By: Tochi Onyeubi
The former Mayor of Waltham Forest, East London, Councillor Ann Mbachu-Ogbuebile has charged politicians ahead of the 2019 general elections to live up to the expectations of the electorates.
Speaking in Owerri recently, she said politicians are known to hold the bull by the horn in rolling out good people oriented policies to benefit the masses, according to her, “carrying the people along in consideration why such policies were made”.
She maintained that politics should not only be played with human face but also should be a platform where the masses have a voice in the scheme of things.
“First and foremost, I think politics should be power to the people and not for the person. It should be where masses have the majority say, you can see typical examples in France, Germany and even America. These are areas where the masses interest supersedes interest of few”, she stressed.
The dogged politician, who contested keenly to become the first black female Mayor of London Borough of Waltham Forest and first female Mayor of London of Igbo descent, bemoaned the tide in Nigeria politics where vote buying and selling is prevalent, owing it to hunger, poverty and lack of foresight.
“Peoples conscience are bought over due to hunger and poverty. A situation where one accepts for instance four thousand Naira to vote in the wrong candidate, that’s one thousand a year! If you’re good with money, it lasts for one month. To what benefit?? What happens to the bigger picture? I always tell people to shun the mindset of Now, Me, Myself but always consider generations born and unborn”. She said.
Worried about the damage such action has done the governance system, she advised Imolites to cast their voting lens in the selection process of key leadership positions from the criteria of transparency, accountability and openness.
Speaking about women participation in Nigeria politics, the Okwelle born politician who recalled her advent into politics said she was largely influenced by her mother, noting that, what women are currently doing is what they have, adding that women should strive to do more, to prove they can perform.
She reaffirmed the belief that women are seen, not heard, pointing out that the system has not been favourable to Nigeria women in politics.
A philanthropist whose good deeds led to the Main Local Hospital (Whipps Cross NHS University Teaching Hospital) engraving her name on a plaque for raising over £33,000 for the purchase of state of the art incubator for hospital Maternity Special Care Baby unity, has chaired the following scrutinize in education, Health and Housing.
Chief Mbachu -Ogbuebile has also held offices in Leadership Team, Junior Cabinet Responsible for Domestic Violence as well as doubles currently, as the Publicity Secretary, Association of British Nigerian Councilors.