Friday Awade, better known as Last Prophet, a Calabar based mixed talented entertainer, is making forays into the murky waters of politics as he seeks election to the Cross River State House of Assembly. He recently spoke with www.calitown.com on this ambition.
You recently declared your intention to contest elections into the CRS House of Assembly. What is the driving force?
Undeniably, I am driven by a passion to serve and become part of a piece that connects with others as we collectively work for the development of Obanliku Nation. If you consider that Obanliku is exceptionally blessed with natural and human resources but is ironically one of the poorest local government area in Nigeria, there is therefore before me, a challenge to step in, offer myself for service and make that difference that will help change the fortunes of my people. See, look at the temperate weather all over the Obanliku plateau, if we have focus driven legislations in place, government and private sector investment in agriculture, should help trigger an economy that benefits the farming efforts of my people. We can go on and on, but indeed, I am offering myself because there is so much to be done.
You are by modest standards a successful entertainer, considering that you are a comedian, compere, broadcaster etc. How do you intend to continue to be all this and more, if you win.
First, I am an entertainer, through and through; it is the part of my life that has opened doors for me and enhanced my visibility in the eyes of the public. Now, I am going to that very enlarged public and seeking for public service through the ballot box…it is a different stage but with service delivery as a paramount end point. I think too that it will be unacceptable to completely step away from being an entertainer, if I am elected. Rather, I will explore viable options that should help me improve the entertainment environment in Cross River State. If I am not committed to doing this, I will have no reason to complain, when the day is done and I return to life as an entertainer and become boldly confronted by the things I should have helped enhance but did not.
What will your core legislative concerns be, if you get elected?
If elected, I will visit existing legislations and laws covering the following areas :
1. Educational Development
2. Social welfare and security
3. Health care improvement
4. Agricultural Development
5. Youths and Sports Development.
I will further look at possible ways to push for implementation of already proposed or review passed bills in these key areas of personal interest. Let me not go deeper than these for very obvious reasons, but let me indeed assure you that I have a legislative plan, well defined and ready to be followed for the good of all.
Obanliku LGA sits pretty at the very far end of Cross River State. Have you recently lived there to understand legislation benefitting your people, that you hope to pursue?
In delivering good leadership and effective representation, I don’t have to live there all my life before I can understand the problems of my people. To be clear on this one, I haven’t lived that long in Obanliku but I visit home very often. Again, I have friends and relatives in Obanliku, whose wellbeing has not improved over the years due to a combination of certain negative factors. The five areas of focus I have mentioned above sit in the heart of an average Obanliku citizen as major issues surrounding them are yet to be answered by present representatives so whatever lobbying and motions I will propose on the floor of the House will be to the interest of the Obanliku Nation. What I will be working with is not rocket science and we cannot pretend to be rocket scientists to tackle the simple issues that make life for our people difficult.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
Let me attempt to cut it short. I am an Educationist, a Social Commentator, a Media Personality, an Entertainment Practitioner, a father, husband and a lover of Community Development with over 80 awards to my credit.
Have you chosen a political platform to run on? Which is that please and why this particular political platform?
Yes I have and I am proud to say it is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, because it is the only political party that can win elections in Obanliku at the moment; the reason is not far fetched. The PDP over the years has become a household name in Nigeria because it has performed where others have failed. It is also the party with the kind of spread that is acceptable and accommodating. You can even see that in the just concluded bye-elections that everybody acknowledges, PDP won in two of the three LGAs; Akpabuyo and Ogoja, slimly losing Yala. It simply demonstrates the PDP’s acceptance by the people and it is where to be, QED!
Give us your personal assessment of the current House of Assembly. Do you think this Assembly has performed creditably?
I choose not to comment on the operations of the 9th Assembly at the moment, because when the 10th assembly is elected and inaugurated, the performance of the later will reveal the strength and weakness of the former. Thank you…
You are from a local government area where your council boss sometime ago empowered her constituents with matchets, hoe and a tuber of yam. How do you react to this?
If what was displayed and reported truly happened in Obanliku all I can say is, every agbero with him own load, and every mallam with him radio. I can’t condemn or applaud what she feels was the best for her people as the Chairman of Council.
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