Chinelo Obogo

Tony Nwulu represents Oshodi/Isolo constituency in the Federal House of Representatives on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He speaks on what motivated him to sponsor the Not Too Young to Run Bill which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari and his aspiration to govern Imo State.


President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed the Not Too Young to Run Bill. What motivated you into initiating and sponsoring the bill?

Not Too Young to Run Bill seeks to reduce the age limit for those running for elected offices in Nigeria and I initiated the Bill in the House of Representatives to encourage more youth participation in governance. It received unprecedented support from millions of Nigerian youths and even elders across the country andIamhappytobepartof those responsible for bringing the law into existence.

You are from Imo State, how would you describe the state of affairs in that state?

The state is in dire need of rescue. There has to be an end to all the selfishness and mediocrity. We need selfless and vibrant young persons with impeccable character and the political experience to move the state forward. Today in Imo state, it is not about who is ready to serve the people; it is about who would benefit what and who is getting what. It is about who would grab, or who is grabbing more. The APC government in Imo state is not serving the people and Imolites should be able to openly say ‘enough is enough.’ We have had enough of the old brigade in governance; enough of the looting. They would so openly express this by ensuring that, across the parties, the old brigades are discarded with. We need vibrant, tested and trusted youth capable of effectively navigating the ship of governance in the state.

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You have declared intention to contest for the Imo State governorship in 2019, but your critics say you are not on the ground in the state. What is your reaction to this?

I believe that I am qualified, and I so present myself to truly rescue the state. I must not get my political and administrative experience from Imo state to manage the affairs of the state. It does not happen that way. I am what you call son of the soil. I was born in Imo State and had my primary, secondary and university education in various parts of the Southeast. I only migrated to Lagos and elsewhere in search of greener pastures.

If people, majority of who are considered not to be my kin, in another state, can find me politically experienced and qualified to represent them, and I have done so creditably, why not my kin? But I should say my foray into politics has been remarkable. I did not spring from the blues. I was actively involved in politics in my ward, in my local government in Lagos state and the national level.

I did not spring from nowhere. I did not wait to be resident in Imo state to be actively involved in politics. What I have done outside the Imo state is what can be regarded as the needful, that is garnering political experience. It is time to bring the experience home because the youths in the state are yearning for me

It takes courage, hard work and impeccable character to contest and win election outside your home state. As we know, Lagos state is Yoruba land. The party structure is managed by Yorubas. Before becoming a candidate, the party structure must endorse you. They must be sure that your character and political experience can beat those of your opponents. There are no sentiments.

Same for the electorate; the voters would vote for the candidate that will represent them well, not minding the party. In all these, yours truly scaled through. So, while giving all glory to God almighty, I should say that I feel special. The youths of my state say I have worn the golden shoes o Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and that I have been tested and found suitable, and yet I have not failed my constituency, so I should come home and salvage the state. So I am just yielding to the cry of my people.

Ageisonmysidetobea governor. Coming from the National Assembly is a big advantage. Let me ask you, from where did Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Seriake Dickson, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and others move from to become governors? On the other hand, proposing or supporting a bill is not an achievement, because that is what you are primarily elected to do. But I should be able to mention a particular bill that received global reckoning.