I will like to appeal to our government to introduce stringent penalty against kidnapping.