Prince Ned Nwoko, the lead consultant for the recovery of over deductions by Paris and London clubs debt buyback funds, also the current senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta North and legal consultant, in this exclusive interview narrates how he begun the journey for the recovery. He also talks about his Senatorial ambition and agenda. Excerpts
You were in the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003. What are you looking for in the Senate?
I was in the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003, shortly after my return from England. I did my best, sponsoring 23 Bills. I knew that being in government meant serving the people and I knew what I wanted to do then, like the dualization of the Asaba-Benin expressway, bringing the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and National Industrial Court of Nigeria to Asaba, all of which were non-existent before, and which I did.
There were too many members in the House; how do you handle about 360 members?
It was difficult. For example, the Bill on the Sports University was Number 18 in my Bills, but then most members did not see it as a priority or anything important. That is why I told you I have learned, and now know how to get what I want for the people. When I began the Paris/London Club refund case, many people told me it would not work, asking how could I take the British or French or American governments to court? However, I told them I am a British-trained lawyer and, having practiced there, I knew what to do and that they should just give me the instruction to go ahead. Therefore, I am not afraid of trying the impossibilities or what people consider impossible. A good politician lobbies for things, so I am surprised when I hear lawmakers say they are only there to make laws for good governance because that is just part of the responsibility of a lawmaker. I am not just going to the National Assembly to sit in chamber and make laws; yes, I am capable and comfortable doing that, but there are many things that we need, as Anioma people, and hopefully, I would address them properly now that I know a lot more on how to go about doing things.
Do you think that PDP and Okowa have done enough for Delta North district to make the people vote for you?
Within the available resources, Okowa, and indeed PDP, have done well in the state.
The way you talk, are you sure of beating incumbent Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of APC in the election?
Oh sure, go around Anioma and find out if it would be difficult for me to beat him. I am a man of the people; when you were coming here, did anybody stop you on the way? I am open to the people and they know what I am doing to assist them already.
Since I left the House in 2003, I have contested no office or held any political appointment, so whatever you see here, read, or hear about Ned – the Sports University, the malaria project, the tourism project, and others are my efforts. What has Nwaoboshi done outside politics?
What is your fight with Wike all about? Is it because he is not supporting Atiku and Okowa in their bid for the presidency?
People think it is because of Okowa, but I have never discussed Wike with Okowa. I would not, why should I? I am a man of my own; I have my mind about anything. I am a PDP member and stakeholder and if somebody else is a nuisance to the party, are you saying that I cannot talk about it because of Okowa? I am my person and a stakeholder in PDP and want my party to win the elections in every state, if possible, and produce the next President. I see somebody trying to pull the house down and people expect me to keep quiet because I am from the same place as Okowa? No! I am fighting for Nigerians, who are also in PDP, and feel that Wike is taking his fight too far, even though he may air his views. You must have seen a video where he said, tufia kwa in Igbo language (meaning abomination), I would never be a vice president. Later on, when he lost the presidential ticket, he lobbied for the vice presidential ticket and it became a do-or-die thing for him. If Wike had been chosen as the vice-presidential candidate, would he be asking the National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to resign? No, he would be licking his ass by now. He is not fighting for the South; Wike is fighting for himself and the few people who are around him. They are trying to destroy a party in which I am a stakeholder and I should not keep quiet. He thinks he is a bigger stakeholder, but he is not; every stakeholder in PDP is important, and he is hurting all of us. He has to stop it; he cannot be junketing all over the world displaying anti-party activities. What has he not done to hurt the party? Wike is out of his wits! There are ways of handling these people, and others will sit up. He is not untouchable; he is like a bull in the China shop, and when having such a situation, you remove the bull from the shop. I am in that shop myself that he is trying to destroy, and that is why I am not keeping quiet. That is an insult.
You alleged that Wike squandered Rivers’s share of the Paris Club refunds, but has the court found him guilty of any such offense?
You do not need to wait for the court to know that somebody squandered money; I spoke about it because I am directly involved. I know how much went to the Rivers State government and the local governments in Rivers State. I have also spoken to some people there to know that Wike did not use that money for the people of Rivers State. If he did, I can tell you that every hospital in Rivers would have been very well- equipped and had a constant power supply and those innocent children would not have died in hospital because of the absence of power supply.
Is every hospital in Delta State that also received the same funds well equipped?
I am talking about Rivers State, there have been no such deaths in Delta because of lack of power supply. I am talking about a governor who is pretending to have done excellently well in Rivers, calling people to come and commission projects.