From IKENNA EMEWU, Abuja
Iyom Uche Ekwunife, member of the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is 42 years today. Her birthday this year falls on a special date, but she says the date is just a coincidence and has just thanks and appreciation to God, her husband and children especially.
Her wish and plan on marking her birthday is nothing special as she will still be at work and after hours have some little time with family and friends. The lady who had in the past taken a shot at the Anambra State gubernatorial seat on the PPA platform insists she has not died the dream.
The fire of occupying that seat keeps burning in her and for the fact that she believes she has something special to offer in taking the state higher, she used the interaction with Daily Sun to say it loud and clear that her eyes are still set on that throne. Today is your birthday.
This year, it came as a very unique string of digits . How do you feel about it? I feel great and fulfilled. I thank God for this day and I glorify Him for His Grace, love and mercy upon my life, the life of my husband my children and my entire family. Does that connote any spiritual undertone? No, Not at all, it’s a blessed day, which the Lord has made and it happened to be my birthday. How has life been all these years from your career days to the political struggles and achievements? Life has been good and also a struggle.
I thank God for the battles fought and won. I must say that His grace has been sufficient for me to weather the storms so far. Do you feel any special challenge in the House as a Member of the opposition party? Incidentally, my colleagues do not see me as a member of opposition, maybe because I first came into the House on the platform of the PDP. My relationship with the House leadership and members across the aisle is cordial. We find ourselves working together on common issues that will move the nation forward. I honestly do not feel any constraint in doing my job.
How would you celebrate today? It will be another working day for me after, which I will retire home with my husband and family. Maybe, a few friends will come around but nothing loud. Some people attach so many meanings to the 12-12-12. Are you part of that because such dates occur every year? Last year there was 11-11-11, there were 10-10-10 and 9-9-9 in previous years? I attach nothing to configuration of dates. It’s just another day for me, which the Lord has made and I rejoice in it.
Well, you may call it divine coincidence and you may still be right. Who has inspired you in life? Tony Elumelu who was my boss in the bank played major role in shaping my working life. He inculcated hard work and discipline in us, which I have carried on from my time in the private sector to public life. Incidentally these are vital virtues that have helped me in politic. There will be gubernatorial election in your State in the next two years.
What is your interest in it? Should we see you as a contender? I believe, I have all it takes to make a difference that is why I have declared my intention to serve my people. I have my plans for the state, which will be unveiled in due course. I believe the state needs a strong and steady leadership that will work for the common good of the ordinary people.
The experience I have acquired over the years already prepared me for the top job. I am confident I will deliver. You secured electoral victory at the final appeal recently, how does that make you feel? The decision of the Appeal Court was a victory for democracy.
I felt good that the people’s wish was respected. However, each victory comes with its responsibilities. After the initial euphoria of victory and celebration, which do not last beyond a day or two or at most a week, what follows is the reality of the work ahead. I have doubled my effort after the Appeal Court judgment knowing that I cannot afford to let down my constituents who have reposed confidence in me.
Has it been easy combining your role as mother, wife and career politician? There are unique challenges that often come with life as a career woman. Thank God I am done with child bearing. The children are growing and doing very well with their education, which makes it easier. I have a very loving and understanding husband who supports my aspiration.
Already the teething problems are over as I have mastered the act of balancing my time and using them both effectively and efficiently. I have always been conscious of the fact that at home I am a wife and mother, so being a legislator has not negatively affected my duty to my husband and my role as a mother.