How I won election into House of Reps – Kaduna Okada rider

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    Donatus Matthew, the representative of the Kaura Federal constituency of Southern Kaduna, tells ISRAEL BULUS how he won the February 25th National Assembly under the Labour Party platform.

     ISRAEL BULUS said before now, not much was known about you. Who actually is Donatus Matthew?

    “My name is Donatus Mathew. I am from Kpak, Kagoro chiefdom in the Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State and presently an elected member of the Federal House of Representatives to represent Kaura on the platform of the Labour Party. I was born in 1976. I attended LGEA Primary School Kadarko, then proceeded to Saint Jani Seminary, but completed my secondary school education at Teachers’ College, Kagoro. I am a graduate of Saint Albert Institute with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and I am married with four children.

    You were declared the winner of the House of Representatives election for the Kaura Federal Constituency on the platform of the Labour Party. What inspired you to contest the election?

    There are a lot of issues, personal and communal, based on our perception of how things should be done as everyone will testify to the issues and the problems we are facing in the Kaura Local Government Area, and to a larger extent, the state and the national levels. So, it became very imperative that people should decide for themselves. So, people like me, with great conviction, believed and adopted the ideologies of the Labour Party and the candidate for the Labour Party at the presidential level in particular. So, it was one of the issues that drew our attention.

    I joined the Labour Party to work for the presidential candidate then. But later on, in the course of events, many people came up to suggest that we should go into the contest, which I reluctantly went into, because I never intended to before now. However, after due consultation, people insisted that I should come for service and that triggered my interest. That was the simple reason why I joined the contest. Also, we want to give people the credible leadership they expect, most especially my constituency.

    What is your assessment of the National Assembly election in which you were elected?

    Honestly, in my case, what led to my victory was a collective decision of the people of Kaura, most especially, the youth, who seriously needed that change and who believed in me. They put their trust in me; they came out en masse and stood by me, and I am thanking them for that.

    There are reports everywhere that you’re an Okada rider. How true is that?

    Honestly, it is very true. Before I became a councillor, I was an Okada man. I have been using a bike to sustain myself and I am proud of that. Even now, I have colleagues who are still doing it (riding Okada) and I think there’s nothing wrong with that. That is my humble beginning.

    Many do not regard Okada riders as prominent individuals in society. Do you think this is a wrong perception?

    Riding Okada is just like any other business that puts food on the table. These (Okada riders) are a unique set of people in every society. When a visitor visits a town or community, they (Okada riders) are the first contact to convey passengers to their destinations. They also help in identifying people with negative intentions. My experience helped me to meet and interact with people from different backgrounds. I live most of my life in Kagoro, and I know what it means to get a meal in a day to put on the table. As you grow from one level to another, you learn how to assist others. I have visited almost all the nooks and crannies of my constituency and I am aware of their peculiar challenges. That’ll guide me on what to do for my people. In the course of my experience as an Okada rider, I gained knowledge of what’s called human existence. I was a supervisory councillor in my local government before I contested to become a councillor and won.

    It is expected that Okada riders will look up to you to improve their lives. What kind of programme will you initiate for them to benefit from your leadership?

    “There are programmes that we have been doing long before now. We have been assisting them and advising them to come together in groups and register to benefit from other programmes. But we will look at things carefully to see the kind of initiatives that will benefit the majority. There will be a turnover of credible leadership for our people.

    What will be your message to other Nigerians who are inspired by your election and have a passion for politics, but come from humble backgrounds?

    What I will say is that wherever they find themselves, they should be themselves. They should not allow distractions from other angles. They should be focused and determined, and believe in God because there is nothing God cannot do once they put in the effort. Once they come into politics, they should just be real and people will assess them for who they are.

    What kind of leadership should people in Kaura expect from you when you are sworn in as a federal lawmaker?

    My leadership, by the grace of God, will be inclusive. We are going to carry everybody along, irrespective of party, religion, creed or dialect, or chiefdom in the Kaura Local Government Area. As far as I am concerned, they are under my care and I will give them the necessary attention.”

    Queen Ferry
    Queen Ferry
    Chinyere Treasure Ikechukwu known professionally as Queen Ferry, is a Nigerian business Executive, Journalist and Content Editor. She serves as the Vice-Chairman of Naijatraffic Limited and also the CEO of Wakadaily. If Treasure is not blogging, she will be making delicious delicacy.

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