Isah Egah Dobi represents Abuja South, which is made up of Gwagwalada/Kuje/Abaji/Kwali Federal Constituency of the FCT in the House of Representatives. He marshals out his achievements while his constituents should return him to the National Assembly. In this interview with Kennedy Chinonye, he says that his work will speak for him as he hopes to secure the sole ticket in the primary election. Excerpt:
You have the ambition to come back to the House of Representatives the third time, do you think you have the capacity and capability to defeat the oppositions that are mounting against you?
I believe that the people I am serving have seen the development I have brought to them. They will vote for me because I have a track record. You know I have performed and have done what no house member has done in Abuja.
I have the reason to contest because I can talk to anybody in my constituency, I tell any group that this or that is what I have done, and it is there for anybody to see. I am not making noise. What I am saying is a reality; they are on ground for anybody to see.
If People want development, if they want service to be delivered to them, then, they should go with somebody they have tried and seen his performance. I am not praising myself but this is what is on the ground for anybody and is verifiable. I have my projects on all the wards that make up my constituency. Any amount allocated to me in the budget is used for projects that are beneficiary to my people.
Why is it that you are not talking much of your achievements?
Time is coming for that. It is true that I do not like making noise but in politics if you do not make noise, people will not know what you are doing. It is time for me to make noise. I have a record of all my projects. I have a book containing my achievements. I will circulate it to all my constituents and anybody who says no to what is in the book should come out to challenge me. The record speaks for itself. If I say this is what Isah has done and you have any contrary view, you can come out and say; no, Isah you did not do this or that.
For instance, this year, I am providing three dams to my constituency. The one in Kwali is already completed. If you go there and see the water, people never believed that they would have water. The dam in Dobi is ongoing. It will soon be completed. It is delayed as a result of the consistent rainfall in FCT. But it is in completion stage. The water in the dam can serve the community up to a year. These are people oriented projects. I have another one in Kuje Area Council. When we are through with that, we go to Kago. These are projects that could provide job opportunities.
Before, I was building overhead tanks, class rooms. I have given them clinic; I have given them ICT centers and even street lights. There is no single ward you go without seeing my project… (Cuts)
How many wards in all?
Forty two wards. My projects are in some cases, more than two in each ward in all the forty two wards. My people have gotten a lot from me that they have every reason to vote for me because they know that if I go there, I will do more.
Recently, Nigeria celebrated 54 Independence. Some people were of the view that the celebration was inappropriate. What is your take?
Any Nigerian who said we have no course to celebrate independence is not doing any good to the nation. You see, hatred is different from reality. For instance, that I hate you no matter how handsome you are is quite different from that you are bad or you are ugly. If you are handsome, it is better for me to accept that you are handsome but stand on my position that I hate you. It is better to say the truth that this man is handsome but I do not like him. Good things must remain good and bad ones bad. But because you do not like a person, then you brand him bad is not good.
We have every course to celebrate independence because looking backward, for instance, from Dobi to Gwagwalada, it will take you more than forty five minutes, but, now it takes you about twenty minutes. That is development. Before now, for you to move from Garki to Kwali, it would take you three hours on the road, but now, it takes you less than thirty minutes to go. And a lot of this kind of development is on the ground. Our airports were eye sore. When you travelled out of the country, as soon as you are landing in Nigerian airport, you need not be told that you are in Nigeria. What you see is different from what is in the other countries. But today, we can proudly say that this is our airport. Our airports are taking a different shape. These things are the reasons why we should celebrate.
On roads, before now, pot holes were the order of the day, but now, we can drive smoothly. Most of the federal roads are motorable, even though, some of our state roads are bad. We must appreciate it.
In the education sector, most of the schools are renovated, new ones have been established and all that. Hospitals are not left out. Railway lines that were dilapidated decades ago are back. In some places, we are seeing the train in some parts of the country.
What is the relationship between you and the people like?
It is very cordial. I am very close to them. I am the most approachable politician. It is not a boast. I am the type that they can reach day and night. I am the politician that they do not need protocol to see, both in my house and in my office. I do not believe that if I sit down here nobody should sit in the same place. I don’t believe that nobody should eat with me on the same table. I eat with my constituents even on the same plate. That is me. A good servant must live up to expectation from his people. You should allow the people to reach you at all the time.
But there has been this campaign going on that people does not want you again. How do you react to it?
This people you are seeing are just minute of the crowds that come here. (Pointing at crowd of people sitting in his room). They have not started coming. When they gather in their usual number, you will judge by yourself. Anyway, if anybody says that the people are not with me, we have few months to the primary election. When the primary election comes; we will know who the people want.
What programme do you have for the youth?
Very good, if I am returned, I will have skill acquisition for them. I will provide special skill acquisition center for both young graduates and non-graduates. Let them do something that will enable them become employer of labour than depending on a white collar job.
What is your experience in the House of Representatives like?
In the first term when I was in the house, it was like I was learning, I watched people move motion and sponsor a bill. In my second term, I have moved motion and sponsored more than eight bills. Some of them are at the verge of being passed into law. I am sure that if I have the opportunity to go back, I will be able to furnish the bills that I have started and sponsor more.
What will you like to be remembered of by the people?
I want to be remembered of my availability for them as well as my sincerity. I have always told them the truth. I have always been there for them. I also want to tell other honourable members to be available for their people any time any day. For me, I do not want to fail in that area and that is why I am twenty four hours available for my people. That is why my phone is always available twenty four hours for them. I do not give my handset to my aids to answer for me. I answer it myself. If any one of them is calling me ten times, I will answer the person ten times.
You make your phone number available to them?
Yes, of course. Like yesterday, my battery ran down before twelve noon, because of the calls. My phone was always on my ears.
What area do you need their support as their representative?
What I need now is their mandate. I want them to nominate me in the forthcoming primary election. If they do that for me, they will definitely get more from me. Because it is obvious that it will be difficult to get my type.