POLITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS SHOULD BE ADVISED NOT DESTROYED—Hon Hilary Ibude

Our personality
for this week is a well known political juganut 
who short into line light four years ago after defeating other contested
to win the controversial position of chairmanship of Ika South Local
Government.

Since then, he
never been the same person he was as the position, changed his person. He is
one chairman that occupied  that
position  that has had the highest praise
and highest critize and condemnation. He is no other person than Hon Hilary
Ibude. Read on.

Hon Hilary Fada
Ibude, immediate past executive chairman of Ika South Local Government Area has
stressed the need for the people of Ika nation, particularly people of Ika
South to encourage and advise political office holders in the area, rather than
destroy them. Hon Ibude who made this statement during an exclusive interview
with Ika Weekly at his country home in Ime-Obi, Agbor, speaks among other issues
of his second term ambition and vision of serving the people of Ika South
better if he is re-elected.

Below are the
excerpts!

Sir can you tell
us about yourself?

First of all, I
thank Ika Weekly for making me their personality of the week. I am Hon Hilary
Ibude, the immediate past executive chairman of Ika South Local Government
Area. I was born on June 8, 1968 at Agbor. I attended Erigbe Primary School and
Gbenoba Grammar School, Agbor before proceeding to  Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, where I
obtained a National Diploma in Business Administration. After my OND programme
in Auchi, I went to Delta State University, Abraka for my B.Sc degree in
Business Administration where I graduated with flying colours. Just recently I
attended a business course in the United States of America, precisely Mc
Donough School of Business Georgetown University-: Transformational Leadership:
Stragetegy for corporate National Growth, George Town University, Washington
DC. USA.

 What were you  doing before deciding to go into active
politics?

Before I went
into active politics, I was an accomplished businessman and importer of
vehicles. I owned a  company called (GIA)
Global Services which transport goods to different parts of Nigeria. I am also
the C.E.O of Hicolux Venture, a contracting firm with the Delta State
government. All the aforementioned companies are still in existence today.

What informed
your decision to join politics?

The desire to
serve my people is the major reason why I joined politics. By the special grace
of God, I have travelled to many countries of the world and saw how things are
done. After I returned back to Nigeria, I discovered  that many things in Ika South were not going
on well, especially in the area of infrastructure. I took it as a challenge by
going into politics to see if I could make 
a little change. At first  it was
not easy but God who all power belongs to, saw me through.

Since you became
a grassroot politician what experiences have you gotten so far?

I am enjoying it
because politics helps one to know more about people. Through politics you
discover who people are. When you are occupying top government position, people
come around you but when you are not, they run away. I have learnt a lot from
politics. There was so much pressure on me when I was in government but in all,
I considered the electorate first. During my days in office as chairman, I ran
an open door policy and accommodated everybody, that is how politics ought to
be  played. As a political leader, you
have to be available for your people to see you, you must be a problem
solver  and must assist when necessary.
It does not matter how much you have in your pocket but at least show concern.
When you are good to your people, you do not need to spend huge amount of money
before you win any election. I do not believe that power can be bought. It
belongs to God and He can give it to anybody.

For three years
you ruled as chairman of Ika South local Government Area, can you tell us some
of the challenges you faced?

It was really a
tough one, though I did my best. The biggest challenge I faced while in office
was lack of unity among political leaders in Ika  South. Some of them think only of themselves
not knowing that we can achieve much when we are united.

Did you try to
solve the problem before leaving office?

Doing that will
cost a lot because our political leaders do not trust themselves. For you to
make a difference you must sacrifice for it, which at the end you might not
even achieve anything. As for me, I see everybody as a leader, I even consider
the electorate as my number one leaders..

As the local
government chairman, how was your relationship with councilors that served
under you?

It was cordial.
Through their assistance I executed projects to all the wards in Ika South. I
want to use this opportunity to thank all stakeholders in Ika South who played
serious advisory roles during my tenure. From the bottom of  my heart, I appreciate all of them and will
ever remain grateful to them.

Can you list
some of your achievements while in office?

My
administration from May 2008 to May 2011 initiated 50 projects, completed 45
and had 5 still on going. The 45 completed projects and their locations are:
Construction/asphalt tarring of Edike Street, construction of NNPI stores,
renovation of Revenue Court building, rehabilitation of Isedeh Street, asphalt
tarring of Odozi Street with drain, Construction of the Agbor Library building,
rehabilitation of Prof. John Ebie Street, renovation of Ika Nation Hall
building, purchase of fairly used earth moving equipment (1 grader cat 12t, I
pail-loader 750ft, 3 Benz Tippers, I Roller), purchase of one Toyota Corolla
(2008 model) purchase of 5 unit each of computers, 17 inch flat screen,
monitors and  UPS, furnishing of
Legislative Arm office, purchase of TV set in the various offices, purchase of
air conditioners and purchase/installation of INR. Others are extension of
electricity to Imiele and Ekuma Communities, Abavo, procurement of Hospital
Equipment at Alisimie Health Centre, Construction of modern market at Okpe,
Abavo, construction of Water Scheme at Emuhu Health Centre, construction of
free Health Centre, Construction of three classroom blocks and Head masters
office at Oza Primary School, Idumu-Oza, construction of Water Scheme at
Obianyima Health Centre, Abavo, construction of water scheme at Ogbemudein
community, Ime-Obi, renovation of 6 classroom Block at Igbogili Primary School,
Abavo, extension of electricity to three developing areas at Ohunmere, Ihogbe
and Obi-Olihe construction of Okpe market, construction of 3Nr classroom Block
at Alibuba Primary School, Alibuba, construction of 4Nr classroom block at
Modern Primary School, Ekwuoma, Abavo, construction of 3Nr classroom Block at
Agbor Alidinma and construction of 3Nr classroom block at Omie Primary School,
Ekuku-Agbor. Also completed, construction of Water Scheme at Okpe, Abavo,
construction of water scheme at 
Oruru-Igbamise, Agbor purchase and installation of 4 unit of 300VA
transformers, construction of Street light at Oki, Agbor-Nta,  Aliokpu communities, construction of water
scheme at Hausa quarters construction of slabs and culverts at Mariere/Charles
Street junction, donation of complex truck (ISUZU) and 50 waste disposal,  installation of 30kv, sand-proof Generator and
Bore Hole at the Library complex, renovation of primary Health Care Centre at
Ekwuoma, Abavo, purchase of 406 Peugeot car for the vice chairman; purchase of
Toyota Camry car for chairman office, purchase of Toyota Hilux for chairman
office, purchase of two Toyota Buses for NULGE and Legislative Arm, purchase of
Toyota Hilux for project monitoring, purchase of two Toyota Corolla cars for
DPM and Leaders of the House.

The on going
projects are, construction of Abavo police station, construction of  Alifekede Modern Market, asphalt tarring of
Emegha Street/Ibude Avenue, purchase and installation of 4 unit of 300KVA
transformers and construction of water scheme 
and renovation of public toilet at Baleke market.

You started well
as a chairman but towards the end of your administration you were faced with
many criticisms. Why?

I do not believe
so much in what people are saying about me, because there is disunity in Ika
South. People who do not like you criticize you even when you are doing well.
On the other hand if you do not expect criticism, you better resign  from politics. I believe the people of Ika
enjoyed my government not because I was giving them money but because I built
infrastructures for them. I am not scared of any criticist but I know that if I
want to recontest, I have many things on ground to campaign with.

You were also
accused of inflating  contract cost?

That is not
true. Before any contract is awarded, If we want to award any contract we
first  advertise it for a minimum of 21
days where interested persons are expected to come and tender. After the
tenders, we compare the cost of the project given by different tenders and we
will award the  contract according to the
cost quoted by the engineer. The accusation that I inflated cost of contracts
while in office is just a propaganda to spoil my name.

Do you have the
ambition of going back to the council.?

I have the
ambition to seek for re-election because power belongs to God not man. I have
heard people say that in the history of Ika South, nobody has gone there two
times, but I am telling them that if it is a joke that nobody will go to the
council twice as chairman, I  am going to
brake it by the Grace of God  and I want
to make people believe that when God says it is you nothing can stop it.

Do you think
that going back to the  council will
really be possible when you have stepped on many toes during the course of
discharging your duties as council chairman?

If anybody
abandons me, God will not. I am not quarrelling with anybody, neither have I
insulted any leader. During my time in office, I tried to put the peoples
interested first, may be that is the reason why leaders in Ika South are not
happy with me. But in all, if God says Hon Hilary Ibude will be re-elected for
a second time, nobody can stop it. If my going back to the council is by the
power of man I do not need it. Politics is not a do or die affair and everybody
has the right to contest.

What if your
party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP fails to give you the ticket?

We must  go to the field and slug it out. If my
opponent wins me convincingly in the field, I will support him but if the
election is manipulated, I will think of what to do.

Are you
confident that you are going to be 
re-elected?

Yes, I am very
confident because I have evidences on ground.

If you win what
are you going to do that you failed to do before.?

After my recent
course in Washington D.C, I found out that there are many things I would have
done while in office which I did not. If I am re-elected I will set up a viable
consultative body that will be charged with the responsibility of playing
advisory role. Also, I will also work with people that have the same vision
with me.

Are you sure you
will really do well when re-elected judging by the level of political disunity
in Ika South?

I am not going
there to satisfy the wish of any leader but that of the people. anybody  can say whatever they like, I am not afraid.
On my own, I don’t criticize any leader, I am a servant and will always respect
my leaders.

After the end of
your tenure, the council staff were owed salaries going up to four months, why?

That was not
intentional. For the fact that salaries were not paid did not mean the council
chairman embezzled any money. It  is
because  allocation did not come at  the right time. When there was no money
enough  pay salaries, we started reducing
the contract. Before I left office in May this year, we were only owing the
council a month and half salary. I had wanted to pay it but money was not
released on time.

The FADAMA 111
farmers also accused you of withholding their federal government  counterpart funds, why did you do that?

The case of the
FADAMA farmers is very pathetic. I really wanted to help them but the Head of
Department handling the document was not fast enough in processing the
documents. But I made them get the information in the payment ready up to the
voucher level. By the time I was ready to pay, money did not come so there was
nothing I could do.

Will you still
focus on infrastructural development if re-elected?

We are going to
do more on infrastructure if given the second chance. In addition to that, we
are going to empower more youths, build skill acquisition centres and other
things we know will better the lives of our people.

How are you
going to address the problem of youth restiveness?

I did empower
close to a thousand youths from different communities when I was in office.
During my time, the rate of cultism, stealing and other vices reduced. This was
because I engaged many of the youths in different jobs. The rate of accident
was also reduced because of  the steps we
took against illegal parking. I assure that I will do better if given the
mandate.

You are hardly
seen in public function this period, why?

Every week I do
have more than thirty invitations from people, but I always try to curtail
them. If it were to be the time when I was in the council I send people to
represent me but now I am Hon Hilary Ibude, I can not be everywhere at the same
time.

How do you see
life generally?

Life is simple,
depending on how you are able to manage it. If you attach too much importance
to anything you value, you loose it. So, I see life as a simple thing and
whatever God is blessing me with, I will in return use it to bless people in
the society

Why are you
always calling God anytime you speak?

Because I
believe so much in God. He is my power, protector, guidean and everything. I am
a Catholic by birth, but today I attend Living Faith Church (Winners).

The local media
like Ika Weekly and other are being commended for the enlightenment and
awareness in Ika land, can we say they deserve such commendation?

Ika Weekly is
doing real good except that  sometimes
they seemed to be supporting one political group and condemning the other.
Ordinarily, they are the best media in Ika land. Even when I travel to the
United States of America  I discovered
that Ika people living there read Ika Weekly. I do not know how they get it.
They told me everything that was happening at home, I was surprised. My advise
to Ika Weekly is that they should not over support or over condemn any
politician. They should be reporting things exactly how they happen.

How are Ika
people in the U.S. doing?

They are doing
very fine. Before now, they were having bad impression about me but when I met
them, I told them to ask me questions on my stewardship rather than believing
what people are saying about me. I also told them of  my intention to go back to the  council. We should forget the idea of whether
the person has gone to the council or State House of Assemble before and focus
on what the person will achieve for his people if he or she continues in
office. Ika South is yet to have an ambassador or Minister of the Federal
Republic because we do not groom our political 
office holders for higher positions. If we really want Ika South to move
forward,  let us support whoever that is
in government position. Our people should support Rt Hon Martin Okonta and at
the same time support my second term bid, for there is gain in continuity. We
should stop writing  petitions as it will
not help us. If any political office holder is making mistakes we should
correct him, that is why we have political stakeholders.

What is your
message to the people of Ika South?

They should be
calm as they have been. They should support my vision and quest of going back
to the council a second time. We should also support our  sons and daughters who are in government and
advise them when they are going wrong. We should stop going to court. We settle
things amicably within ourselves for 
those are the surest ways we can move forward.

Who are your
mentors?

My political
mentor is Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa. He has a godly mind and does not
stop helping people. He is a philanthropist and humane person. Many persons in
Ika land are richer than Senator Okowa but he uses almost 9o% of his income in
solving other person’s problems. He is not proud . Even if a beggar in the
street calls him on the phone he will answer.

My other mentor
is Jim Ovia, a seasoned banker and philanthropist. Who has helped to put food
on the tables of many Nigerians

Hobbies?

Travelling and
watching  football. My favourite clubs
are Manchester United of England, Juventus of Italy and Valencia of Spain.

Are you married?

I am happily
married with children.

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