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Published On: Sat, Apr 26th, 2014

Delta State too Sophisticated for Learners – Barr. Mary Oyibocha-Agbajoh

Barr. Mary Oyibocha-Agbajoh

LAGOS APRIL 26TH (URHOBOTODAY)-She is a trained legal practitioner, politician and a strong stakeholder of Delta State politics. With her level of politicking, Barrister Mary Agbajoh has transverse the various stages of Delta politics to become one of the leading and determining factor as far as the state politics is concerned. With her wide spread political tentacles and an antenna, Barrister Agbajoh is also regarded as an advocate of justice, truth and gender equality; a trait she has consistently demonstrated in her professional and political activities. In this chat with TAYO MUSTAPHA, she talked about her background, profession and of course, politics! Enjoy it

Can you share your personal and academic background with us?

I am just a simple free spirited woman bursting with ideas by the moment. Academically, I studied Industrial Relations & Personnel Management (IRPM) and Law in University of Lagos.
With these two combinations, as well as an additional professional certificate in Negation and Mediation, it afforded me the opportunity to be exposed to a very wide prospect of life, human management and legal practice.

Why did you choose law?
I never planned to study Law but for the counsel of two academicians who told me you have the ability to speak and confidently express yourself, it will be most appropriate if you add some legal back up to your arguments. I took to their advice and I can say that has been my greatest achievement.

Professionally, what are you into?

Like I did mentioned earlier, I am a Lawyer but vast in mass advocacy because I detest oppression

What is your life philosophy?

My philosophy of life is so simple: “Life is a stage where you act your script” but remember to leave when the ovation is loudest.

Are you politically inclined?

Of course yes. We all are politically inclined right from our birth even though some people don’t know so. To me, politics is a way of Life, depends on how one plays it. I started playing politics from my very early days in my family. I was actually born into a home where love and truth is the parameter; and being fortunate to be the most loved amongst others, (as the last born), my father of blessed memory, showed me love beyond understanding that I sometimes wonder if I really deserve such love, affection and attention. Like a typical family setting where kids are forbidden at sitting where adults gather to discuss, mine was different because my father will not ask me to leave but will go ahead discussing with his age mates in my presence which made me know so much more than my mates. In fact, my stepmother had to contend with me to have my father’s attention, a typical trait very unlike and uncommon in this part of our world.

What is your political philosophy?
Be part of the process or means through which you can be part of the policy making that will impact the lives of your people.

At what level and political platform are you actualizing your political ambition?
Interestingly, I started from the top, in 2007, I was with a campaign organization for President Goodluck Jonathan whilst as Vice to late Yar’Adua. It was originally meant to be a proposal for conflict resolution, remember the crisis in Bayelsa and youth restiveness fresh from Law school. Having met with his H.E, we discussed and I decided to do a proposal which turned out to be a campaign proposal for ‘Goodluck Initiatives 2007’.

With your level of political activism, how will you evaluate or score President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration?

Just like Mr President said during his mid-term report speech, ‘Nigerians who are judging him should at least show their parameter’. I say it categorically that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has done extremely well; well above expectation. Even in the face of turmoil and security challenges, he still remains focus transforming Nigeria. When did the Railways work last in the History of Nigeria? When did ‘Almajiris’ started learning instead of walking or begging in the Street? When last did Nigerians stop sleeping in petrol stations? These are clear signs of a President who genuinely has the people at heart and committed to change. I wonder why Nigerians are seeking for an over night turnover, is that possible? President Jonathan is practically cleaning up the mess of yesteryears and that’s no going to be by magic. It takes time to ordinarily clean up a house talk less of a whole nation of 50 years plus. Look at the almajiris, he deigned a scheme to take little kids out of the street and give them world class education.
On petroleum product supply; President Jonathan’s crusade of exposing those eating the nation dry in the name of fuel subsidy. The action to dismantle such form of milking the nation dry was the best any Nigerian leader would have done but none did it until President Jonathan took the giant step to expose and persecute those found wanting. In the same vein, maintaining law and order in the Niger Delta and other parts of the Nation with the efforts of Mr. President, Nigeria’s revenue has increased since oil production skyrocketed from 700,000 barrel per day to 2.5million barrel per day at present leading to a robust economy where other African Nations are currently using Nigeria as a model. This could only happen because Mr. President employed the best brains in the country to take Nigeria to a place of happy ending with zero desire to return. The recently power reform has further placed President Jonathan’s opposition in dark light as they could not comprehend the method and seamless/smooth way the process was handled and power supply in the country is growing while millions of Nigerians have expressed satisfaction to this effect via various social media . At a time the Federal Government of Nigeria entered into an MOU with worldwide leaders in the power sector, General Electric.
The Goodluck Jonathan administration has improved the power generation from around 2000 megawatts to 4502 megawatts in December 2012; the highest since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999. By July this year, Power generation will hit 6,000 megawatts and by December this year it will hit 10,000 megawatts. In agriculture, President Jonathan’s administration opened 14 New Rice Mills with capacity to process 240 metric tons of rice were set up by the private sector while in addition, a sum of 1.2 billion dollars was secured by the Federal Government to install 100 large scale rice processing mills to produce 2.1 million metric tons of rice annually. Today, Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world with 34 million MT produced per annum. Also today, various manufacturing industries has been set up in Nigeria, the latest is the various car assemblies positioned at various zones to give Nigeria a new look as she can now produce a car right in the country than engaging on importation. This had never occurred in the history of our country for a very long time but today we all can see. In roads, a total of 651km of roads was paved in bituminous layers in 2012. A total of 32 Highway projects were completed in 2012. About 80 projects prioritized in 2012 two have been completed, three are over 90 percent completed, five are over 80 percent completed, eighteen are between 50-79 percent complete while the rest are in different stages of completion. The Jonathan administration has entered into collaboration with multi-lateral agencies under the Road Sector Development Team (RSDT) scheme. Also, the Ministry of Works is currently working out modalities for the execution of the dualisation of the Keffi-Lafia-Makurdi-Enugu (9th Mile) roads in Nasarawa, Benue and Enugu States with funds from the Export-Import Bank of China. It took a Goodluck Jonathan to revive Nigeria’s
RAILWAY System which has been abandoned for many decades. Today, Nigerians can easily travel using the national railway service and their feedback has been fantastic as some even confessed seeing operational train for the first time in their entire life. The Jonathan administration inaugurated the Lagos-Kano train service, which had been moribund for almost a decade. This is a major feat considering the long years of decay in the rail transportation sector. The Eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri is being rehabilitated as well as the fixing of the Zaria/Kaura Namoda rail route. Now Kano to Katsina, the Abuja to Kaduna 187 kilometre rail line is about more than 30 per cent completed. The Ajaokuta-Warri Standard Gauge Rail line will be completed any time now. This will provide a less than four-hour journey between the Middle belt and the South South and the Lagos-Ibadan new gauge rail line, which was also initiated, last year is on course. Meanwhile we should not hurriedly forget the historic comeback of the. Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu and the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri in the South East Geo-Political Zone.
The Akanu Ibiam Airport for instance is a key opener to the nation’s economic growth. In so much, this is not only in the renewal of Airport infrastructure, especially Terminal rehabilitation and upgrade, but also very poignantly for the people of the South East, as the first International flight operated by Ethiopian Airlines lands at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on August 24, 2013. It was a miracle if not even more as the people couldn’t fathom the good done to them by the administration of President Jonathan.

That means he deserves a second term opportunity?
O yes! What more do we need to confirm that he deserves a second term to complete the good works he has started. Give him the chance to consolidate on the transformation agenda

As a strong stakeholder of Delta State politics, how is the succession campaign going?

You must have seen and heard about the dynamic governance going on in Delta State. Governor Uduaghan has even mentioned it severally and at every given opportunity that only a God fearing man can take over the mantle of leadership from him. You see, Gov. Uduaghan is not just a God fearing man but also very calculative and as such, he knows why he’s praying for a God fearing successor because without God, all he’s been able to put together will not stand. With his huge and intimidating achievements, I only hope the next man coming will be able to surpass them. I was in Warri for the Easter celebration and I marveled at the stretch of changes I see everywhere I go that I could not stop asking “Shuo, with all these changes, I could hardly know my way around!”. Look, I am a Warri girl; I know the nooks and crannies from Enerhen junction to NPA and all the ‘Ikoros’ corner corner…

So who do you think commands the peoples support?

For now, I am not permitted to make any comment until the time comes but I can tell you that Delta State is too sophisticated for learners. As a state made up of vast intellectuals and complex ethic tribes, you don’t need anybody to tell you that you must be far above bar to govern this kind of state. Going by the dynamics at play and the recent developments, Delta State is one of the prominent state of Mr President in the 2015 election. Suffix it to say that the ruling party has no choice but to field the most popular candidate regardless of ethnic sentiment otherwise the raging opposition will take full advantage of this.

What type of person is Mary?

Mary is just a free spirited woman who always stands for the truth regardless whose oars are gored. I only feel comfortable when I speak the truth. I come from a Christian Catholic background where sin is measured so you cannot tell me you don’t know when you erred. Right from my days in Primary school, before I go to sleep, I always must ask myself ‘what did you achieve today and what did you do wrong’ and immediately I realise I have faulted, believe me, I would use every means to make amends. I can’t sleep with an issue on my mind as I sleep with smile not only on my face but in my heart. Above all these, I hate to be Idle. I occupy myself positively so I don’t really have time to gossip with my peers but will rather say what I feel about you right in your face hence, some has termed me rude, others say arrogant but like I said before, I just don’t ‘suck up’ to people just to please them.

How fashionable are you?

Am just a natural home girl who loves to look good all the time. As you know in those days when parents buy xmas dress, we look forward to wearing it on Christmas day. For me, I will wear mine days before xmas day. I like to be happy and whatever I wear speaks volume of my state of mind. I like to be bold so I dare to wear anything bold but I am in love with corals. I just love the naturality of coral beads around my body as I feel incomplete without one on my wrist.

What does fashion and style mean to you?

Fashion means how best you want to be identified. Don’t concern yourself too much with trends, vogue or designer stuffs, just go for what makes you feel good even if its no longer in vogue because if you consistently wear it, it becomes a style.

What wont you be caught without?
Coral bead on my writs and leg and mostly my toe rings

What is your favourite colour?

My best colour is Burgundy

What is your beauty secret?

Just be natural

How do you unwind?
I like to listen to soulful songs and you can catch me always with Teddy Pendegrass. I also like to be on the Golf Course, It’s not only for the mind consciousness about the game but the spirituality connected to Golf. For me, when am on the Golf Course, on the Green, I commune with my God better because of the natural scenery and above all, this Golf is the only game that relates to life hence no matter how bad I play on a particular hole I put it behind me and face the next hole like the past never happened and that’s how I have lived my life.

What has life taught you?

Life has taught me that people who can’t stand your gut will condemn you. So, whenever I look back at issues or events, I never regret a thing but rather work on the criticisms and turn it around for my own good. Spend time to occupy yourself constructively instead of spending your precious time condemning others.

Any last word?
Everybody is important in their own right, discover your area of strength, build on it and let others be…that is only when the world will be a better place for all!

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